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The “Last Chance” 2015 International Climate Agreement

Two years ago at Durban, South Africa, countries at COP-17 ended climate talks with a promise to create a new global pact to fight greenhouse gases by 2015. Though the agreement helped extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that was set to expire in 2012, the summit incurred criticism for essentially postponing talks on pressing climate issues. As a result, COP-19 must lay out a framework with key milestones achievements in order to put together the international agreement by 2015. The pact is viewed as the UN Climate Summit’s “last chance” to avoid the consequences of dangerous climate change.

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Climate Finance Road Map

Climate finance refers to the flow of funds from various sectors to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. In 2011, COP-17 proposed the Green Climate Fund, a program that directs funds from the developed to the developing countries to help limit or reduce greenhouse gases. COP-19 is expected to offer initial guidance to this concept by creating a solid policy and finance framework with transparency tools in order to implement the ambitious goal of mobilizing USD $100 Billion in climate finance annually by 2020.

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Climate Hypocrisy

In a bizarre move, Poland double-booked COP19 to run alongside the World Coal Summit. Activists have long criticized the UNFCCC process for pandering to corporate lobbies, thus shielding dirty energy industries from stronger regulation. Many of the corporate partners selected for this year’s climate conference are major fossil corporations dealing in coal and oil.

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Equity

Rather than separating the developing and developed countries into two camps as established in the Kyoto Protocol, the 2015 agreement aims to spread climate change responsibility equitably across all countries. Thus, COP19 will explore mechanisms to determine how countries will shoulder their fair share in anthropogenic climate change.

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Loss and Damage

Last year in Doha, island nations and least developed countries scored a major victory when leaders agreed to consider a compensation system for the loss and damage caused by climate change to the world’s most vulnerable communities. COP-19 will discuss the actual mechanics and content for this international mechanism.

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Technology Transfer

The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) was set up in 2010 to help reduce the risks and costs of transferring climate change mitigation technology to developing countries. To become fully operational by the end of 2013, COP19 will need to finalize CTCN procedures, coordinate responsibilities between CTCN and Technology Executive Committee, and clarify the connection between technology transfers and the Green Climate Fund.

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Transparency and Accountability Rules

COP-19 will continue to create rules to give countries some degree of comparability as they reduce carbon emissions. The ongoing process will determine methods of measurement, reporting and verification systems.

Images via Tracy O., Young Friends of the Earth Europe, Wikimedia, Wikimedia, UN Climate Change