A view of Paris from Peru

Author: Madeleine Gordon

Over the last two weeks officials from countries around the world have gathered together for the latest round of UN climate talks, this time in Lima, Peru.

Although these talks happen every year, this round has been particularly anticipated as a signal to demonstrate the level of commitment towards a global agreement next year in Paris. This legally binding agreement will replace the Kyoto Protocol (a treaty agreed by nations through the UN to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions) and will take effect from 2020.

Encouragingly in the weeks leading up to the talks there were some unprecedented action by member nations, such as the US-China deal and $9.6  billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund– all signalling a change in the wind when it comes to international priorities on climate change.

Alongside this, there’s been strong public support for climate action throughout the year such as the ‘Peoples Climate Marches’ which saw over 2,000 different events across 162 countries, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people stepping out in support of strong action on climate change. In Lima on Wednesday there was a march of 15,000 people, from many different countries and diverse backgrounds – bringing a human face to the negotiations that can often feel sterile and technical.

Hosted in Lima, the talks have been important to the region of Latin America in raising the profile of sustainable development in the region.Tearfund’s partners in Peru are already helping communities reduce their vulnerability to extreme weather events and are speaking out publicly about the change that’s needed.

Roger Mendoza from Tearfund partner Paz y Esperanza in Peru has been at the climate negotiations, and comments; ‘I think it’s important that there is a united front from Member States, civil society and businesses in a spirit that energises us all into restoring the planet and to see communities flourishing. The impacts of climate change are a real threat to the most vulnerable, and that is why we are calling governments to take action immediately.’

‘From the negotiations we can see that there is consensus on achieving clear objectives, actual results, concrete funding for adaptation and mitigation, forest conservation, technology transfer and capacity building to ensure solid responses to global warming.’

‘We hope there is wisdom in [UN] member countries for these intentions to become realities. The final couple of days will be key in making sure we are on the right track to see a fair and legally binding treaty for post 2020.’

So we wait in solidarity and put collective pressure on our leaders to ‘do the right thing’. Alongside this, we also need to address our a high carbon, high physical consumption lifestyles in the West and a global economic model that has been great at driving down poverty, but has done so at enormous environmental and social costs. The change we require goes beyond political lobbying and incorporates the way we live, recognising we all have a part to play in a sustainable and just world, where all communities can flourish within the earth’s limits. A fair and legally binding deal in Paris next year is crucial to that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s