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EXPLAINER-Talk the talk: how to decipher U.N. climate jargon

by Reuters
Monday, 25 November 2019 14:44 GMT

Swedish teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a climate change rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Keane

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Decades of climate talks have spawned a host of acronyms and jargon. Here is a guide:

By Nina Chestney

LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Representatives from nearly 200 countries meet in Spain from Dec. 2-13 to flesh out the rules of a landmark climate pact. Decades of climate talks have spawned a host of acronyms and jargon. Here is a guide:

PARIS AGREEMENT - Successor to the international climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2020. Agreed in December 2015 in the French capital, it aims to limit temperature rises to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius this century and "pursue efforts" for a 1.5C limit.

COP25 - The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its 25th annual meeting will be held in Madrid after Chile withdrew as host due to riots over inequality. Chile will still assume the presidency of the COP.

NDCs - Nationally Determined Contributions, or plans from each country to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change from 2020. Countries have to submit an updated and enhanced NDC every five years and the first revision is due next year.

'JUST TRANSITION'- Used to describe the shift to a low-carbon economy which ensures disruption is minimised and benefits maximised for workers, communities and consumers who might be affected.

TALANOA DIALOGUE - Talanoa is a word used in Fiji to describe sharing stories, building empathy and making decisions for the collective good. The dialogue is a process aimed at helping countries implement and improve their NDCs.

COMMON BUT DIFFERENTIATED RESPONSIBILITIES (CBDR) - Historically an issue that has clouded the talks. Based on a "polluter-pays" principle where developed countries that produced more emissions in the past should take the lead in fighting climate change. The Paris Agremeent added the words "in light of different national circumstances" so rapidly developing economies such as China and Brazil should also cut emissions.

LOSS AND DAMAGE - Governments have agreed to address the impact of climate change in developing countries but without providing a basis for liability or compensation - a bone of contention for poorer countries.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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