A new draft was ready for discussion late on Thursday night after the president of the Conference of Parties and Peru’s Environment Minister, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, took charge of the U.N. climate talks on the penultimate day and made an impassioned appeal that no one should leave Lima empty-handed.
Talks threatened to head nowhere on Thursday after a seven-page draft text was put up on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (what each country intends to do to reduce climate change impact) and hastily withdrawn after objections from the Group of 77 and China, who wanted to bring its own text.
As the day dragged on in uncertainty, Mr. Vidal, in the evening, called on all parties to ensure that some decision was taken. He asked countries to give hope to a new climate agreement by 2015-end. “We are here to take a decision and we need to be proactive and work in a constructive spirit and in a transparent way for an outcome,” he said.
He called on the co-chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action to prepare a fresh text by 9 p.m. to be discussed the next morning. He said it should reflect the positions of all countries. Parties were here not for linguistic discussions and there was a need for a text with which people could work in an effective and efficient way. The new text was ready by 10.30 p.m. He said the problem should be dealt with and the world sent a signal that Lima meant business.
However, immediate comments on the latest draft are also not encouraging. It bears some resemblance to the one which was pulled out.
Commenting on the earlier draft, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Adviser Mohamed Adow said: “It undermines the trust in the process at a time when countries are negotiating line by line in a transparent and accountable manner. Whoever drafted it did not read the mood of the room and this might backfire and erode trust. It doesn’t include matters on adaptation and finance. There is no meaningful assessment of national contributions.”
(Meena Menon is in Lima on a visit sponsored by the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi)