Political will and urgency needed to spur climate negotiations

Posted on 16 June 2014    
Civil society marchers in Warsaw, Poland pledging to return to the next round of climate talks.
© Oxfam International
Gland: Actions are already being taken by a number of countries to reduce harmful emissions, and some of this positive momentum is filtering into the UN climate negotiations. But political will and a sense of urgency will need to be injected into the negotiations if there is to be a new global climate deal in Paris in 2015, says WWF.

Tasneem Essop, WWF Head of Delegation to the UNFCCC says while there was a constructive spirit in the negotiations, “we now have to see this translate into real political momentum and a successful outcome in Lima. Countries need to come to the next session in October ready to negotiate.”

The momentum building outside the UNFCCC presents a political opportunity, she says. “Coming into this meeting, we heard announcements from the US, China, Mexico and Chile, for example, about actions they are taking at home, with significant announcements on scaling up renewable energy (RE) and transitioning away from fossil fuels.

"In the discussions in Bonn, more than 60 countries and organisations raised the issue as well. The understanding that RE has to be part of the overall solution is clear, and WWF has called for countries to take scaled up actions on RE and energy efficiency in the short term to address the gap between what countries have committed to doing, and what the science tells us is required."

Essop says strong political will is needed now.

“Some countries are sending signals that they won’t be ready to declare their country commitments by March 2015. But sufficient time is needed before COP21 in December 2015 to evaluate these commitments, and to assess them in terms of its adequacy and fairness.

“Heads of State have to come to the Climate Summit in September with far more concrete ideas on how to close the gigatonne gap before 2020, and in particular, how they will ensure that financial flows are scaled up to shift the world towards 100% renewables by 2050.

Civil society has an equally important role to play in pushing governments to act. We made a commitment in Warsaw to mobilise our people to ensure governments act with ambition. “We stand in readiness to carry our messages to our governments. We will be there to support strong ambition and we will be there to call out lack of ambition,” says Essop.

For further information, please contact:
Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / @MandyJeanWoods / +27 72 393 0027
Tasneem Essop tessop@wwf.org.za / @tasneemessop / +27 83 998 6290
Sam Smith ssmith@wwf.no / @pandaclimate

About WWF
WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
Civil society marchers in Warsaw, Poland pledging to return to the next round of climate talks.
© Oxfam International Enlarge

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