Sara Cowan is blogging from Lima, Peru at the UN climate talks for Bella. Sara is a campaigner with Oxfam Scotland and is part of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland delegation to the UNFCCC. Follow the latest from Lima on Twitter: @sara_cowan @OxfamScotland and @sccscot
As the conference prepares for the arrival of government ministers the mood at COP20 became more urgent yesterday – and not before time.
After a sluggish start the second week got underway with the release of a series of new draft texts of the agreements being worked on here in Lima.
These texts show there is still plenty of work to be done before the end of this meeting. Ministers must urgently inject energy into the process so that they can lay the groundwork for ambitious action in Paris next year. There can be no further delay.
There were positive elements within the new text, including a proposal from African and Latin American nations calling on developed countries to demonstrate their current progress towards meeting their promise made in Copenhagen in 2009. They pledged to commit $100 billion in public and private funds by 2020 to help developing countries cut carbon pollution and adapt to climate change. There is also a demand for developed countries to provide a detailed roadmap on how this funding will be ramped up over the next few years.
How climate action will be financed is a key element to ensuring equity within any agreement that comes out of the UN process. That’s why in the past we have welcomed Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund which, although small, is an excellent example of how countries most affected by climate change can be supported to adapt to it. We hope Scotland’s example can help raise ambitions during these talks and we are working hard to highlight Scotland’s climate action story.
As these processes continue, negotiators and government ministers have been sent a clear reminder of why action is so urgent. Yesterday morning we stood in solidarity with those from the Philippines who are calling for ‘solidarity not just sympathy’ as the largest peacetime evacuation in the world’s history has just taken place in their country.
The full force of typhoon Hagupit is still being assessed and, in anticipation of today’s ministerial speeches, campaigners from the Philippines said: “we aren’t looking for words of sympathy that we have received in the past, we need climate action. We don’t want to be the poster child of climate disasters”.
In each of the past three years, a major typhoon has decimated parts of the Philippines. This reality provides a crucial reminder of the urgent task facing negotiators in Lima.
Away from the conference centre another summit got underway yesterday in central Lima. The People’s Summit is bringing together people from around the world, in particular indigenous people’s movements from Latin American countries, to discuss climate action and to put pressure on those inside the UN conference to take action. To the sound of Peruvian bands, and calls to strengthen the fight for climate action, thousands gathered for the start of a week-long programme of activity in support of the people’s movement for climate justice.
Later this week, the People’s Summit will submit their declaration detailing seven areas of action for delegations at COP20. By that time we hope that the negotiations will have stepped up a gear; they must. There remains an opportunity for real progress by the end of this week but urgency is needed. It’s time to make a deal.