U.N. Climate Change Conference Ends With Agreements

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, ended with the adoption of a package of decisions, called the Cancun Agreements, that set governments on the path toward a low-emissions future and support enhanced action on climate change in the developing world, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Nations launched a set of initiatives and institutions to protect the poor and the vulnerable from climate change and to deploy the money and technology that developing countries need to plan and build their own sustainable futures.

It was also agreed that countries need to work to stay below a 2-degree C temperature rise. Nations set a clear timetable for review to ensure that global action is adequate to meet the emerging reality of climate change, according to the UNFCCC.

Elements of the Cancun Agreements include the following:

– Industrialized country targets are officially recognized under the multilateral process, and these countries are to develop low-carbon development plans and strategies, assess how best to meet them, including through market mechanisms, and to report their inventories annually.

– Developing country actions to reduce emissions are officially recognized under the multilateral process. A registry is to be set up to record and match developing country mitigation actions for financial and technological support from by industrialized countries. Developing countries are to publish progress reports every two years.

– Parties meeting under the Kyoto Protocol agree to continue negotiations with the aim of completing their work and ensuring there is no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the treaty.

– The Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism has been strengthened to drive more major investments and technology into environmentally sound and sustainable emission-reduction projects in the developing world.

– Parties launched a set of initiatives and institutions to protect the vulnerable from climate change and to deploy the money and technology that developing countries need to plan and build their own sustainable futures.

– Industrialized countries will provide a total of $30 billion in fast-start finance to support climate action in the developing world up to 2012; these countries also intend to raise $100 billion in long-term funds by 2020.

– In the field of climate finance, a process to design a Green Climate Fund under the Conference of the Parties, with a board with equal representation from developed and developing countries, is established.

– A new Cancun Adaptation Framework is established to allow better planning and implementation of adaptation projects in developing countries through increased financial and technical support, including a clear process for continuing work on loss and damage.

– Governments agree to boost action to curb emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries with technological and financial support.

– Parties have established a technology mechanism with a Technology Executive Committee and Climate Technology Centre and Network to increase technology cooperation to support action on adaptation and mitigation.

The next Conference of the Parties is scheduled to take place in South Africa, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, 2011.

SOURCE: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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