The 5 main results of Cancún

After the deception of Copenhagen, the news is progress was made at all. Just like in the Danish capital last year, also this year, during the climate conference in Cancún no legally binding new climate treaty, to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol, has been agreed. National emission targets for the crucial year of 2020 were also not raised.

With another 12 months passed, the G8 2°C climate goal, that (at least) requires the IPCC (all industrialised nations should reduce emissions by 25-40 percent between 1990 and 2020) and IEA 450 Scenarios (to name just one criterion: Peak Coal within this decade), is light-years away.

So where do we stand?

  1. We’ll meet again
    The UNFCCC process is not dead. We still intend to save the world. Next (big) stop is Durban, South Africa, November 28, 2011.
  2. Progress on REDD mechanism
    Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. It’s nothing new. The initial plan was to halve deforestation by 2020, by allowing forest conservation to reward via carbon credits. Developing nations can enjoy some economic benefit. Halving deforestation rates would mean reducing annual global anthropogenic CO2 emissions by 7.5 to 10 percent. (Additional policy benefits for the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity and clean development strategies for poor nations.)
  3. Progress on Green Climate Fund (adaptation & green development)
    100 billion dollars per year from 2020 to help developing nations cope with the consequences of climate change and to help these countries develop on a low carbon development path. To get things started, the World Bank will play trustee. Later on a special UN body may take over that job.
  4. Progress on mechanism for technology transfer
    Poor and developing countries are allowed to make use of newly developed western low-carbon energy technology. This makes China happy enough to agree on:
  5. International verification of emission-curbing measures
    Also for developing countries – on condition these countries actually receive the promised funds.

(c) Rolf Schuttenhelm |

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