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The Geneva Climate Change Conference Adopts the Final Negotiating Text for the New 2015 Climate Change Agreement

Friday, 20 February 2015
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, was convened from 8-13 February 2015. Most importantly, the Geneva Conference involved the eighth part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) which is entrusted with the task to develop a new comprehensive climate agreement to be adopted by the end of 2015, at the Paris Climate Conference. Over 1,300 participants attended the Conference, including governmental officials and representatives from UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, non-governmental organizations, scientific community, academia and the media. The cardinal objective of the Geneva Climate Conference was to finalize the draft negotiating text for the new legally-binding treaty.

Building on the 38-page document setting out the basic elements of the draft negotiating text annexed to the so-called “Lima Call for Climate Action” that was adopted at the Lima Climate Change Conference last December*, the delegates concluded with a 86- page  formal draft text which will constitute the basis for the  negotiations of the  new 2015 climate agreement. In a spirit of creative collaboration, the participants successfully reached an agreement on the substantive content of the upcoming legal instrument including the key issues of mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity-building.

As the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres pointed out: “This fulfils the internationally-accepted timetable for reaching a possible treaty because it alerts capitals to the fact that a legal instrument could be adopted in Paris,” and she underlined: “It does not, however, set this possibility in stone – it merely opens the door for this possibility. As for the legal nature of the agreement, this will only be clarified later in the year.”

During the six-day Geneva Climate Change Conference, the countries did endeavored to identify the main choices, put their  diverging views forward and add more sharpened options to the text. In this context, Christiana Figueres said: “The text was constructed in full transparency. This means that although it has become longer, countries are now fully aware of each other’s positions.”

The next step for negotiators is to narrow the proposed options and reach consensus on the content. Formal work and negotiations on the text will continue at the Climate Change Conference in Bonn in June with two further formal sessions planned for later in the year, as well as ministerial-level meetings that will take place throughout 2015.

Indeed , Ms Figueres concluded: “These opportunities will help to ensure that countries have opportunities to work with each other at several political levels–what is needed now is vertical integration so that the views of heads of state, through ministers and to negotiators reflects a seamless and consistent view of ambition, common ground and ultimately success in December.”

*See, The Lima Climate Change Conference: A Complex Negotiating Process, MEPIELAN E-Bulletin, 19 December 2014 available at:

Source: UN News Center
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