The Cancun Agreements

An assessment by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

key steps of the United Nations Climate Change Conference


Reducing and limiting greenhouse gas emissions

During 2010, many countries submitted their existing
plans for controlling greenhouse gas emissions to
the Climate Change Secretariat and these proposals
have now been formally acknowledged under the
Climate Change Convention. Industrial countries
presented their plans in the shape of economy-wide
targets to reduce emissions, mainly up to 2020, while
developing nations proposed ways to limit their growth
of emissions in the shape of plans of action.

All industrialized countries submitted economy-wide emission reduction targets. A compilation of these economy-wide emission reduction targets has meanwhile been officially published and will be followed-up under the Climate Change Convention. A process of international assessment on the implementation of these targets will begin in 2011.


It was agreed that industrialized countries will boost the regular reporting of progress towards these targets by submitting detailed annual inventories of greenhouse gas emissions and by reporting on progress in emission reductions every two years. The guidelines for strengthened reporting are to be worked out and Governments’ views on how this may best be done were submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat by 28 March, 2011.


Additionally, industrialized countries agreed to develop low-carbon development strategies or plans, which will ensure robust foundations are built that will stand the test of time.

Industrialized countries are to increase
their reporting on GHG emissions.

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