30 hours of deadlock and sleep deprivation, delegates at
the Warsaw climate talks finally struck a deal - and it was all
down to changing the wording. A fortnight of negotiating
hunger strikes, walkouts,
standoffs ended as delegates hammered out a deal in the
early hours of Sunday morning.
Countries meet annually to discuss climate goals as part of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In
recent years, governments had agreed to commit to a new global deal
by 2015 to reduce emissions. The Warsaw negotiations were intended
to mark out a 'pathway' to that deal.
So how successful were they, and what still needs to be decided
in the run up to the Paris summit in 2015?
From "commitments" to "contributions"
Early on Sunday, delegates agreed on a pathway - the 'Warsaw
roadmap'. The upshot is, any 2015 deal is likely to be more
flexible than its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol. The meeting's
chairs described the Warsaw agreement as a
"compromise", reached thanks to an an eleventh hour change of
The Warsaw negotiations were
fractious from the start, with faultlines emerging over
how to share responsibility for emissions cuts between developed
and developing nations. In the Kyoto Protocol, economically
developed countries - with a longer history of emitting greenhouse
gases - are expected to make firm "commitments" to cut their
emissions. In contrast, developing countries were expected to take
less stringent "actions", recognising their need to develop as well
as their shorter emissions track record.