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Countries back Cancun climate change deal

Dec. 13, 2010, Washington, D.C. – At the climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, more than 190 countries agreed to a broad package of steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions that also delays final decisions on key issues until at least a year from now.


December 13, 2010
By Argus Media

Dec. 13, 2010, Washington, D.C. – At the
climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, more than 190 countries agreed to a broad
package of steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions that also delays final
decisions on key issues until at least a year from now. The package, known as
the Cancun Agreements, is two agreements that are relatively modest in ambition
but cover several issues, including financing for developing world mitigation
and adaptation efforts, technology sharing, reducing deforestation, and
monitoring and verification. But they also delay action on other issues, such
as establishing a new commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, until next
year's climate talks in South Africa.

The agreements were adopted by the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 16th Conference of the Parties
(COP) early in the morning on December 11, 2010, over the objections of
Bolivia. Among the major components of the agreements: the emissions pledges
made after last year's Copenhagen COP by the United States, China, and other
major emitters were incorporated into the UNFCCC, and developing countries
agreed to file biennial reports on their actions. These components addressed
two of the major U.S. concerns heading into the talks, which began on November
29, 2010.

The agreements also set up a Green Climate
Fund under the COP to support developing world climate efforts, create a
foundation for more ambitious work to reduce deforestation in developing
nations, and urge countries to make their mitigation pledges more ambitious to
achieve the state goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than
2°C. The agreements also keep hopes alive for a second commitment period under
the Kyoto Protocol in 2013.

However, the agreements lack detail on many
of the key issues such as the process for verifying mitigation actions, which
will be the subject of talks between now and the COP in Durban, South Africa.

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