Lima Climate Talks – London Vigil

in 2014 representatives from nearly 200 countries gathered in Lima, Peru to agree a draft deal that will be agreed on in Paris in 2015 that commits countries to reduce their greenhouse emissions.  The UN warned in 2014 that countries were falling short of the 2C target above pre-industrial emission levels. Furthermore 2014 is said to be the hottest year on record while emissions are expected to reach record levels of 40bn tonnes.

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However there is a case for optimism. The US and China, two key players in the struggle to curb emissions, announced that they would be working together to cutting emissions. China has made a commitment to cap its carbon pollution and increase its use of zero emission energy by 30% by 2030. The US have also agreed to reduce emissions by between 26% and 28% from 2005 levels by 2025.  Though there are other key players to consider such as the EU and India, the progresses made by US and China according the UN Climate secretary, Christiana Figueres provides hope that substantial agreements can be made during Lima.

The EU’s delegation pushed for legally binding emissions cuts on all countries by 2015 and implemented by 2020. Some developing countries even insist on only industrialised countries agreeing on a legally binding deal. The USA on the other hand are more inclined to ‘the buffet option’, that contains some legally binding elements but gives countries the freedom to dictate scale and pace of their emission reductions. A large reason for this is because any legally binding deal under international law would be problematic with the US congress.

With the help of Allah, and the actions of world leaders, one can hope Lima will bring about great results. For any talks to be successful countries must decide on a draft that outlines the structure of the agreement, how countries can ensure commitments to reductions in emissions and how best to verify actions of each member.

As people of faith it is important to do what we can in our capacity to influence the negotiations. That obviously involves making du’a (supplication) that world leaders can come to a good agreement, and it is generally recommended to make du’a that leaders are guided, as a righteous leader will bring great benefits to a community. That is why when making supplication should sincerely ask Allah to instil wisdom, fairness, compassion and courage into the hearts of our leaders so that justice can prevail.

By Tahmid Dewan

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