Lima COP Concludes With Some Answers, Many Questions

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Lima COP Concludes With Some Answers, Many Questions

by RP Siegel
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Lima #COP20 concludes with some answers, many questions - More from @RPSiegel on @Justmeans http://bit.ly/1zvXym0 #climatechange

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 4:00pm

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The UN Climate Conference of Parties, which took place over the last two weeks in Lima, Peru turned out to be quite a roller coaster ride. It began with soaring optimism in the wake of the recent agreement between US and China to take serious action, followed by a US pledge to add $3 billion to the International Climate Fund. That was on the heels of an EU announcement to cut their emissions by 40% below 1990 levels. Awareness of the issue seemed to be steadily growing as the World Meteorological Association announced that 2014 was on track to become the warmest year on record. It was a bit like a fundraiser, where some generous donor steps up with a big contribution, hoping to inspire others to do the same. Or so it seemed.

The talks at Lima were designed to set the stage with the draft of an agreement that would be finalized next year in Paris. But the drive towards meaningful action met with stiff resistance as disagreements between rich and poor nations took center stage as to how the required contributions from each should be computed and what kind of aid should be directed from the former to the latter in helping them to deal with the impacts. The talks bogged down for days at a time over the question of "common but differentiated" responsibility for rich and poor countries. How each country would present and assess their contribution before the Paris meeting was a key issue for these talks. While it’s true that industrialized countries, and the US in particular, have contributed most of the cumulative emissions, developing countries including China, India, and Mexico contribute more than half of all emissions today.

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Image credit: Lima: J. Francisco Canaza: Flickr Creative Commons

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel. 

Keywords: Environment | Agreement on Climate Transformation 2015 | COP | Carbon budget | Climate Fund | Conference of parties | Deforestation | Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories | Lima | Paris | Todd Stern

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