In Warsaw UN climate meeting, focus is on 2015 Paris talks as countries take on foundational issues

Progress possible in laying the groundwork for new international agreement

November 11, 2013
Contact: 
Jennifer Andreassen, +1-202-572-3387, jandreassen@edf.org

(WARSAW/ WASHINGTON – Nov. 11, 2013) Negotiators meeting in Warsaw, Poland for this year’s United Nations climate conference (COP-19) will not finalize the structure of an international agreement to address climate, but should make progress on some important topics that constitute the nuts and bolts of such an agreement, U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) said on the first day of the meeting.  

“Negotiators in Warsaw need to clear out the brush so they can see a path to resolving major issues on the road to Paris,” said Nathaniel Keohane, EDF’s vice president for international climate and a former economic adviser in the Obama administration.

Delegates in Warsaw will continue work on key components of a new agreement to fight climate change – like how to support policies that reduce emissions from deforestation (REDD+), and how to finance work that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, countries face the broader issue of how to knit these topics together in an overarching agreement, set to be finalized at the 2015 negotiations in Paris.

An important area for discussion concerns the framework that the 2015 agreement will put in place to support and promote ambitious actions by countries to address climate change. An effective framework will elaborate key integrity standards for transparency and environmental efficacy, create incentives for early emissions reductions before 2020, and facilitate the use of well-designed carbon markets to help nations take ambitious action to reduce emissions.

“Warsaw is unlikely to generate front-page headlines – but below the surface, there is considerable potential to make real progress on key foundational issues,” Keohane said. “This is the year for negotiators to get their hands dirty and prepare the ground for an effective framework in 2015 – one that encourages countries to take ambitious emissions cuts and invites all countries to participate.”

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