COP20 boosted by German Climate Action Plan announcement, but negotiations still need to pick up pace

4 December 2014


December 3, 2014, Lima, Peru: The UN climate negotiations in Lima, Peru received a boost today with Germany announcing additional climate action measures to ensure it stays on track to meet its targets for phasing down pollution before the Paris agreement comes into effect.

The German decision particularly to require the coal power industry to cut even more pollution from the sector together with a plan to table a law next year to cap and reduce use of the fuel across the board puts another nail in the coffin for fossil fuels, while at the same time highlighting that climate action is far from an impediment to economic prosperity. 

Speaking at the Climate Action Network press briefing in Lima today, Kellie Caught from WWF Australia explains that decisions like the one made by Germany today can set an example for other countries. “Hopefully this can send a message to other coal countries like Australia that coal can be phased out while sustaining economic prosperity,” Caught says. “The IPCC has shown that phasing out coal is the low hanging fruit countries should be reaching for.”

The drumbeat that is growing for climate action outside the negotiations has caused ripples inside the halls of COP20. With just 12 months to go before the new climate agreement is scheduled to be signed in Paris, it’s clear national interests are becoming more stark. Liz Gallagher, from E3G, says countries are still struggling to absorb the game-changing nature of the recent US and China climate action announcements. 

“If Lima is curtain raiser for Paris it feels like we haven’t yet written the play. Yesterday was lost due to confusion and posturing – with the US suggesting deletion of key elements of finance text. This only goes to embolden countries that don’t want to see progress like Japan," Gallagher says. We need everybody in this process to work together. We need marchers to shout loudly and for those messages to be heard inside the halls. We need ministers to tell negotiators to stop the petty politics.”

The recent US-China announcements have left other major climate polluters out in the cold. Brazil, for instance, is exposed and left with few excuses not to make significant climate commitments in its national plan which is due early next year, according to Ricardo Baitelo from Greenpeace Brazil. 

“Brazil remains in the top six emitters. We need to choose the clean path. We have both potential for wind and solar – enough to create as much as 10 times what the country needs – with jobs and better public health to go with it,” Baitelo says. 


Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at:

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International in Lima on 963 961 813 or +49 157 3173 5568 or email:,  

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