Thursday, October 23, 2014

Reasons to be Optimistic about a Global Climate Agreement

Despite a number of remaining hurdles, there have been several positive developments that support the idea that we may succeed in securing a global climate agreement in 2015. Adding to the optimism of UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, we have seen constructive French diplomacy and national climate legislation in three countries. While there is much more that needs to be done there has also been some progress on the Green Climate Fund. Finally China has indicated that it would present its contributions and perhaps even cap its emissions and some less developed nations are also doing their part.

Ahead of the Bonn Climate Summit, Figueres pointed to the growing momentum towards a global climate agreement:

"I welcome Parties to Bonn next week knowing that further progress towards a draft agreement will contribute to making Lima the success it needs to be," said Figueres, "2014 has been an extraordinary year of momentum by governments supported by climate action from cities and communities to corporations and the finance sector—our meeting next week will I am sure concretely carry forward that sense of optimism, dynamism and determination as we look forward to COP 20 in Peru in one month’s time."

The French government is engaged in diplomatic efforts towards a global climate agreement in 2015. France is also making necessary efforts to ensure a positive climate finance outcome at the forthcoming COP 20 talks in Lima, Peru.

Thanks to France and Germany, the Green Climate Fund is moving forward albeit slowly. President Hollande pledged US $1 billion (€780 million) at the Climate Summit in New York city after German leader Angela Merkel made a similar pledge.

Perhaps most importantly, several nations have passed national legislation to help buoy support for a global climate agreement in 2015. This includes France, Denmark and Finland. In the US President Obama is doing what he can to secure a climate deal. To make this possible he is working to avoid conservative legislators who are adamantly opposed to climate legislation.

China appears to be ready to submit its contributions to the Paris Agreement by June 2015. China has indicated that it may well institute an emissions cap in the near future. 

It is not only industrialized nations that are showing leadership, developing nations like Mexico and Korea are also moving in an encouraging direction.

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