As you know, the UN’s climate conference at Cancun in Mexico, ended last week. The key results of the Cancun conference (courtesy of the Climate Spectator) were:
– An agreement to peak emissions and an overall 2 degrees Celsius target for temperature rise;
– Formalising, to a certain degree, details of what countries have promised to do to mitigate climate change within the UN architecture;
– Agreeing the outline of a system to be able to measure, report and verify how countries are living up to their promises to take action on emissions;
– Establishing a Green Climate Fund;
– Agreeing to slow, halt and reverse destruction of forests (REDD+) and agreeing the rules for delivering REDD+ and for monitoring progress;
– Setting up the mechanisms to help developing countries access low carbon technology, and adapt to climate change;
– Some progress in respect of the existing market mechanisms, CDM and JI, and in respect of the inclusion of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the CDM.
This is broadly as much as was expected to result from the Cancun negotiations, if not a little more. It falls substantially short of a global agreement that will prevent dangerous climate change, with initial estimates indicating that the existing emission targets and actions proposed will lead to a world with as much as 5 degrees Celsius of global warming. This is predicted to have catastrophic consequences.