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UNFCCC Warsaw Climate Change Conference 2013

17 December 2013

POLAND - Warsaw in Poland recently played host to COP19, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference.

Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, said of the conference, “We have seen essential progress. But let us again be clear that we are witnessing ever more frequent, extreme weather events, and the poor and vulnerable are already paying the price.”

The two weeks of discussions culminated in four main outcomes:

  • Agreement on a strategy for cutting emissions from deforestation
  • Further progress made on provision of assistance to developing nations in dealing with climate change
  • Climate action at all levels of society, from small communities to local governments
  • What UNFCCC hope to achieve at the 2014 New York Summit with regard to producing a formal global climate change plan.

The greenhouse gas emissions generated by developing countries as a result of deforestation accounts for 1/5 of all human-generated emissions. The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ which was set up to preserve forests and benefit the people living in and around them, has been awarded financing of $280million from US, Norway and the UK.

Forty eight of the world’s poorest countries finalised plans to deal with the impacts of climate change, allowing them to better assess impacts and identify the support that they need to become more resilient.

Completion of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), an advisory board set up to increase access to new and existing technologies for adaptation and coping with climate change, gives developing nations the opportunity to get immediate responses to requests for advice and assistance in technology transfer. Funding of over $100million has been pledged by developed countries, which will be added to the Adaptation fund, which has been initiated to fund national projects.

COP19 also showcased the work done by business, cities, regions and civil societies, and local governments to deal with climate change. Facilitation and exchange of best practices will be carried out between cities and local authorities to exploit opportunities and mitigate the risks caused by climate change.

The next summit, to be held in New York in 2014, will see the announcement of further action to combat climate change and ensure that preparation is done ahead of the 2015 summit in Paris. This was the deadline for the production of a global deal to combat climate change, with contributions from all nations involved to curb emissions and blur the distinction between the obligations of rich and poor countries.

Participating nations have been told they must bring actual contributions, rather than simply commitment to the table in order for there to be a realistic chance of brokering a deal, the outcome of which will come into force in 2020.


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