The Korea Herald


U.N. proposes building blocks of new global climate deal

By 신현희

Published : July 8, 2014 - 21:33

    • Link copied

The United Nations proposed a set of building blocks for a new global climate agreement, laying the groundwork for a deal to be reached at the end of next year.

The UN presented options for the format of the deal including emissions reductions, climate financing from developed to developing nations and how the agreement will be enforced. The information was included in a document posted on the website of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The document emphasizes the divergence that exists in the talks to craft a successor to the emissions-limiting Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. and other rich nations seek to break down a wall in the Kyoto deal, which set binding targets only for them. Developing nations including China, the biggest emitter, say it’s up to developed ones to act first.

“A substantial amount of work remains ahead of us in order to arrive, within more or less the next nine months, at a draft legal text of the proposed agreement,” the two diplomats chairing the talks, Kishan Kumarsingh of Trinidad and Tobago and the European Commission’s Artur Runge-Metzger, wrote in a separate note.

The document also lays out options for developed countries to ramp up annual climate aid to poorer countries to the $100 billion level they’ve pledged to reach by 2020. It calls for predictability of finance. Options range from not quantifying individual commitments to doing so on an agreed percentage formula.

Negotiators intend to complete a full legal draft of the deal six months before a conference in Paris in December 2015. They aim to gather emissions pledges from all major economies by the end of the first quarter next year. The agreement would take effect from 2020, when the current set of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol expire.

The latest document is called a non-paper in UN jargon, indicating it’s not an official negotiating text. It spells out what Kumarsingh and Runge-Metzger term “elements” of a draft negotiating text. Those elements, presented as options in some places, contradict each other because they represent opposing interests of rich and poor countries.

Under a section entitled “guiding principles,” for example, one proposal would maintain the divisions enshrined in Kyoto, while another states that “a binary approach is not consistent with the current and evolving situation of the world and cannot be used as the basis for the 2015 agreement.”

The paper proposes to establish a long-term common goal for the fight against climate change. Options for this include achieving carbon neutrality, setting a limit on the global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius, an unspecified maximum concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and a carbon budget spelling out how much carbon can be emitted and by which countries. (Bloomberg)