'Watered-Down' UN Climate Change Agreement Reached In Peru

'Watered-Down' UN Climate Change Agreement Reached In Peru

After hitting a standstill that took the Lima, Peru, climate talks two days past their scheduled end, representatives from countries around the world secured a temporary agreement on December 14.

The Associated Press reported the UN global warming talks in Lima had hit a standstill by December 12, when developing countries said the terms of a “draft deal” would allow rich countries to handle global warming one way while forcing poorer countries to handle it another. In short, the developing countries thought the agreement would allow richer countries “to shirk their responsibilities to fight global warming and pay for its impacts.”

Although the final agreement is not scheduled to be reached until next year in Paris, the meeting in Lima was intended to produce a workable draft that could be used as a springboard for the final agreement in Paris. 

Special Envoy for Climate Change at the State Department Todd Stern implored representatives from other countries to find a way to tweak the language so the agreement could be acceptable to everyone. He warned that a failure to reach a draft agreement could be viewed “as a serious breakdown” that would put “the entire UN process at risk.”

On December 14–two days past the original agreement deadline–a “watered-down” agreement was reached, thus preserving the arrangements for a final meeting in Paris next year.

According to CBC, the draft only requires the “voluntary submission of information” on emissions between now and the Paris conference. This includes “voluntary” standards for the kinds of reductions each country wants to make. 

This is a far cry from what UN organizers had hoped for, but in the end it was evident the agreement had to be voluntary or it would not pass. 

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