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In the next week climate meeting in Lima, Peru, world leaders hope they will finally close a deal, for the first time, on cutting down carbon dioxide emissions by the end of 2030. Still, the US and EU have very different opinions on how this deal will legally look like and how many Co2 emissions is every country willing to cut down.
The EU says an agreement should be reached as soon as possible because the world is running out of time. International climate scientists have warned that a 2 C global warming above the pre-industrial levels, i.e. the before 1750 levels, would lead in dangerous weather changes.
On the Lima summit in December, leaders also hope to reach an agreement on the Green Climate Fund, and on Lima’s deforestation problems. The Green Climate Fund is a global mechanism of paying the poor countries by the rich ones, as a compensation for the latter damaging the former’s climate.
So far, only France and Germany have deposited some money (about £3 billion), albeit the fund was supposed to mobilize about $100 billion. The US are expected to contribute with some cash too, since they are one of the world’s major industrial polluters.
Last month, the US said they planed on suggesting a non-legally binding “buffet deal” during the Lima summit. A “buffet binding” is an alternative solution to a treaty. The solution was proposed by New Zeeland earlier this year. This kind of binding is more flexible since it allows each country to choose the exact amount of emission reduction and is preferred by the US because it would be much easier to implement than an international treaty.
An international treaty would need Senate’s approval which is impossible to obtain as long as the Republicans are in charge. However, the EU is not buying the “buffet binding” idea, because US already failed to comply with any of the past international treaties, such as the Kyoto protocol.
Earlier this month, US lead negotiator for climate change, Todd Stern, said the US were thinking about a “hybrid approach”.
“Proposals that would involve, in effect, a kind of designated burden-sharing on how reductions should be split up among countries of the world has extremely little chance of political viability. Countries are not going to buy into that,”
Stern added about a treaty deal.
A anonymous EU representative in Brussels said that the EU is not going to “abandon its position” during the Lima summit, and will insist that any agreement on emission reductions should be mandatory for all its participants.