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14.12.2010 General News

Cancun ends with a balanced package of decisions - Ms Figueres

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December 13, 2010 Cancun (Mexico), Dec. 13, GNA - The UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCC) in Cancún, Mexico, ended with the adoption of a balanced package of decisions that set all governments more firmly on the path towards a low-emissions future and support enhanced action on climate change in the developing world.

The package, dubbed: "Cancún Agreements" was welcomed to repeated loud and prolonged applause and acclaim by Parties in the final plenary.

Ms Christiana Figueres UNFCCC Executive Secretary said, "Cancún has done its job. The beacon of hope has been reignited and faith in the multilateral climate change process to deliver results has been restored".

"Nations have shown they can work together under a common roof, to reach consensus on a common cause. They have shown that consensus in a transparent and inclusive process can create opportunity for all.

"Governments have given a clear signal that they are headed towards a low-emissions future together, they have agreed to be accountable to each other for the actions they take to get there, and they have set it out in a way, which encourages countries to be more ambitious over time.

"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."

Added to that, Ms Figueres said, parties had agreed to initiate concrete actions to preserve forests in developing nations.

The parties also agreed that countries needed to work to stay below a two degree temperature rise and set a clear timetable for review, to ensure that global action was adequate to meet the emerging reality of climate change.

"This is not the end, but it is a new beginning. It is not what is ultimately required but it is the essential foundation on which to build greater, collective ambition," said Ms Figueres.

Detailing some of the elements of the Cancún Agreements, she indicated that Industrialised country targets were officially recognised under the multilateral process and these countries were to develop low-carbon development plans and strategies and assess how best to meet them, including through market mechanisms, and to report their inventories annually.

She said developing countries' actions to reduce emissions were officially recognised under the multilateral process, saying a registry was to be set up to record and match developing country mitigation actions to finance and technology support by industrialised countries.

Developing countries are to publish progress reports every two years.

Ms Figueres said, parties meeting under the Kyoto Protocol, agreed to continue negotiations with the aim of completing their work and ensuring there was no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the treaty.

Kyoto Protocol is a legal framework that mandate developed south to support developing countries to address climate change challenges.

"The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanisms 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," she said.

The UNFCCC Executive Secretary said a total of $30 billion in fast start finance from industrialised countries, had been set up to support climate action in the developing world up to 2012 and the intention to raise $100 billion in long-term funds by 2020 was included in the decisions.

"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", she said.

A new "Cancún Adaptation Framework" had been 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.

She said parties had 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.

From Albert Oppong Ansah, A GNA Special Correspondent, Cancun, Mexico (Courtesy: British Council Ghana/Ministry of Environment Science and Technology/World Bank)

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