As the new round of UN Climate talks begin today, National Geographic reports: "Buoyed by new climate pledges from the United States, China, and Europe, diplomats from 195 countries will begin meeting in Lima, Peru, on Monday to draft a new accord to curb global warming."
"Organized by the United Nations, the conference aims to lay the groundwork for an agreement to be finalized by December 2015, when world leaders will meet in Paris. Called COP 20, the 12-day gathering marks the 20th time countries will have met to discuss climate change since 1992. The agreement is hoped to be a successor to 1997's Kyoto Protocol, which expired in 2012 but was never adopted by the U.S. or China, and so had limited impact."
"President Barack Obama and other top leaders are not expected to attend the Lima talks but are sending environment officials and climate negotiators."
The New York Times reports that "United Nations negotiators gathering in South America this week are expressing a new optimism that they may finally achieve the elusive deal."
"But underlying that optimism is a grim reality: No matter the outcome of the talks, experts caution, it probably will not be enough to stave off the increasingly significant, near-term impact of global warming."
Deutsche Welle reports: "What has veterans of the climate scene cautiously optimistic this time around is an ambitious plan to curb carbon emissions announced in November by China and the US. It's an important development, say analysts: The two economic powerhouses produce almost as much CO2 as the rest of the world combined, and they've traditionally resisted meaningful global action on climate change."