New York – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the outcome of the climate meeting that ended last Sunday in Lima, Peru, as one that advanced the effort to stem global warming on several fronts.

“Governments built on the success of the Climate Change Summit, which I convened in a September meeting this year, and put in place the building blocks for a meaningful climate change agreement in Paris next year,” he told reporters in his year-end news conference at UN Headquarters here.

Those successes are likely to be expanded next year, he predicted. “The stars are aligned for the world to take historic action to transform lives and to protect the planet,” he said.

Mr. Ban, who recently returned from Peru after attending the 20th Conference of the Parties, or COP20, cited the delegates’ agreement on a draft negotiating text to serve as the basis for the next round of climate change talks, which are slated to begin in February in Geneva.

In addition, he said, they provided clarity on mitigation and other commitments, which are to be included in countries’ national plans of action, referred to in UN-speak as INDCs, or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Countries are expected to submit their INDCs to the world body in March.

As the talks were going on in Lima, the Green Climate Fund exceeded its initial capitalization goal of $10 billion, which strengthened confidence and trust among delegates about the move toward a climate-neutral world, he said.

The fund was established in 2010 to help developing countries and vulnerable communities gain access to clean energy, safe water, and food security.

It is also intended to help save forests and to build cities in ways that are more efficient and in locations that are more resilient.
Finally, the thousands of delegates who met in Lima advanced an action agenda designed to show the opportunities offered by the transition to a low-carbon pathway, Mr. Ban said. “Taken together, these steps maintain the momentum toward Paris,” he said.

While noting that “a great deal of work remains to be done on finance and other difficult issues,” Mr. Ban said one obstacle has been overcome: “All governments, along with businesses and others, civil society, now agree that they must curb growth in emissions,” he said.

The Lima meeting marked the eighth such annual event attended by Mr. Ban, who has served as Secretary-General since 2007. “And it was the most encouraging COP that I attended,” he said.