There is nothing like the memory of a devastating typhoon to change global mindset. Countries attending the United Nations COP19 convention (otherwise known as the UN Convention on Climate Change) in Warsaw, Poland and the European Union’s budgetary talks this last week were successful in hammering out several agreements that could have a far-reaching effect on mitigating climate change.
That isn’t to say that all UN member countries played nice together this weekend, or that issues that have been on the table for the last seven years were speedily addressed. But at the end of the weekend, many of the initiatives that were up for negotiation last year were finally being hammered out.
Some of the positive outcomes of this last week of head-knocking included:
Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage due to climate change
It took more than two days of negotiations at COP19, but an agreement was finally reached to provide increased assistance to countries impacted by climate change. The true hero in this accomplishment, however, was the diplomat from the Philippines, Yeb Sano, who maintained a two-week hunger strike to protest the lack of global inaction in the area of climate change. His plea for change is said to have stirred listeners to tears and eventually helped to break the stalemate in the room.
The final wording resulted in a call for those nations “who are ready" to make "contributions, without prejudice to the legal nature" to join in the fight against climate change.
The anticipated $244 bn (€180 bn) funding will earmark more money for major programs such as:
Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.