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Cancun: EU “Bridging” The Climate Change Factions …

  • December 14th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

cancun-conference.jpgThe European Union says the Cancun agreement on climate change (picture) made progress towards legally binding rules, though the eventual outcome would have to remain uncertain.STEP BY STEP

ice-shelf-cncun-eu.jpgThe gathering last week (29.11.10-10.12.10) was part of the United Nations “Kyoto” process, to recognise and act on climate change.

It followed up the Copenhagen summit a year ago (17-18.12.10), where developed and emerging economies got into disagreement over who should contribute how much.

The Cancun gathering operated at a Ministerial level below heads of government, and concentrated on concrete steps, removed from contests over policy.

Some of the achievements included a firming of affirmations to keep any rise in global temperatures to the range of 2-degrees; acts on deforestation, and establishment of a Green Climate Fund.


EU representatives said they had acted in a bridging role among the parties, with work under the present arrangements now extended for another year.

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said:

“The EU came to Cancun to get a substantial package of action-oriented decisions and keep the international climate change negotiations on track.

“We have helped to deliver the successful outcome the world expected and needed. But the two weeks in Cancún have shown once again how slow and difficult the process is.

“Everyone needs to be aware that we still have a long and challenging journey ahead of us to reach the goal of a legally binding global climate framework.”


Details on main outcomes:

•    Acknowledgement for the first time in a UN document that global warming must be kept below 2°C compared to the pre-industrial temperature, and establishment of a process to define a date for global emissions to peak and a global emissions reduction goal for 2050;
•    The emission pledges of developed and developing countries have been anchored in the UN process and a process set out to help clarify them. The text also recognises that overall mitigation efforts need to be scaled up in order to stay within the 2°C ceiling;
•    Agreement to launch a process to strengthen the transparency of actions to reduce or limit emissions so that overall progress can be tracked more effectively;
•    Confirmation of the goal that developed countries will mobilise US$ 100 billion in climate funding for developing countries annually by 2020, and establishment of a Green Climate Fund through which much of the funding will be channelled;
•    Agreement on the Cancún Adaptation Framework to enhance action on adaptation to climate change;
•    Launch of a “REDD+” mechanism enabling action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries;
•    Agreement to consider setting up new carbon market mechanisms going beyond a project-based approach;
•    Establishment of a Technology Mechanism, including a Technology Executive Committee and a Climate Technology Center and Network, to enhance technology development and transfer;
•    Establishment of a clear process for reviewing the adequacy of the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C, including consideration of strengthening the goal to 1.5°C, to be concluded in 2015;
•    Extension of the work of the ad hoc working groups under the UN climate change convention and the Kyoto Protocol for a further year while leaving open the legal form of the eventual outcome of the negotiations.

See also, EUAustralia Online: “Climate change moves ‘won’t turn on a dime'”, 30.12.09; “More ‘Copenhagen’ …”, 18.6.09; “Huge push on climate change pre Copenhagen”, 13.6.10.


EC, Brussels, “European Union welcomes Cancún Agreement as important step towards global framework for climate action”, 11.12.10,  IP/10/1699.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (home), “UN Climate Change Conference Cancun – COP 16 / CMP 6; Decisions adopted by COP 16 and CMP 6”., (14.12.10).

Pictures  eu, uno