Summit seeks common ground on climate pact
Countries debate future beyond 2020
Representatives of more than 190 countries gathered in Warsaw, Poland, yesterday to continue debating how to deal with climate change beyond 2020, even as nations are falling further behind on their collective goal of reining in greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet.
Major breakthroughs are not expected at the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Instead, these talks have been described as sessions that will lay a foundation for a global agreement to be reached in time for 2015 talks in Paris.
“Warsaw, even more than usual, is a stop along the way toward accomplishments in the longer term,” said Nathaniel Keohane, vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund’s international climate program. “I don’t think anyone is expecting a major landmark in Warsaw.”
That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to discuss – or argue about. Developing nations want to know how the developed world plans to make good on a pledge to “mobilize” $100 billion by 2020 to help them cope with the effects of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Other countries, including small island nations that may have to move large groups of people as rising seas consume land masses, want financial compensation.
And everyone wants to know how the nations of the world will draw a road map toward a 2015 treaty that will further rein in greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020.