Environment ministers are under increasing pressure to make progress in climate change negotiations at a summit in Lima.
The talks are scheduled to end Friday 12 December and have so far made little headway in agreeing on a blueprint for action on climate change, with the draft text of the summit coming for criticism.
“It is clear that progress over the last 10 days or so has been too slow. The text has grown instead of being streamlined,” said European Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete.
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A long road ahead
Late Wednesday Canete claimed that reaching an agreement “will take courage and it will mean countries moving to the edge of their comfort zones.”
The talks are the latest round in negotiations which aim to reach a groundbreaking environmental accord by December 2015, with ambitious carbon curbs the most pressing issue.
The 12-day meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima is supposed to provide a framework for a deal to be made in Paris next year, with the main aim being to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Climate change: Long-term issues remain
A consistent point of contention in environmental matters reared its ugly head once again, with a debate arising over which countries should shoulder more of the responsibility for combating carbon emissions. Any agreement will rely on voluntary pledges to cut emissions, but rich and developing nations are yet to agree on who needs to take the most drastic action.
India positioned itself as the leader of a group of developing countries calling for the continued respect of the founding principles of the UNFCCC, under which developed nations would assist their less-developed neighbors in the fight against climate change.
“The new agreement has to be in full accordance with all, I repeat all, the principles and provisions of the Framework Convention,” warned Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Another sticking point was the eventual monitoring of voluntary pledges, which are expected to be submitted by March 2015. China, for one, refused to commit to an official audit of its efforts to cut carbon emissions. There remains a long way to go before definitive action can be taken to reduce the warming of our planet.