• Lima Climate Conference Paves the Way Toward a Climate Agreement in Paris
  • May 14, 2015 | Author: Anne-Caroline Urbain
  • Law Firm: Jones Day - Paris Office
  • The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties ("COP") of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ("UNFCCC") and the 10th session of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol ("CMP") took place in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. Signed in 1992, the UNFCCC sets the goal of preventing dangerous man-made interference with the global climate system.

    In 1997, to better fight the effects of climate change, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted to legally bind developed countries to emission reduction targets. The last commitment period of the Protocol will expire in 2020, thus creating the need for a new agreement.

    The 194 countries attending the Lima COP/CMP have reached decisions that provide for the foundation of a new climate change framework. They have agreed on two initiatives: the Lima Call for Climate Action and the draft elements for the new agreement to be adopted.

    The Lima Call for Climate Action requires all countries to describe their proposed emissions reduction targets in a clear, transparent, and understandable way, in order to assess whether these contributions are fair and ambitious. The UNFCCC secretariat will publish the contributions and prepare a synthesis report. The European Union declared its willingness to assist in this process and engage in constructive discussions with other countries about their proposed targets.

    In Lima, parties have also begun compiling the draft elements of the new agreement, intended to be adopted during the 21st COP/CMP, which will take place in Paris in winter 2015. This agreement aims to merge all binding and nonbinding arrangements under the UNFCCC and to build a single comprehensive regime in the form of a new protocol, thus replacing the Kyoto Protocol. This regime will be binding on all parties to the UNFCCC, including certain developing countries.

    The expectations surrounding the 21st COP/CMP are, therefore, very high, since the new agreement will provide for the climate action legal framework from 2020 onward.