More than 190 countries are represented at the latest climate talks in Lima, Peru. Negotiators will meet again today to discuss emission cuts. The talks may culminate in a global warming deal in Paris next year if all the countries can get behind the deal.
There are signs a deal is within reach. Several of the world’s biggest carbon polluters, including China, the EU and the U.S. have pledged to limit emissions in the next 10-15 years. There are some big holdouts, though. Mainly Japan, Russia, India and Australia. They still haven’t pledged any emission cuts as part of the new deal.
Why the meeting in Lima? The world’s governments want to get all of the hard work out-of-the-way now, so a deal at next year’s climate conference in Paris can get done.
The Kyoto Protocol was the last emissions treaty signed back in 1997. Only industrialized nations were covered. A new one is needed to cap emissions in developing nations, where they are rising the most.
The new climate deal’s goal? To keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times (1861-1890 average). Governments better get busy. Temperatures are already up 0.8 degrees Celsius, and scientists say that will continue to rise as emissions increase.
“Never before have the risks of climate change been so obvious and the impacts so visible. Never before have we seen such a desire at all levels of society to take climate action. Never before has society had all the smart policy and technology resources to curb greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention
“All of this means we can be confident we will have a productive meeting in Lima, which will lead to an effective outcome in Paris next year.”
Other areas to be discussed at the Lima conference include financing the response to climate change and preventing deforestation.