Delegates at the UN climate change summit in Lima have agreed to set national pledges to be submitted by next year. The EU claims this is a step toward achieving a global deal on climate change while environmental groups claim it is an ineffectual compromise. take more responsibility while developing countries blame developed countries for not having the situation in their own country under control.
One major win of the text developed over the past two weeks is that it points toward a new classification of nations. Instead of dividing the world simply between rich and poor, it attempts to reflect the more complex world of today with the bulk of emissions coming from developing countries. The fact that 194 countries agreed to this document means that the possibility of a deal in Paris still remains.
The document developed in Lima calls for an ambitious agreement in 2015 that reflects differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities of each nation, developed countries to provide financial support to developing nations, national pledges to be submitted by those states ready to do so, countries to set targets that go beyond current undertaking, and the UN climate change body to report back on national pledges by November 2015. Many environmental groups provided harsh criticism saying the proposal were not drastic enough and tougher measure were required.
While officials are pleased with the agreed upon text, there is still much left to discuss in Paris. Many contentious issues were left unresolved and according to some environmental groups this places the Paris negotiations behind before they have even begun. Todd Stern, the US State Department's climate change envoy, said the entire summit was contentious but it fundamentally accomplished what it set out to do. As a new Congress begins it term, it will be interesting to see how they react to the deadlines set out in this new agreement and the necessary changes the President makes to US national pledges due to be submitted in early 2015.