High-level government officials and ministers from more than 70 countries attended a meeting Monday and Tuesday of this week. It served as a precursor to the upcoming 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The pre-COP21 meeting aimed to “provide the necessary political guidance to the ADP negotiating process and to come up with proposals for common ground on some of the key political issues that remain open.” Analysts view the outcome as a significant development in the runup to COP21.
At the pre-COP21, participants continued their work of surmounting obstacles and reinforcing their commitment “to succeed in reaching a universal agreement in December in Paris,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the chair of upcoming COP21.
Participants worked at the level of the current negotiating text, one of several completed this year. However, results generated at the pre-COP21 currently lack legal standing and must be officially approved by negotiators at the beginning of the formal gathering in Paris.
Progress was reported on the following points:
- Support for the pursuit of the Lima Paris Action Agenda adopted by the UNFCCC at last year’s conference in Peru,
- Agreement that all countries should regularly present new INDCs,
- Near-unanimous support for a regular review (“stock-taking”) of countries’ commitment to cut greenhouse emissions, probably every 5 years,
- Constructive and pragmatic discussions on where finance should stand in the agreement, and
- Positive signals for new climate finance announcements to reach the previously agreed $100bn target.
“The task remains considerable,” Fabius said near the close of the meeting. “An ambitious compromise is within reach though the task is considerable and success is crucial.”