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Outside the final negotiations of the COP20 climate talks, climate justice groups protested saying: "No justice? No deal!" (Photo: SMPender/Twitter)

‘A Roadmap to Global Burning’: COP20 closes with even weaker climate pact

After two weeks of negotiations, the world community has yet again failed to take any meaningful actions to prevent landmark global warming and instead has produced a “roadmap to global burning,” leading climate campaigners lamented upon the close of the United Nations COP20 climate talks in Lima, Peru on Sunday.

In the wee hours of the morning, two days past the intended close of the conference, delegates from 195 nations cemented the text intended to serve as the building blocks for the next round of international climate negotiations in Paris next year.

Under the adopted text, named the Lima Call for Climate Action, governments will submit plans for how their country intends to reign in emissions by the information deadline of March 31, 2015.

However, according to RTCC journalist Ed King, reporting from Lima, nations “will not be compelled to offer up front information explaining how their national plans are fair or ambitious, nor will they face any rigorous assessment process ahead of the Paris summit.” 

“Instead,” King notes, “the UN will deliver its own analysis on the ‘aggregate effect’ of all pledges by November 1, a month before talks in the French capital commence.”

Environmentalists warn that these individual pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), will likely be too week to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, beyond which scientists say increasingly severe heatwaves, rainfall, flooding and rising sea levels will likely occur.

Responding to the deal, Pablo Solon, former Bolivian ambassador and current director of the activist think tank Focus on the Global South, wrote that the COP20 outcome is “unacceptable for the people and Mother Earth and represents a roadmap to global burning in COP21 in Paris.”

“We are on a path to three or four degrees with this outcome,” Tasneem Essop, international climate strategist for WWF, told the Guardian’s Suzanne Goldberg after reviewing the final draft text on Saturday.

“We are really unhappy about the weakening of the text,” Essop continued. “This gives us no level of comfort that we will be able to close the emissions gap to get emissions to peak before 2020.”

And Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development, agreed: “It sucks. It is taking us backwards.”

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