COP16 Conference improves on Copenhagen / News / The Foreigner

COP16 Conference improves on Copenhagen. The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun ended on a positive note, with representatives from over 190 countries jointly agreeing to slow the effects of climate change. Environmental organizations are more cautious. An overwhelming majority approved the non-binding compromise put forward by the Mexican hosts. Delegates agreed to recognize the need to cut back on carbon emissions, as well as establish improved reporting and control routines to help countries follow up on their emissions commitments.

cop16, cancun, climate, summit, mexico, erik, solheim, wwf, norway, norwegian, church, aid, rainforest, co2, carbon, dioxide, kyoto



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COP16 Conference improves on Copenhagen

Published on Sunday, 12th December, 2010 at 22:55 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 13th December 2010 at 14:35.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun ended on a positive note, with representatives from over 190 countries jointly agreeing to slow the effects of climate change. Environmental organizations are more cautious.

Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Pres. COP16
Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Pres. COP16
Photo: COP16


Clean green?

An overwhelming majority approved the non-binding compromise put forward by the Mexican hosts.

Delegates agreed to recognize the need to cut back on carbon emissions, as well as establish improved reporting and control routines to help countries follow up on their emissions commitments.

Aims agreed at last year’s COP15 Summit in Copenhagen to limit temperature rises to less than 2 degrees Celsius, as well as emissions, were reconfirmed.

The deal also included reductions in deforestation in developing countries, establishing a Green Climate Fund, with the aim of raising USD 100 Billion annually by 2020, as well as increased focus on technology transfer from developed to developing countries.

Several countries openly voiced their approval.

“The agreement is the biggest step forward in combating climate change for several years,” said Erik Solheim, Norway’s Environment Minister, in a press release.

VG reports India's Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, claimed, “Mexico has been extremely close to God this evening.”

Reservations

Other countries were slightly more guarded, however.

While there are some shortcomings, we express our satisfaction with it,” China’s chief negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, told Reuters.

“What we have now is a text that is not perfect but is certainly a good basis for moving forward,” said US climate envoy Todd Stern.

Bolivia was the only country to vote against the proposal. Calling it a “a step forward but a step backwards,” Bolivia’s chief negotiator, Pablo Solon, told Reuters “Bolivia is not prepared to sign a document which means an increase of the average temperature, which will put more people close to death.”

This prompted both understanding and diplomacy from Minister Erik Solheim.

“Many countries share some of Bolivia’s concerns. We have now given ourselves time in the years ahead to look at these more closely. A climate agreement must be built brick by brick, floor by floor. We have built several floors in the future climate house with this meeting in Cancun,” he said.

Kyoto disagreement

This remained a sticking point. Japan, Canada and Russia blocked early COP16 discussions about extending the provisions of Kyoto Protocol beyond its 2012 expiration date, announcing they were unwilling to continue abiding to the emission targets imposed by the agreement.

They demanded, instead, a broader, UN treaty that obliges other countries to binding emissions targets. This included China, the US and India, three of the world’s biggest polluters that did not ratify Kyoto.

Furthermore, developing states blamed rich countries for the world climate situation, believing they must take the lead in solving environmental issues, before they can join efforts to cut back on emissions.

The only agreement to come out of the summit was to complete work on a new, binding period as quickly as possible, without a clarification of all the conditions.

Present, or future?

Norwegian environmental organizations say there were pleased with the results of the conference, overall, but acknowledge its limits. They believe more effort is need for the future for radical change.

“This year's Christmas present to the millions of people threatened by climate change has nice packaging, but inadequate content. Yet this is a small, but very important step forward. ," Harald Nyeggen Summer, political adviser at Norwegian Church Aid told NTB.

“Much remains to be done before we have a fair, ambitious, and binding climate deal the world needs if it is to avoid the most serious consequences of climate change, but the foundations are in place to get an agreement in Durban next year,” says Rasmus Hanson, Secretary General of WWF Norway.

He calls on the Norwegian authorities and the government to follow through on the COP16 agreement and start work at home.

“The government must now show it means business.”




Published on Sunday, 12th December, 2010 at 22:55 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 13th December 2010 at 14:35.

This post has the following tags: cop16, cancun, climate, summit, mexico, erik, solheim, wwf, norway, norwegian, church, aid, rainforest, co2, carbon, dioxide, kyoto.





  
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