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Greens disappointed in Peru climate talks

Environmental groups are disappointed in the agreement that resulted from United Nations climate talks in Lima, Peru. The talks, which wrapped up Sunday with a general outline to guide the next stage of negotiations, nonetheless gave some greens hope that UN leaders will come to a strong pact soon. “Negotiators failed to build on the momentum coming into these talks,” Jamie Henn, spokesman for 350.org, said in a statement. “With the impacts of climate change already being felt in vulnerable communities around the world, the need for immediate action could not be more clear, and yet rich countries are still dragging their feet on everything from finance to emissions reductions,” he said. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said that this year’s likely record temperatures worldwide should have pushed negotiators to sign a stronger deal. “Against the backdrop of extreme weather in the Philippines and potentially the hottest year ever recorded, governments at the UN climate talks in Lima opted for a half-baked plan to cut emissions,” Samantha Smith, WWF’s climate change and energy leader, said in a statement.
At the Peru meeting, negotiators agreed that every United Nations country — including developing countries — should submit their own plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions by March. They also agreed to a draft international climate agreement from which to work over the next year, based on each country’s individual contributions. UN leaders will meet again in Paris in a year to finalize the pact. But greens had hoped for more. “We were deeply concerned that these talks would fail to deliver a fair and ambitious outcome as we watched events here in Lima this week,” Jagoda Munic, chairwoman of Friends of the Earth International, said in a statement. “Our concerns have proven to be tragically accurate,” she said. Other groups found reasons to be hopeful for the Paris accord. “Countries around the world now fully understand that early next year they must commit to ambitious reductions in climate pollution and bold measures to slow global warming,” said Jake Schmidt, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s international program director. “The progress from Lima must result in pledges for real action by the time the world convenes in Paris.” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) was also optimistic. “Just as global warming pollution anywhere affects people everywhere, the leadership shown this week in Peru will help people around the world in the battle to stop dangerous climate change,” he said.

The Hill

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