Climate Talks, Negotiation Process, Road to COP21

Is the negotiation process smart enough to bring forth an agreement ?

This article is written by Pauline Fayan.

What is the history of the attempts to control climate change ?

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was ratified. Its objective was to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gas by 5.2% below the 1950 level by 2012. As emissions have not ceased to increase since that time, parties agreed on the need to find a new tool, more effective and which would include all Parties, to manage the post-Kyoto Protocol period. Talks focused on the new agreement to come in Copenhagen in 2009 (COP15). Unfortunately, the 196 parties did not manage to agree. As the trial failed, the Kyoto Protocol has been extended to a second period from 2013 to 2020 but, in 2011, Parties decided that another agreement had to be concluded not later than 2015 to have enough time to act against the global warming.

In Lima (2014), the COP co-chairs proposed a first draft of some 37 pages. When Parties met in February 2015 at the Geneva intersession, they reported that the proposal was not reflecting their views. Therefore, all provisions were submitted and included to a massive text of 88 pages.

The aim of the following intersession in June 2015 was to streamline the text, compiling similar options. In two weeks, parties only reduced the text by 5%. Running out of time, they mandated the United Nations Executive Secretariat to propose a simplified text that would include all ideas.

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Climate Talks, Youth Empowerment

Youth and the COP negotiations: How can young people challenge climate change?

This article is written by Pierre Manenti.

Youth involvement in the UN decision-making process has a strong and quite long history, back to the 1980s when the UN General Assembly and its Secretary General Kurt Waldheim (1972-1981) asked national governments to include youth delegates in their delegations. Regarding the issue of climate change, young people had early stood up for a sustainable transformation of our societies toward greener and low-carbon models. Indeed, since 1999 and the Bonn COP5, following the reinforcement of the role of civil societies in the international climate negotiations, youth has insured its position as a inevitable interlocutor of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Photo: Nicolas Pinceloup.
Photo: Nicolas Pinceloup.

YOUNGO

Yet, young people are not only delivering a unique and monolithic speech but are on the contrary developing different positions regarding their own national and regional interests so it took several years to find a common position.  In 2005, during Montreal COP11, young people from all around the world gathered for the first time to set up preparatory meetings called “Conferences of Youth” (COY) in order to strengthen their participation to the climate negotiations. Four years later, in 2009, during the Copenhagen COP15, the UNFCCC secretariat officially granted a provisional constituency status to the youth non-governmental organizations under the name of YOUNGO. For the first time ever, worldwide youth challenged climate change with one single voice.

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