Peru has great potential to secure progress in the global climate negotiations at COP20 in Lima in 2014

Peru is well placed to ensure the UN makes progress on climate change next year, according to Guy Edwards, Research Fellow at the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University, and Timmons Roberts, Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the same University.

Although the conference in Warsaw managed to secure some progress on a range of issues, Peru will have to do some very heavy lifting to ensure the delicate timetable of agreeing a new climate deal in Paris in 2015 is kept on track.

Peru has great potential to secure progress in the global climate negotiations at COP20 in Lima in 2014. Peru is a bridge builder between developing and developed countries and is considered a leading actor on climate change. In 2008, it was the first developing country to announce a voluntary emission reduction pledge, offering to reduce the net deforestation of primary forests to 0 by 2021 and produce 33 percent of its total energy use from renewable sources by 2020.

In 2010 Peru’s Ministry of Environment published its Plan of Action for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change (Plan CC). Also Peru is part of the Association of Independent Latin American and Caribbean States (in Spanish, AILAC) alongside Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. AILAC attempts to build consensus between developed and developing countries on the need for all to take ambitious action on climate change.

So, en route to COP20, Peru has a year to make a vital contribution to restore confidence and ratchet up global climate action. Otherwise, the goal of producing a draft text in Lima to be decided in Paris at COP21 in 2015 will be simply unreachable.

Peru could focus on some key strategies. For example, Peru can be more active in the Dialogue without undermining its neutrality. And, as a medium-sized country, Peru can avoid the polarizing debates between the North and South that undermine the talks.

Also, when Peru put forward its voluntary pledge, it established a new climate discourse. This discourse needs a boost and a major platform to test its utility. COP20 can be that space.  Peru, alongside its AILAC partners, can put ambition front and center by promoting their collective pledges. AILAC may also consider increasing their own pledges and activities in the interest of generating confidence in the process and promoting low-carbon growth.


maria soler