I’m in Lima for the UN climate talks which run 1-12 December. I’ll be regularly tweeting and blogging. If you find this blog interesting please feel to share it
DAYS 10-11 (Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 December 2014)
So, we’ve reached the final day of talks. Or, have we? When it comes to UN climate talks you can never quite tell.
What I do know is that in Thursday night’s final plenary, the President of the talks Manuel Pulgar-Vidal surprised (perhaps even delighted some) people by saying he intended that the talks conclude on Friday at 6pm Lima time (11pm UK time).
Whether this actually happens or not remains to be seen. UN climate talks have a long tradition of not finishing on time. For me, it’s not the time that we end, but whether the Parties agree something meaningful before they depart. I’d happily stay later if it meant a better final outcome.
Sadly, negotiations have continued at the same snail’s pace as they have since last week, as Parties got bogged down in how to define and present countries’ national contributions to a post-2020 deal, as well as ways to step up climate action pre-2020.
An updated text was released to governments at 10:30pm on Thursday night with hope that it form the basis of discussions on Friday, and ultimately make up the final outcome of the conference.
During Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry briefly stopped by (interrupting his birthday celebrations) to give an upbeat speech in which called upon those gathered in Lima and elsewhere around the world step up, and challenge their leaders on climate issues.
And, following the Secretary of State’s own advice, he was then waved off the premises by a colourful group of young protesters from the US and Canada urging their respective governments to ditch dirty energy – in particular oil tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline.
That of course was just one of the many protests that have taken place here over the past two weeks. On Wednesday I was extremely proud to join my fellow WWF colleagues from Peru and elsewhere to march through the streets of Lima.
Led by indigenous communities, an estimated 15,000 individuals peacefully took to the streets to call for climate justice. Under the blazing sun, a carnival atmosphere ensued with much singing, dancing and chanting.
In addition to turning out to be Latin America’s largest ever climate march, the march should also go down in history as the first ever climate march to be directed by police to go right through the forecourt of a petrol station.
However, wouldn’t it be nice if these talks were also to go down in history as having really advanced global action to address climate change and protect those most at risk?
I guess we’ll all know the answer to question quite soon.