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Lima Talks to Test Political Will for Global Climate Deal

GLAND, Switzerland – UN climate talks opening in Lima on December 1 will be pivotal to gauge political will for a new global climate deal. Governments are expected to agree on the outline of an agreement to be approved in Paris in 2015.

With overwhelming scientific evidence of the increased rate and impact of climate change, it is essential that governments make climate change a top political priority and leave Lima with a strong foundation for success in Paris.

“Make no mistake. COP20 is a litmus test for political will for urgent action on climate, and specifically for an ambitious and equitable global agreement on climate change,” said Tasneem Essop, WWF’s Head of Delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Adding to the urgency, the unprecedented call for action by citizens across the world in recent months demonstrates that governments have to step up the pace and scale of their commitments to the climate negotiations.

“We know the consequences of inaction and it’s no longer good enough to say that it’s too politically difficult to act,” said Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

“We have one year to the Paris meeting. We are off to a good start with ‘opening bids’ by China, the US and the European Union all pledging to reduce emissions. The finance commitments made by a number of countries earlier this month also lends much needed political momentum to the talks,” Smith said.

WWF expects the following outcomes in Lima:

1. Governments must act with urgency to close the emissions gap in the pre-2020 period. This includes:

  • Scaling up renewable energy consumption to 25 percent and doubling energy efficiency by 2020;
  • Ensuring developed countries increase their existing emissions reduction commitments; and
  • Ensuring developing countries enhance existing actions with support from developed countries;
  • Committing immediate support for targeted actions on forests and agriculture in key regions, since these sectors can deliver immediate emissions reductions for the pre-2020 period by committing to zero deforestation and degradation.

2. Governments must build a safe future for us all, especially the vulnerable, by agreeing to elements of a new 2015 deal. It should include:

  • Agreeing on a global adaptation goal
  • Recognizing the central role for adaptation in country contributions;
  • Filling the Adaptation Fund;
  • Committing support for actions to curb deforestation and include forests in the 2015 agreement;
  • Agreeing on a mechanism to help those who will suffer permanent loss and damage due to the impacts of climate change.

3. Governments must put science and equity at the heart of the new agreement and that must include:

  • Agreeing to a carbon budget in line with science; and a long-term goal of phasing out fossil fuels and phase-in to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050;
  • Deciding on a science and equity-based review of efforts with a ratcheting up mechanism;
  • Ensuring that national contributions are transparent and comparable;
  • Committing to finance and support at the scale needed for ambitious actions.

Countries that have not made financial commitments to the Green Climate Fund should also use the opportunity of the COP20 meeting in Lima to do so.

“We are meeting on a continent of developing countries that have already experienced devastating impacts of climate change through floods, glacier melts and extreme weather events. It is also a continent where we have witnessed strong actions to address climate change. This should spur all countries to be prepared to set aside their own national interests and act in the interests of the planet,” said Essop.

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