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WWF: Good progress in Geneva

2015-02-13

While an extraordinary mood prevailed at the UN climate negotiations in Geneva this week, resulting in draft text for a new global climate agreement, the hard work is yet to begin.

Tasneem Essop, WWF’s head of delegation to the UNFCCC, says common purpose and goodwill resulted in a draft text for Paris being concluded two days before the end of the session. “The chairpersons deserve credit for their approach at this session and getting a party owned draft text agreed,” she says. 

“But tackling the difficult issues is yet to begin and our perception is that that traditional fault lines have not yet been breached.  Negotiators face a tremendous task to reach agreement on the contentious issues and come up with an ambitious, fair science-based deal in the two or three negotiating sessions left before meeting in Paris,” says Essop.

All eyes must be on political leaders now, as they are the single most important influence that will shape the final outcome of a new global climate deal in Paris later this year. 

“There are important political moments outside of the UN climate negotiation process – at both ministerial and Heads of State level - on the road to Paris where they can demonstrate their intentions, such as the G7, the G20 meetings, and the SDG Summit,” says Essop.

The first test of political will and influence inside the negotiating process will come in the period from March to June when countries announce their plans to reduce emissions and, we hope, provide financial resources for the post-2020 period, Essop says.

Some of the key issues that are yet to be agreed include how governments can scale up pre-2020 actions, the application of the convention principles related to differentiation; securing the scale of finance required in both the pre-2020 and post-2020 periods and ensuring that a new global climate regime provides security for those most vulnerable to climate impacts (resilience and loss and damage).

“Globally, civil society is already mobilising citizens to demand political leaders act decisively in tackling what is being called the greatest challenge of our times.”

(Source: panda.org)