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Governments prepare for 2015 universal climate agreement

The UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw ended on Saturday, attempting to keep governments on a track towards a universal climate agreement in 2015.

The conference included significant new decisions that will aim to cut emissions from deforestation and on loss and damage.

“Warsaw has set a pathway for governments to work on a draft text of a new universal climate agreement so it appears on the table at the next UN Climate change conference in Peru. This is an essential step to reach a final agreement in Paris, in 2015,” said COP19 conference president Marcin Korolec.

In the context of 2015, countries decided to initiate or intensify domestic preparation for their intended national contributions towards that agreement , which will come into force from 2020.

Parties ready to do this will submit clear and transparent plans well in advance of COP 21, in Paris, and by the first quarter of 2015.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change commented: “All nations have now agreed to start their homework to prepare for a global climate change deal in 2015. The world now has a work programme, with timetables. While the long negotiations in Poland showed there are many tough talks ahead of us, the determined diplomacy of the UK and EU achieved our aims, building alliances with our friends across the world.

“From a new rulebook and finance to strengthen our work to tackle deforestation around the world to a vital new package on measuring, reporting and verifying emissions, this was a conference that dealt with the nuts and bolts for the global agreement we believe is possible in 2015.

“By announcing the UK was joining the United States in their policy of ending support for public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas, combined with our extra help for some of the world’s poorest to adapt to the climate change that is already seriously affecting many communities, the UK continued its strong record of leading on climate change action.”

Meanwhile, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has criticised India and Saudi Arabia for blocking an agreement which could prevent the release of up to 100 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050.  

EIA HFC & Climate policy analyst Danielle Gagne commented: “Addressing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol would provide real results in the short term, with more than 2 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions avoided by 2020.

“Blocking action to phase out HFCs under the Protocol is a missed opportunity for near-term greenhouse gas mitigation; real action has been sacrificed for negotiating tactics.”

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