Clear rules on national climate commitments need to come from COP20: CAN

9 December 2014


December 9, 2014, Lima, Peru: On the eve of the largest ever climate march in Latin America, government ministers from around the world are arriving in town to undertake high-level negotiations at the UN climate talks (COP20). 

It is expected that the march, which will feature indigenous groups, teachers, trade unions, and youth coalitions calling for the scaling up of climate action, can result in an acceleration of the negotiations here in Lima. After the release of the new draft texts yesterday, progress has been slow as country’s reconfigure their approaches. Ministers need to solve some crunch issues , like the rules for country pledges and a roadmap on finance, in order to pave the way for a successful climate agreement next year in Paris.

CARE’s climate change advocacy coordinator, Sven Harmeling, says by setting clear, effective guidelines on the scope and format of country pledges (or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) together with deciding on a robust method of assessment, ministers at these negotiations can play a significant role in getting us on the right track. 

“At the moment we run the risk of having to compare apples with oranges – if we don't clearly define what countries must include in their national climate commitments towards the new agreement due in Paris next year, then it will be extremely difficult to understand how much progress is being made to curb climate change,” Harmeling says. “Especially as our collective effort will directly affect the intensity of climate impacts experienced by vulnerable countries, we have to be able to compare pledges in a transparent, official assessment process, which must then trigger further action.”

Ministers participating in the high level finance meeting today also need to remove uncertainty around support for developing countries to take their own climate action hanging over these negotiations. Kelly Dent, head of delegation, Oxfam says: “finance is required for developing countries to get on low carbon development pathways and adapt to the climate impacts they are already experiencing,” says Dent. 

“But the EU and the US are trying to remove all reference to finance removed from pre-2020 roadmap and post-2020 Paris agreement. They are putting a blindfold on developing countries and saying ‘please trust us’. The time has come to stop using finance as a bargaining chip.”

Juan Carlos Soriano, Latin American coordinator, from says: “the 400,000 marchers in New York this September was just the start, we have sown a seed and the forest is growing – we are seeing more and more engagement on climate change.”


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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