After the climate summit in Lima: “We are on the right track”

Despite the fact that a compromise was finally reached at the UN climate change conference in Lima much remains to be done before the next global summit in Paris December 2015. But most important of all is that all countries want to reach a long-term agreement, said Johanna Lissinger Peitz from the Swedish Ministry of the Environment, after the Mistra Indigo breakfast seminar in December.

– In Lima our task was to lay the concrete groundwork for a draft text to be used as the basis for negotiations at the Paris summit next year. We realised at once that a lot of things were open to different interpretations, and that it is difficult to set emission targets when the industrialized countries and the developing world have different financial goals. The East European countries have been more concerned with climate change adaptation issues than with emission cuts. The degree to which different countries have suffered from climate change also influences the way they look at things, Johanna Lissinger Peitz observed.

Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics, argued at the meeting that the crux of the matter is that our emissions are still on the increase. If we are to reach the two-degree target, emissions must be reduced immediately.

– We don't know what will happen when the ice floes melt, nor how ecosystem services will be impacted, he said.

In spite of everything Johanna Lissinger believes that we are on the right track.

– A major achievement was the call for climate action decision and that everyone wants to reach a new global climate settlement. We have agreed upon ownership and funding. If we are to get everyone on board it is important that all countries feel that their primary concerns are being addressed, she said.

Updated: 2015-02-02

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