The 19th annual Conference of the Parties (COP) concluded in Warsaw on November 23rd with delegates unable to reach any major agreements on climate change mitigation. Expectations were low at the beginning of the summit and the lack of substantial progress had an air of predictability. There was, however, no shortage of heated debate. The destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, just days before the COP meeting began, added urgency to the proceedings and stoked the frustration of many participating representatives.
The lack of progress on the financial side of the negotiations was particularly pronounced. An agreement was reached on financing the crucial Green Climate Fund. However, although the parties agreed to “operationalize” it, the U.S. and Canada blocked strong financial language and the end result was too weak to ensure investment. While some countries pledged substantial amounts of money towards adaptation and mitigation funds, others avoided concrete commitments. As it stands, the COP is not on track to meet its target of mobilizing $100bn in climate finance by 2020.