Nov 29, 2010 - 12:00am
The Cancun Agreement restored momentum to the UN climate talks.
While much more needed to be done, particularly at national levels, some
key barriers were addressed. Three important areas of achievement
should be noted:
- Anchoring of national mitigation commitments: formal recognition
and ‘anchoring’ of existing pollution targets and commitments from all
major polluting countries, covering around 80 per cent of global
emissions. This is the first time pollution commitments from US, China
and all other major economies (both developed and developing) have been
captured in a formal UN agreement.
- New ‘Green Climate Fund’: agreement to establish a new fund to
help mobilise US$100 billion a year by 2020 to support low pollution
economic development; protecting tropical forests and helping the
world’s most vulnerable people build resilience to change impacts.
However, there was no decision on how to raise the public and private
money for this fund.
- Improved transparency: measures to improve transparency and
verification of domestic efforts to reduce pollution, including a
process for international review of countries’ actions by technical
While Cancun marked important progress, a number of issues needed more attention, including:
- Greater pollution reduction effort
- Sources of Financing
- Common accounting rules, including for land sector
- Legal form of final framework
Agreement reinforced the need for the Australian Parliament to pass a
flexible pollution reduction package with not only a pollution price but
limits and policies that can enable ambitious pollution reduction.
Erwin Jackson & Will McGoldrick provided real-time commentary via video blog throughout the Cancun Climate Summit: