UN climate talks closed without capitalising on the growing public demands for increased measures to tackle pollution that drives global warming.
The talks were held back by developed countries resisting proposals to include clear commitments on finance and support for adaptation to climate impacts in a new agreement, scheduled to be concluded in Paris in 2015.
Observers were also concerned by the unusual process used by the talks, which did not include text-based negotiations but instead allowed each country to speak generally.
Azeb Girmai, Focal Person on Climate for LDC-Watch, based in their Ethiopia office said:
“African negotiators and others from developing countries took a strong position calling for adaptation and finance issues to be included as a part of each nation’s contribution to the agreement.
For the people most vulnerable to climate impacts these are the essential issues and they cannot be sidelined. These issues must now remain on the table.”
Meena Raman, negotiation expert at Third World Network, an NGO based in Malaysia that tracks UN talks said:
“The talks here can’t fairly be called negotiations. They were discussions, sharing of views, but no actual elbows on table dealing with text. I can’t see how they’ll pull the elements together if they continue like this.
Many developing countries have been calling for text-based negotiations since March this year – it needs to happen now. They need to breakout and get their pens out and actually cross out text or scribble new text in the margins.
Talking in general terms won’t be enough to get it done. A midnight text in Lima to try and resolve this will only further undermine trust in this process.”
Asad Rehman, Head of International Climate at Friends of the Earth EWNI in the UK, said:
“The EU2030 package has been lamented at these talks. People from the vulnerable countries across the world can see through the spin and know that the EU’s target is not in line with a 2C global goal and risks shutting the door on 1.5C entirely – with devastating consequences for those on the frontline of the climate crisis.
European citizens are rightly concerned that EU leaders have sacrificed our needs and demands to defend the short term economic interests of dirty energy corporations.
To do so in the run up to the Paris talks in 2015 makes EU statements about climate science ring hollow and could sink any hope of progress for more global urgency and climate action.”
The talks will continue at their annual Summit to be held this year in Lima, Peru, starting on December 1st.
As the urgency of the climate crisis increases focus will also turn to UN plans for greater action prior to 2020, with a new co-chair drafted decision for discussion released in Bonn.