Conference in Warsaw paved the way for a global agreement on reducing climate change

25 November 2013, Last updated at, 14:47 EEST
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In the late evening of 23 November (Saturday), the two-week 19th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which had lasted a day longer than planned, concluded. The majority of its decisions give hope that a global agreement on climate change will be signed in 2015 in Paris.

“We came to Warsaw knowing that this ‘transitional’ conference in preparation for the meeting in Paris in 2015 would be difficult, so we didn't even have plans to solve all the issues here,” said Valentinas Mazuronis, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, who led the EU delegation together with Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action.

After exhaustive negotiations, the EU delegation achieved the majority of its goals: an action plan was created for the period till the conference in Paris in 2015, and an agreement was reached that all countries will make clear, transparent, and comprehensible commitments to reduce climate change, even before the conference in Paris. Commitments will be solidified by a new legal agreement in accordance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Even though the Warsaw Conference didn’t set the legal form of commitments, every country has to do some ‘homework’, including the EU, which is preparing its commitments for the period till 2030.

In Warsaw, the majority of discussions were about the date when all, not only developed countries, would have to take commitments (and the kind of commitments), as provided in the Kyoto Protocol. After more than 36 hours of non-stop negotiations from Friday to Saturday, agreement was finally reached that all countries will have to submit their commitments at the latest by the first quarter of 2015.

A number of other important decisions were made during the Conference. For example, a decision was made to establish an international mechanism for damage and casualties, which will improve the protection of the most vulnerable people from climate change, natural disasters, and rising water levels. An agreement was also made on funding and institutional activities to decrease the rainforest cutting that contributes to the greenhouse effect, a long-term climate change funding programme, financial support via the Green Climate Fund, activities of the Adjustment Fund and the Climate Technology Centre and Network, etc.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, who participated at the Conference, once again urged everybody to actively prepare for the Summit on Climate Change in New York in September 2014, and the 20th UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place in December 2014 in Lima, Peru.

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From 28.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

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