The 20th Conference of the Parties, held in Lima last month, produced a consensus agreement among 195 governments, which provides the draft structure for “an agreed outcome with legal force” to be finalized in Paris, in December 2015. During the Lima Conference, governments engaged each other, non-governmental organizations engaged the process, and through Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the Pathway to Paris project, I had the privilege of helping to bring the voices of citizens from around the world directly into the process.
We hosted events both online and in person, to bring people into the process, and to help connect the within the process to each other and to the wisdom of pricing carbon, and collaborating with civil society for the most ambitious outcome possible. The aim of this work is to facilitate citizen engagement, raise awareness about the economic virtues of pricing carbon efficiently and effectively, and ensure an agreement that leads to an enhancement of human dignity, liberty and prosperity, while avoiding dangerous human interference with the climate system.
The Lima Accord is also known as the Lima Call for Climate Action, and it provides some important detail regarding specific motivating actions for enhanced ambition. The Lima Accord adds the 1.5°C target for global average surface temperature rise above pre-industrial levels and specifies that all nations must mitigate the climate threat, in line with their respective capabilities. The Lima Accord also calls for “meaningful and regular” consultation with civil society, women, youth, indigenous peoples, and with “subnational authorities” that are actively engaged in confronting climate impacts or implementing policies that mitigate climate risk, cost, and harm. These are all serious steps forward.
We can’t afford to be excluding good ideas from the process. The world’s governments can’t afford to leave the insights of young people or marginalized groups out of the global policy response. And environmental advocates can’t afford to be leaving industry out of the coordination of a genuine, viable, effective climate response. Everyone who cares about the wellbeing of their family, their friends, their country, and this world, should focus their attention in 2015 on the historic opportunity we have to build a better world, from the ground up.