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A small step closer to Paris: Bas Eickhout

The deal between China and the US raised expectations and caused a very positive mood at the start of the Lima negotiations. Unfortunately our old Dutch saying 'one stork doesn't make it summer yet' turned out to be true once again. The overall result of Lima is disappointing, although there were some encouraging developments as well. One thing is crystal clear: there will be no time to sit back!

One very unsatisfactory outcome is that countries cannot be requested to alter their national commitments. Neither did we get clarification on whether a new deal will be legally binding. Lima also saw too little progress on international climate finance and compensation, an opportunity to reduce the rich/poor divide well ahead of Paris was missed.

Luckily there is a positive side. The main aspects of a new global climate deal have been sketched and will guide further discussions. It seems that everyone finally accepts what climate science is telling tells us: the two degrees objective was not under discussion and the text contains a reference to net-zero emissions by 2050. Of course, it remains to be seen whether this goal survives the year of negotiations on the text.

Currently we experience a steep increase in businesses, citizens and local governments that see the need and benefits of moving towards an innovative green economy. Our task for the coming year is to mobilize these people. Public pressure is the key to ensuring that our national governments will take the steps necessary to get a deal in Paris which limits global warming within two degrees.

by: Bas Eickhout, Green MEP for GroenLinks (Netherlands)

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