Warsaw climate conference: agreement reached in added time

Jochen Flasbarth with other speakers on a podium, in the background the logo of the climate conference in WarsawClick to enlarge
Voluntary commitment is required ahead of the new climate treaty. UBA made such appeals in Warsaw.
Source: Melanie Klußmann / UBA

The official sessions had long come to a close, but the negotiators were still gathered together. Even though the process was time-consuming and tough, the path to a new climate protection treaty has taken on real shape.

The 19th Conference of the Parties to the Climate Framework Convention and the 9th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol was held on 11 - 22 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

The conference set a pathway to a new climate agreement, which is scheduled to be agreed in 2015 in Paris and enter into force by 2020. It will be the first universal agreement which establishes binding goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which apply to every country in the world. Countries must put their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the new treaty on the table ahead of the Paris conference.

Some important technical decisions were reached in Warsaw to enact the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in the Member States.

After years of struggle an agreement on a transparent procedure in forest preservation was finally reached. The REDD+ mechanism to protect forests can now be enacted at national level after this breakthrough. The mechanism creates financial incentives to preserve forests.

Germany received a lot of positive feedback for its commitment to add €30 million to the Adaptation Fund this year. The Fund supports projects in developing countries on the adaptation to the effects of climate change. This commitment thereby achieves the goal in which the industrialised countries were to make a total of USD 100 million available by 2013.

A mechanism was adopted to help countries to cope with the damages and losses suffered as a result of climate change.

The days and nights of these two weeks of negotiations demonstrated that the road to the climate conference in Paris in 2015 will not be an easy one. Ultimately, the measure of success will be whether the international community commits to binding and significantly higher reductions of greenhouse gases under the new climate treaty. Without them global warming cannot be contained to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

UBA was part of the negotiations in Warsaw. It acted as advisor to the Federal Ministry for Environment as part of the German delegation and played an active role at several Side Events.

Climate Change Conference Warsaw 2013

  1. Deutsche Welle interview with UBA President Flasbarth about the climate negotiations
  2. Jochen Flasbarth gives an account of the German Energiewende at the Sustainable Innovation Forum
  3. Flasbarth at Climate and Clean Air Coalition High Level Assembly on short-lived climate pollutants
  4. Flasbarth at presentation of UNEP Gap Report: Report shows, how we can reach the 2 degree target