Climate Action

COP 19: Warsaw climate deal finalised

COP19 closed late last night with a deal finalised on a loss and damage mechanism designed to help developing nations cope with climate change impacts.

  • 25 November 2013
  • William Brittlebank

COP19 closed late last night with a deal finalised on a loss and damage mechanism designed to help developing nations cope with climate change impacts.

The negations for the agreement lasted forty-eight hours, which at one point included a disagreement between the US developing nations.

The deal commits countries to a loss and damage mechanism; the “Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.” The agreement means that developed nations will be committed to providing expertise and aid to countries who suffer from climate-related impacts, from next year

Christiana Figueres, head of the UN climate change secretariat, said development on loss and damage mechanisms was vital in light of the increased frequency of storms.

However, there have been some concerns over lack of detailed commitments for the extra funding and the failure to reach a commitment to compensation that many developing countries have been pushing for.

The final compromise deal also sets out a timeline for discussions in the run up to the summit in Paris in 2015, setting out a pathway for governments to work on a draft universal climate agreement for the next UN climate change conference in Peru.

Many nations had been calling for a clearly defined timetable through to 2015 that would involve countries making clear climate change commitments by a deadline of early 2015. However, a group of developing nations, led by china, argued for more flexibility for poorer nations. This caused a heated response from the US who argued that China was going back on their earlier agreement that all nations should have some sort of commitment in place for the 2015 treaty. The final text shows a compromise where only countries “who are ready” will be required to make commitments, “ideally” by 2015.

Green groups have criticised the final agreement for not being ambitious enough in its commitments, in light of the scale and urgency of the risks of climate change.

However, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey asserted that the deal represents an efficient compromise that would set a clear pathway for the talks running up to Paris in 2015. He argued that although a more detailed detail would have been better, the objective of this COP was always going to be foundational. PwC added that the ‘talks about talks’ phase is now over, laying solid foundations for an ambitious new treaty in 2015.

The new deal builds on earlier progress that included an agreement on new rules to govern financing for forest protection schemes and standards for measuring, reporting, and verifying national emission reductions.