Dr Celine Herweijer and Jonathan Grant on what they'll be watching out for at COP19

The UN climate change negotiations begin in Warsaw today, here we get the views of two of the PwC team attending the Summit.

Dr Celine Herweijer, is partner in PwC's sustainability and climate change, and a specialist in international climate policy and financing:

“Science calls for urgent action on climate change but urgency is not a trademark of the climate talks. A global deal by 2015 will be extremely difficult, given the complexity of so many nations, each with  different priorities, agreeing a common way forward. There are signs that a new approach is emerging however. One in which each country brings forward a national offer rooted in their local context into an international agreement that has legal force. Warsaw will be about testing out this new shape for a global climate deal, one that will hopefully mean that by Paris 2015 countries can reach an agreement and finalise commitments. Critical will be making sure these offers add up to keep climate change below 2C. A warmer world is one we cannot afford to be in.

"Finance will also be important to un-locking some of the key decisions. It’s an enabler to the political process, but is also critical to scaling up low carbon and climate resilient growth in developing countries. Whilst we will no doubt get the headline finance pledges from a smattering of countries that tend to accompany each COP, what we really need is a clear pathway to meeting the $100Bn/year target. Where are we really now? How do we get to $100Bn? And how do we track it, and measure it’s effectiveness?”

Jonathan Grant, director, PwC sustainability and climate change, is a specialist in carbon & climate policy comments:

“What’s really needed in Warsaw is progress to resurrect the Clean Development Mechanism.  If increasing short term ambition translated into more demand for these carbon credits, that would be a real step forward in Warsaw. The COP should seriously consider the recommendations made by the High-Level Panel especially those designed to stimulate demand.  All the talk of new market mechanisms seems moot if the existing ones barely have a pulse.

"Our analysis shows that countries are on track to blow the IPCC’s two degree carbon budget by 2034, so it will be important to focus on how to scale up low carbon investment in the short term and whether the long term pledges are ambitious enough. The IEA has proposed a series of measures that could keep us on the two degrees pathway such as limiting emissions from inefficient coal plant and the oil and gas sector.  But it’s unclear whether the UN negotiations can really have an impact before 2020 or whether they can divert investment away from high carbon growth.”

Read our full preview on the blog: