UN climate talks in Geneva close adopting a draft text but much political work remains ahead

13 February 2015

The UN climate talks in Geneva have closed today with an air of optimism having made progress towards a new agreement that is due to be signed in Paris at the end of the year. The draft agreement is on track to signal an end to fossil fuel emissions with both Jamaica and Switzerland adding their voices to the idea of a long term goal.1 

Climate Action Network members made the following comments on the closure of the UN session:

It's good news countries have given a stamp of approval for a new draft version of the climate agreement that will be the basis of negotiations through the year and that it features a wide range of options to deal with mitigation and to provide support to help developing countries prepare for climate impacts including a loss and damage mechanism.  

There's been a seachange in the dynamics here thanks to the open and consultative approach of the Co-Chairs.  Countries also came ready and willing to work.  The spirit of Geneva needs to be kept alive, as we move to on to deal with crunch issues like the need to scale up financial support for action and how to treat richer and poorer countries fairly, and loss and damage – which has the potential to be a make or break issue for Paris.  

Julie-Anne Richards, Climate Justice Programme  

All eyes must be on political leaders now, as they are the single most important influence that will shape the final outcome of a new global climate deal in Paris later this year.  

There are important political moments outside of the UN climate negotiation process – at both ministerial and Heads of State level – on the road to Paris where they can demonstrate their intentions, such as the G7, the G20 meetings, and the SDG Summit.

 The first test of political will and influence inside the negotiating process will come in the period from March to June when countries announce their plans to reduce emissions and, we hope, provide financial resources for the post-2020 period.

Tasneem Essop, WWF head of delegation to the UNFCCC

As the talks here in Geneva come to a close, people around the world are taking part in Global Divestment Day, a worldwide effort to move money out of the fossil fuel industry and into a clean energy future. 

That's what these negotiations need to do, as well: send a clear signal to investors that the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end.

Jamie Henn, Strategy and Communications Director. 350.org

1. CAN is calling for a complete phase out of fossil fuel emissions and the phase in of 100% renewable energy by 2050 with sustainable energy access for all. 

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