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Taking Stock of the UN Climate Talks Towards Paris 2015: Ambition Before and After 2020

Taking Stock of the UN Climate Talks Towards Paris 2015: Ambition Before and After 2020

15 October 2014

The UN climate negotiations are currently working towards a new global climate agreement, to be concluded at the end of 2015 in Paris. Until then, a marathon of negotiation sessions is scheduled to take place. In the run-up to the third of four rounds of negotiations in October 2014 in Bonn and just a few weeks before the start of the 2014 climate summit in Lima, Peru (COP-22), a group of 30 interested experts came together at Ecologic Institute for a Climate Talk to take stock.

The negotiations under the so-called Ad Hoc working group on the Durban Platform (ADP) include two separate workstreams. These focus on:

  1. A new agreement for the period after 2020 (Workstream 1: 2015 Agreement)
  2. How to close the gap between emissions reduction requirements and emissions reduction obligations before 2020 (Workstream 2: pre-2020 ambition).

Mark Jariabka, Executive Director of Islands First (vased in New York), described his general impression of the negotiations to Paris from the perspective of an expert supporting the small island states and specifically reported on his work in Workstream 2 of the ADP. He explained the ways in which the sectoral and technical assessments being undertaken under Workstream 2 could add a new element into the process, which is otherwise focused on the national level.

Miriam Medel, Environmental Attaché at the Mexican Embassy in Berlin, who has been engaged in the UNFCCC negotiations for many years (including during the conference in Cancun, Mexico, 2010) provided insights from her experience of – and presented her assessment of what needed to happen to make Paris a success.

Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron, coordinator for Peoples' Movement on Climate Change, and policy expert at IBON International, Philippines, shared her evaluation of the state of the UN climate talks and recounted the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan almost one year earlier.

Participants engaged in a lively debate on the current state of the talks and possible ways to facilitate agreement in Paris in 2015. The discussion focused among other things on the legal nature of a future agreement, the importance of trust building and possible coalitions and alliances.

The event, co-organised by Ecologic Institute and the SWP (Foundation Science and Politics) was held under the Chatham House Rule. Matthias Duwe, Head, Climate at Ecologic Institut acted as moderator for the evening.

After the end of the event, several participants continued the conversation in a nearby restaurant.

Mark Jariabka
Miriam Medel
Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron
15 October 2014
Berlin, Germany
English, German
Climate Protection, UN, Climate Summit, Kyoto, Cancun, UNFCCC, Paris 2015