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Finally! A Watered-down Agreement on Climate Change in Lima

After two days of overtime, the 194 nations at the Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, have reached a compromise on how to combat global warming. Differences between nations as to who should pay what, and how much, and when and who should monitor and assess the rate of action taken, forced the conference to run two days beyond the December 12 closure. 

Approved at Lima is a framework for nations to set pledges to combat Climate Change at a finalized conference next November. The agreement calls for developed nations to provide financial support to "vulnerable" developing nations to combat Climate Change. Countries are to set targets to reduce the carbon footprint. The pledges of nations are to be submitted by the first quarter of 2015 from nations "ready to do so". This clause of nations "ready to so" is a watered-down weaken version of the original text at the conference that stated nations "shall" tender information on how they intent to meet their emissions targets. From "shall" the language was changed to "may". 

Moreover, the final consensus that adopted the theme that nations have a "common but differentiated responsibilities for Climate Change" weakens the agreement from full and equal blame and responsibility of all nations for Climate Change. In other words, as Sam Smith, the climate chief at the World Wildlife Fund(WWF), complains: "The text went from weak to weaker to weakest and is very weak indeed."

Yet, in spite of weaknesses, there is an established framework to combat Climate Change. And if the wrangling of Lima is a norm of what is to come in terms of the actual implementation and reporting of policies to combat the growing environmental phenomenon; nations, sadly, will have to experience the punishing effects of Climate Change before unanimous responsibility could be admitted and a determined pledge adhered to combat choking smog in Beijing to mudslides in India and Indonesia along with disappearing islands in the Pacific.