Start of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima

Press release [14.12.02]

The 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20), which opened on Monday in Lima (Peru), is the last major negotiating session before the COP21 in 2015, when a new global climate agreement is to be concluded. IDDRI presents its main expectations for this conference in the following statement.

The conference in Lima must above all help to establish three basic elements: the structure of a fair and effective agreement; clear rules for the national contributions to be submitted ahead of the COP21; and the actions necessary to reduce the gap between commitments and emission levels to enable global warming to be limited to 2°C by 2020. These elements should contribute to the building of trust and to the reaching of a universal agreement in Paris in 2015 with national contributions that are up to the task.

On this basis, IDDRI hopes that Paris Climate 2015 will truly represent the starting point of a large-scale transformation process. As highlighted in recent reports, the avoidance of climate warming above 2°C requires massive investment in energy efficiency; for two-thirds of fossil fuel reserves to remain underground; to multiply investment in non-carbon energy by three to four times; bringing an end to deforestation, etc. This objective necessitates a deep and massive transformation that needs to be thoroughly planned if such changes are to be completed in time. This cannot be achieved through short-term emission reductions on their own.

"In Paris, the agreement will have to be signed by all countries, while national contributions must be up to the task. But this should not be the only expectation: to limit global warming to below 2°C, COP21 must have a real capacity for large-scale transformation", said Teresa Ribera, Director of IDDRI.

The Paris agreement, which must be outlined in Lima, has the ability to build this path. IDDRI has highlighted three mechanisms that it believes will be particularly helpful for achieving this goal.

Firstly, national contributions must be submitted during the first half of 2015. To be credible, such contributions must go beyond a list of objectives and describe the means by which they will be achieved, such as the deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, changes in the industrial structure, etc. They must go beyond how much, to also describe how they will be reached.

Secondly, these national contributions will cover the period until 2025 or 2030. However, climate action is a long-term process and stakeholders need signals to inform their long-term actions. It is therefore necessary for contributions to be reinforced over time, on a regular and predictable basis. The agreement should thus require for contributions to be renegotiated to increase stringency every five years, without needing ratification. The agreement therefore needs to be dynamic.

Thirdly, to guide action and enable the consideration of these changes over an adequate period of time, the agreement should encourage countries prior to 2020 to produce indicative trajectories for the period up to 2050. For this purpose, IDDRI and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have coordinated the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) platform, which has brought together research teams from 15 countries that represent over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

"In addition to reaffirming the collective target of limiting global warming to 2°C, the Paris Agreement will need to specify the levers required to achieve this goal," said Michel Colombier, IDDRI’s Scientific Director.

"These levers should include national contributions that are as substantial as possible; an agreement that is structured to encourage national contributions to be increased over time; and the production of indicative long-term trajectories that enable the consideration of the necessary deep transformations," said Thomas Spencer, IDDRI’s Climate Programme Director.

The mood of the discussions in Lima will indicate whether these elements can be detailed more precisely in preparation for the Paris Agreement.

The Lima conference will also be a major political event for Latin America, which is one of the most dynamic regions in terms of climate policy and has already stated that adaptation to climate change is a domestic and international priority. The COP20 could also be an ideal opportunity for France and Europe to engage in constructive partnerships with Peru, and Latin America more broadly. Such inter-regional cooperation could have a positive impact on the global climate agenda.


In Paris: Delphine Donger, +33 1 45 49 76 37 ou +33 6 22 70 05 65,

In Lima (from December 8 to 13): Léna Spinazzé, +33 6 84 60 85 07,