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Lima climate summit strikes deal after emitting more Co2

Lima (Peru): Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Prakash Javadekar presents to the United States delegation the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi`s book on Climate Change, at UN Climate Change Conference, Lima, in Peru on Dec 7, 2014. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Lima (Peru): Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Prakash Javadekar presents to the United States delegation the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi`s book on Climate Change, at UN Climate Change Conference, Lima, in Peru on Dec 7, 2014. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

The annual UN global climate change talks concluded in Lima, Peru on Sunday after reaching an acceptable deal, with unresolved issued postponed to the next session in Paris next year December.

As the 20th Conference of Parties (COP20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ran into overtime for over 30 hours, the parties began coming to an agreement Saturday, Xinhua reported.

In the last two weeks, negotiators from over 190 countries and organisations gathered in the city to negotiate on a new agreement addressing climate change, which was planned to be passed at the end of 2015 and come into force in 2020.

The conference began Dec 1.  In an ironic twist, it was reported that the Lima conference, convened to discuss ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, has itself generated more such gases than a small country.

Even as the climate talks in the Peruvian capital were hanging in the balance, the conference itself has produced more than 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the Daily Mail reported.

This was admitted by the UN itself, which means that the Lima summit has had the largest carbon footprint of any meeting in the two-decade history of climate negotiations.

The amount of carbon dioxide produced at the summit is more than the emissions produced by entire nations such as Malawi, Sierra Leone, Fiji or Barbados over the same 12-day period, with the summit drawing over 12,500 politicians, diplomats, climate activists and journalists, according to the report.

The annual UN global climate change talks, or the 20th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), started Dec 1 amid hopes for hammering out a new climate deal ahead of the key talks in Paris in 2015.

The summit had aimed to produce a legally binding treaty forcing every nation in the world to reduce greenhouse gases and formulate a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.

However, the talks have overrun their scheduled close Dec 12, as the participants failed to reach an agreement on crucial points.

According to Jorge Alvarez, project coordinator for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the emissions were so high because a plan to run the summit on green power went wrong.

Instead, the huge negotiating complex was being run on unclean diesel generators.Organisers had reportedly planned to draw power from Peru’s national grid, half of which is fed by clean hydroelectric power.

“We (had) worked to upgrade the transformers and generators, but for some reason it didn’t work,” said Alvarez.Japan, on its part, had donated 121 electric and hybrid vehicles for the summit, but they were nowhere to be seen in Lima.

“Unfortunately, most didn’t arrive,” Alvarez said, blaming the shipping bureaucracy.He, however, insisted that 100 percent of the emissions would be offset by Peruvian forestry schemes, which would absorb carbon dioxide.

Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum think tank, said: “UN climate meetings are the most lucrative perks for the tens of thousands of bureaucrats and climate activists who travel around the world, telling others to curtail their carbon footprint.”(IANS)

 

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