EU can push Warsaw results out from the freezing mist

Global transition

The freezing mist in warsaw mirrored the dampened results of COP 19. As usual, the few outcomes that did happen came during final after-hours wrangling. Here’s a brief look at what was – and was not – achieved at the COP.

On the road to Paris: All parties and governments have been given a deadline of first quarter 2015 to put forward their commitments for the global agreement to be signed in Paris at the end of 2015.

On Loss and Damage: A mechanism was established under the Adaptation Fund to help developing nations cope with Loss and Damage caused by climate impacts. There are limited guarantees of what it may deliver, but a review is foreseen in 2016.

On Climate Finance: The Adaptation fund reached its goal of $100mln, but no payments have been actually scheduled to fill the Green Climate Fund. Countries also committed to biannual reporting on finance.

On REDD+: More money should flow to countries that can stringently prove they are reducing emissions from deforestation. Importantly, the framework requires that before receiving results based finance, countries must show that social and environmental safeguards are being addressed and respected.

What it means for the EU: EUHeads of State and Government have a chance to put Europe back in a leadership role by adopting an ambitious set of 2030 targets in March of next year. Doing so would incentivise and challenge other countries, such as China and the US, to prepare to bring commitments to the Climate Leaders Summit organised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in September of next year. In particular Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel and David Cameron have a role to play, representing not only the most powerful EU member states, but also as leaders who have previously made commitments to climate action. The European public is expecting their leaders to live up to these commitments, which means adopting binding targets in March. CAN Europe is calling for at least 55% domestic emission reductions by 2030.