Policy Analysis

Gathering in the Gloom of Warsaw: Assessing the outcomes of COP19

By Jessica Boyle on December 6, 2013

International negotiators recently gathered in the gloom of Warsaw, Poland, for the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and various parallel meetings.

With the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2013 to 2020) agreed to at last year's COP, discussions in Warsaw were largely focused on establishing a post-2020 agreement that includes all major emitters under the Durban Platform. Negotiators have committed to reaching this agreement by COP21 (2015) in Paris.

A package of outcomes emerged from the negotiations in Warsaw, including: a request for Parties to come forward with mitigation contributions by early 2015 at the latest, some marginal progress on finance, the further elaboration of a mechanism to address loss and damage, and a constructive set of decisions to bolster REDD+ moving forward. Despite these small successes, the lack of urgency amongst negotiators and waning confidence of many observers in the process seemed palpable. The credibility of the process hinges on a 2015 deal, yet by and large Warsaw brought only incremental progress in achieving that goal.

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