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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Warsaw Climate Talks End with Foundation for a Global Agreement
Press Release

RELEASE: Warsaw Climate Talks End with Foundation for a Global Agreement

Washington, D.C. — Following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, held in Warsaw, Poland, the Center for American Progress released an analysis today outlining the outcomes of the Warsaw meeting and what work lies ahead for the international community to address global warming.

Delegates from nearly 200 countries convened at the 2013 U.N. climate talks to craft an effective global strategy to reduce global warming pollution and adapt to the impacts of climate change. A main task for parties in Warsaw was to establish a specific process and timetable for finalizing a global climate agreement by 2015. After two weeks of negotiations, the Warsaw talks provided incremental progress toward the 2015 international climate agreement, with participants reaching consensus on a modest set of decisions to combat international climate change.

“The Warsaw talks laid the foundation for a global agreement, but more work is necessary to reduce emissions in the short term,” says Rebecca Lefton, co-author of the issue brief and Senior Policy Analyst for International Climate Change at the Center for American Progress. “Cooperation on climate among countries bilaterally and multilaterally, both outside and inside the U.N. climate process, are essential for avoiding dangerous global warming and generating security and prosperity for all.”

Countries reached agreement on the following issues, which collectively signal the continued global commitment to addressing climate change:

  • A pathway to an international agreement. Such an agreement would address climate mitigation, adaptation, and finance. Countries agreed to introduce their national climate mitigation contributions by early 2015, which would provide time to assess whether their actions are sufficient to address severe climate change. The 2015 U.N. climate agreement would apply to all countries.
  • Developed countries are urged to continue mobilizing climate finance “at increasing levels” through 2020. This funding would build resilience and reduce emissions in developing countries and requests developed countries to submit strategies for scaling up climate finance through 2020, including information on pathways for mobilizing funds commensurate with a $100 billion annual commitment by 2020. It also says parties will convene workshops to scale up climate finance that will inform a biennial high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance—starting in 2014 and ending in 2020.
  • An entity to address “loss and damage.” Countries agreed to establish an entity to address the adverse impacts of climate change in developing countries. Its functions include enhancing risk management and financial support.

A foundation for a global climate agreement emerged from the Warsaw talks, as well as substantial support for finalizing an agreement by 2015. The U.S. position is stronger than ever, with the president’s Climate Action Plan reinvigorating President Obama’s commitment to addressing climate change at home and abroad. Now all countries should intensify their efforts domestically to be incorporated in a 2015 international climate change agreement. They too must work bilaterally and multilaterally wherever possible before then to reduce emissions before 2020, to close the emissions gap.

Read the brief: Warsaw Climate Talks End with Foundation for a Global Agreement by Rebecca Lefton, Gwynne Taraska, and Jenny Cooper, with Ben Bovarnick

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To speak with an expert, contact Anne Shoup at [email protected] or 202.481.7146.