WASHINGTON – The international community “cannot allow” the 20th session of the U.N. Conference of the Parties on Climate Change – scheduled for December in Lima – to end in failure, the advisor to the Peruvian government for that summit told Efe.
“No, (the world) can’t allow it. If there’s failure at the COP20 in Peru, we won’t reach an agreement at the COP21 in Paris,” Jorge Gastelumendi told Efe.
He made those remarks Friday before attending a high-level discussion on financing and climate change held in Washington as part of the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
One of the goals of the Dec. 1-12 Lima summit will be reaching consensus on a new international pact to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The U.N. plans call for that agreement to be approved at next year’s COP21 in Paris, to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
“Lima must be an essential step in reaching an agreement in Paris. Without Lima, there is no Paris. That’s what developed and developing countries have said,” Gastelumendi said.
The summit will not only deal with “the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions” but also questions such as “adapting to climate change” and how to finance the struggle against this global problem.
“Those three elements must be balanced in an accord in Lima,” Gastelumendi said.
Referring to the new accord that is to replace the Kyoto Protocol, he said there is “general recognition” of the need to foster greater “ambition on the part of countries” in decreasing greenhouse-gas emissions.
“There’s an understanding that there must be a race to the top as opposed to race to the bottom.”
An agreement was reached at the December 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha to extend the life of the Kyoto Protocol until 2020. That treaty had been due to expire in 2012.
The problem is that the countries and regions that have pledged to reduce their emissions during the second Kyoto commitment period – led by the European Union, Australia and Norway – account for just over 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
In that regard, Gastelumendi said there is a need at the Lima summit to “define how each country will continue advancing in that process in a differentiated way. There’s still work to do there.”
Peru will be the third Latin American country – after Mexico and Argentina – to host an edition of the U.N. Conference of the Parties on Climate Change.