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Petersberg Climate Dialogue Addresses Expectations for Lima

german-ministry-logo17 July 2014: The fifth Petersberg Climate Dialogue, which met under the theme 'Addressing the urgency – stepping up our contributions,' aimed to introduce new ideas in the UN climate negotiations and discuss new strategies in preparation for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference scheduled to take place in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. In her statement to ministers at the event, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged €750 million to climate change and the initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), noting that this is in addition to the €3.2 billion Germany has already contributed to climate efforts in recent years.

The Dialogue focused on how to: reach consensus on key elements of the future climate regime and adopt “an ambitious, effective and fair climate agreement” in Paris in 2015; ensure all relevant States have submitted their intended nationally-determined contributions (INDCs) for the 2015 climate agreement in a timely manner to enable compliance with the 2°C limit; communicate that mitigation and adaptation measures benefit the economy; and create incentives to develop low-carbon technologies.

The meeting, which took place on 14-15 July 2014, in Berlin, Germany, was attended by approximately 35 ministers from all regions, and was presided over by the German Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Peruvian Minister for Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who will chair the Lima conference.

During the meeting, Minister Hendricks expressed confidence that major emitters would present their INDCs by March 2015, and urged finding a balance between legitimate short-term interests and the long-term goal of ensuring the security of future generations. She stated that by 2030, the EU aims to reduce its emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels, and that by 2020, the German Government aims to reduce emissions by at least 40%.

Hendricks also highlighted German support for developing countries requiring technical assistance in drafting their climate action plans, through its International Climate Initiative. She explained that the Federal Environment Ministry has pledged over €360 million to support partner countries.

Minister Pulgar-Vidal called for the new climate agreement to reflect “a balance between mitigation and adaptation, between national action and multilateral rules, and between the response to climate action and sustainable development, supported by financial and technological assistance.” He added that the Lima conference should agree on a “strong, clear and coherent draft text of the 2015 agreement,” as well as on “a practical and collaborative decision for the presentation of nationally determined contributions.”

The Co-Chairs' conclusions from the Dialogue feature four sections. On broadening consensus on the 2015 climate agreement, the conclusions highlight various elements, specifically: signalling the intent to keep temperature increase to below 2°C or even 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels through mitigation action and by setting goals to decarbonize economies; improving resilience through national and collective actions on adaptation and loss and damage; reinforcing the means of implementation for promoting low-carbon and climate-resilient development; and providing sufficient transparency.

On preparing the ground for national contributions and commitments, the conclusions state that: COP 20 in Lima should determine required information to be submitted with the INDCs; and mitigation should be the principal part of every contribution, but adaptation and means of implementation should also be reflected.

On mobilizing more ambitious pre-2020 action, ministers acknowledge the growing gap between intended actions and those required to meet the long-term goal of limiting temperature increase to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, and considered how to close this gap. Ministers stress the need to improve international cooperation on fossil fuel subsidies, forestry, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and carbon pricing.

On considering possible deliverables for COP 20 in Lima, the conclusions point to: the development of balanced, clear and coherent elements of the 2015 agreement; and a decision on information needed to accompany INDCs.

Chancellor Merkel initiated the Petersberg Climate Dialogue after COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009, in order to advance international climate action, including climate negotiations under the UNFCCC and national climate policy of participating countries. Discussions are informal in order to facilitate open and honest debate. [German Environment Ministry Press Release] [Speech of Chancellor Angela Merkel (in German)] [Statement of Minister Barbara Hendricks] [Petersberg Climate Dialogue Website] [Co-Chairs' Conclusions]