The good news is that almost two hundred nations have committed to enter into a new climate agreement by the end of next year. The lead negotiators from these nations are meeting in Lima, Peru for the next two weeks to hash out a framework to complete the climate pact.
Global warming and climate change have been hot button topics for a number of years now, but with global temperatures hitting all-time records in 2014, the pressure is increasing for a comprehensive worldwide agreement on lowering carbon emissions.
2014 is hottest year on record
The two weeks of UN-organized talks will begin as climatologists highlight the record-breaking global temperatures in 2014 to date. Based on the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, average global temperature over land and sea from January to October of this year were the hottest since record keeping began back in 1880.
Some progress in planning for future reductions of global temperatures
Climate change activists have scored some successes in the last few months. Millions of people took to the streets of cities worldwide back in September in a mass demonstration of popular support new policies on climate control.
125 world leaders attended a meeting called by the UN secretary general later in September, where all once again confirmed their commitments to address climate change with a new global agreement.
November’s announcement from the US and China on lowering CO2 emissions was also an unexpected breakthrough, and the Chinese signaled that their emissions would peak in the neighborhood of 2030.
The EU also recently agreed to specific climate targets for 2030.
Financing for climate control initiatives is also moving forward. The UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) received more than $9 billion in commitments at a pledging conference in Berlin last month.
Formidable challenges ahead
Political analysts note, however, that there are many “formidable challenges” to be dealt with at the Lima climate summit.
“Ultimately this is not a problem that can be solved by just the US, China, and the EU,” commented Paul Bledsoe, senior climate fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the US. “There’s a whole series of countries – Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia – who have not made commitments (to cut emissions) and we don’t know yet how robust their commitments are.”