Lima day one: #COP20 climate summit kicks off

Delegates gather at COP20 UN climate summit in Lima, Peru. ©IFAD
Written by Brian Thomson

There was a thrill in the air this morning as thousands of delegates made their way to the United Nations climate summit in Lima. The meeting has an added importance this year, as it is the last ministerial-level gathering before the new climate compact, which is due to be signed in Paris in 2015.

The Lima round of negotiations follows on the publication of the final instalment in the fifth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Science is more certain than ever before that it is human actions, particularly burning fossil fuels for energy, that have contributed to warming of the earth and the consequent changes in climatic patterns.

There is a level of optimism about the outcome in Lima on account of various developments seen in the past few months – such as the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit, the US-China climate agreement, the European Union's emission reduction targets for 2030, and the pledging of $9.7 billion to the Green Climate Fund.

Outside the climate summit site in Lima. ©IFAD
At the same time, there is a quieter push under way to give more of the limelight to ways of adjusting to the unavoidable effects of climate change. These include building more resilient infrastructure, putting in place disaster warning systems and teaching farmers to harvest more rainwater.

IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme plays a key part in working with smallholder farmers in developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
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Over the coming ten days, IFAD will be presenting its work with smallholders at a range of events and meetings at the climate summit in Lima. For more information on these events, go to

The writer is Communication and Advocacy Manager in the Environment and Climate Division of IFAD's Programme Management Department.