The Cancun Climate Change Conference drew almost 12,000 participants, including 5,200 government officials, 5,400 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations, and 1,270 accredited members of the media.
The meeting produced the basis for the most comprehensive and far-reaching international response to climate change the world had ever seen to reduce carbon emissions and build a system which made all countries accountable to each other for those reductions. Here is the overview of the Cancun Agreements, and here are the Cancun Agreements decisions in full.
Among the highlights, Parties agreed:
On the mitigation front, developed countries submitted economy-wide emission reduction targets and agreed on strengthened reporting frequency and standards and to develop low-carbon national plans and strategies. Developing countries submitted nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), to be implemented subject to financial and technical support. Work continued on shaping the form and functions of a registry for NAMAs to enable the matching of such actions with finance and technology. Developing countries were also encouraged to develop low-carbon national plans and strategies.
Work also progressed on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), boosting capacity-building in developing countries, and how to deal with any consequences of response measures to action on climate change. Governments also agreed to include carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), subject to technical and safety standards.
A note on the gaps
By agreeing on a maximum two degrees Celsius temperature rise, countries sent the strongest signal ever that there would be shift towards a low-carbon global economy. However, all pledges put forward by governments came to a combined total of only 60% of the emission reductions needed for a 50% chance of keeping temperatures below that goal. And the conference left the future of the Kyoto Protocol unresolved, which also left open the question of the fate of the international carbon market.
ENB | Newsletter | Community Tools
UNFCCC emissions data visualized using Google Maps
Gateway to the UN System's Work on Climate Change
Access unfccc.int using your mobile device from mobile.unfccc.int
Download the NEW iPhone/iPad app – 'Negotiator' – free of charge here
International Year of Biodiversity