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UN Warsaw Climate Change Conference in Progress

The nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is being held from 11 to 22 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. In October the Council of the European Union adopted its position for the conference, noting with concern the latest findings of the IPCC. It reiterated the need for emissions to peak by 2020 and be reduced by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, and continue to decline thereafter. The Council also stated it “is determined to work towards a balanced package of decisions in Warsaw”. This includes: enhancing the implementation of previous decisions; advancing work under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action by closing as quickly as possible the gap in the pre- 2020 level of mitigation ambition; and by preparing the ground for adopting by 2015 at the latest an ambitious single global legally-binding agreement applicable to all. A delegation of 10 MEPs was also sent by the Parliament to the negotiations.

As negotiations got under way Jürgen Lefevere of the European Commission told a press conference last week that “Good diplomatic efforts” have prevented the talks from becoming bogged down in the procedural wrangling. The Warsaw talks, have focused on dealing with loss and damage caused by climate change in climate-vulnerable countries.

At an event in Brussels held by the Greens in the European Parliament on the Conference asked with 2 years left to reach an ambitious climate deal, ‘what role for Europe?’ With Poland organising a conference to help the future of coal at the same time as the UNFCCC Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA, group said that the news coming out Poland is not good. She also highlighted that Germany has reopened discussions on climate targets, backsliding from a 40% reduction target by 2030 to 35%. On this basis she urged attendees to stop a counter-revolution against a greening of the economy between Warsaw and the UNFCCC meeting Paris in 2015.

Issue 29