Warsaw climate summit ends with commitments to do more homework.

Guardian: “Weary delegates trudging home from an exhausting and sleep-deprived fortnight of climate change talks in Warsaw may be unwilling to acknowledge it, but the hard work is just beginning.” “Like schoolchildren after a packed day of lessons, they have been sent back to their national capitals to “do their homework”.
By the first quarter of 2015, countries must come forward with their “contributions” to global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, that will come into force from 2020.
Those contributions – not the stronger “commitments” wanted by the developed countries – will be the centrepiece of any new worldwide agreement on climate change, scheduled to be struck in Paris in late 2015. They could take the form of curbs to the future growth in emissions, in the case of developing countries, and absolute reductions much tougher than those agreed up to 2020, for the developed contingent.
The contributions will be set at a national level and overseen domestically, but they will also be subject to “assessment” by other participants. The exact format of this assessment has yet to be established, but will involve attempts to judge whether the contributions are fair and equitable, and commensurate to the challenge of staying within the global carbon budget, set out starkly by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in September.
….Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “We have seen essential progress. Now governments, and especially developed nations, must go back to do their homework so they can put their plans on the table ahead of the Paris conference. A groundswell of action is happening at all levels of society. All major players came to COP19 [the Warsaw talks] to show not only what they have done but to think what more they can do. Next year is also the time for them to turn ideas into further concrete action.
Publishing targets in the first quarter of 2015 do not leave long for the assessment process to take place. However, that timetable has been drawn up chiefly to take account of the realities of the US electoral timetable. The US government announced earlier this year that it would set its post-2020 targets in the first quarter of 2015. That is necessary to ensure that the decision does not get tangled up in the US congressional elections in autumn 2014 – they are likely to be touchy enough, without introducing the incendiary subject of climate change.
….There is little indication yet of what the future targets from most countries might look like. The European Union is most advanced on this, and the proposal likely to be put forward is for a 40% cut in emissions, relative to 1990 levels, by 2030.
Getting that agreed by all member states may not be straightforward, however.
….The biggest factor at these talks was the strong influence of the self-styled “like-minded group of developing countries” (LMDC). That grouping comprises several oil-rich nations including Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia and Malaysia; the coal-rich and fossil fuel-dependent China and India; and satellite nations including Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Thailand.
The LMDC first emerged just before last year’s Doha conference, and in response to the Durban meeting in 2011 at which governments agreed to work on a post-2020 agreement. The only two countries to hold out on the “Durban platform” until the final hours were China and India.
At Warsaw, the efforts of the LMDC focused on attempting to reintroduce into the key texts a restatement of the separation of countries into “developed” and “developing” that was first set out in 1992 and enshrined in the 1997 Kyoto protocol, under which developing countries bore no obligations on their emissions and rich nations faced steep cuts.
The US, the EU and other developed countries regarded this separation as having been left behind at Copenhagen in 2009, which marked the first time both developed and developing countries signed up under a single agreement to curb their emissions.”