OTTAWA – The 20th Conference of Parties (COP20) session to address the threat of climate change came to a close early Sunday morning in Lima, Peru. The two-weeks’ worth of negotiations produced a 12-month work plan for the world’s nations to prepare for the upcoming negotiations (COP21) in Paris. The negotiations will be pivotal, as countries have until December 2015 to produce a viable strategy to tackle the threat of climate change.
“On balance, I think that the Lima decision is better than nothing,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands. She was the sole Opposition Member of Parliament in attendance at the COP20 negotiation. “The hurdles to achieving a successful treaty in Paris are daunting. The Lima agreement avoids immediate failure, but sets an underwhelming pace. We needed a launch of ‘ready, set, go!’ But we got ‘ready, set, limp.’”
The Lima document lays out how each nation will submit its own plans for combatting climate change over the next 12 months. Furthermore, it provides recommendations as to how the COP21 Paris negotiations should proceed. Although the document was watered down as industrialized and developing nations disagreed over the main priorities for COP21, it marks a starting point.
“COP21 will succeed or fail based on how effectively the differing goals of industrialized nations and developing countries can be reconciled,” concluded Ms. May. “That is why it is so important for climate change to be a key issue in the upcoming election in 2015. I believe Canadians understand that we need to elect a new government to ensure that Canada returns to our pre-Harper role as a positive force in climate negotiations.”