2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference

2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference

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The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Cancún
Cancún
Cancún is a city of international tourism development certified by the UNWTO . Located on the northeast coast of Quintana Roo in southern Mexico, more than 1,700 km from Mexico City, the Project began operations in 1974 as Integrally Planned Center, a pioneer of FONATUR Cancún is a city of...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. The conference is officially referred to as the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992...

 (UNFCCC) and the 6th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

. In addition, the two permanent subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC – the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)– held their 33rd sessions. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit, was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 December and 18 December. The conference included the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate...

 extended the mandates of the two temporary subsidiary bodies, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), and they met as well.

Background


Following the non-binding Copenhagen Accord
Copenhagen Accord
The Copenhagen Accord is a document that delegates at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to "take note of" at the final plenary on 18 December 2009....

 put forth in 2009, international expectations for the COP16 conference were reduced. Four preparatory rounds of negotiations (i.e. sessions of the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA) were held during 2010. The first three of these were in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, from 9 to 11 April, 1 to 11 June (in conjunction with the 32nd sessions of SBSTA and SBI), and 2 to 6 August. The Bonn talks were reported as ending in failure. The fourth round of talks in Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, made minimal progress and was marked by a clash between the US and China. The Ambo declaration
Ambo Declaration
The Ambo Declaration was adopted at the Tarawa Climate Change Conference on the 10th November 2010 by Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Fiji, Japan, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Tonga. The declaration calls for more and immediate action to be undertaken to...

 was adopted at the Tarawa Climate Change Conference
Tarawa Climate Change Conference
The Tarawa Climate Change Conference , was held in the Republic of Kiribati from 9 to 10 November 2010. The purpose of the conference was to support the initiative of the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, to hold a consultative forum between vulnerable states and their partners with a view of...

 on the 10th November 2010 by Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Kiribati, Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

, Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

 and Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

. It calls for more and immediate action, and was slated to be presented at COP 16.

Expectations



In August 2010, Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations, after succeeding Kofi Annan in 2007. Before going on to be Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he...

 stated that he doubted whether member states would reach a "globally agreed, comprehensive deal," suggesting instead that incremental steps might come. After the Tianjin talks in October Christiana Figueres
Christiana Figueres
Karen Christiana Figueres Olsen was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on 17 May 2010, succeeding Yvo de Boer. She had been a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team since 1995, involved in both UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol negotiations. She has...

, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said, "This week has got us closer to a structured set of decisions that can be agreed in Cancun ... This is the greatest societal and economic transformation that the world has ever seen." Other commentators spoke of a positive spirit of negotiation and of paving the way for agreement in Cancun.

Outcome


The outcome of the summit was an agreement adopted by the states' parties that called for a large "Green Climate Fund", and a "Climate Technology Centre" and network. It looked forward to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol.

The agreement recognizes that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet, which needs to be urgently addressed by all Parties. It affirms that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and that all Parties must share a vision for long-term cooperative action in order to achieve the objective of the Convention, including through achievement of a global goal. It recognizes that warming of the climate system is scientifically based and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid twentieth century are very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, as assessed by the IPCC
IPCC
IPCC may refer to:*Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the United Nations*Independent Police Complaints Commission, of England and Wales*Irish Peatland Conservation Council...

 in its Fourth Assessment Report.

The agreement further recognizes that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required, with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and that Parties should take urgent action to meet this long-term goal, consistent with science and on the basis of equity; and recognizes the need to consider, in the context of the first review, strengthening in relation to a global average temperature rise of 1.5°C. The agreement also notes that addressing climate change requires a paradigm shift towards building a low-carbon society.

The agreement calls on rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as pledged in the Copenhagen Accord
Copenhagen Accord
The Copenhagen Accord is a document that delegates at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to "take note of" at the final plenary on 18 December 2009....

, and for developing countries to plan to reduce their emissions.

The agreement includes a "Green Climate Fund," proposed to be worth $100 billion a year by 2020, to assist poorer countries in financing emission reductions and adaptation. There was no agreement on how to extend the Kyoto Protocol, or how the $100 billion a year for the Green Climate Fund will be raised, or whether developing countries should have binding emissions reductions or whether rich countries would have to reduce emissions first. Reuters Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle reported that to most delegates, though they approved it, the agreement “fell woefully short of action needed.”

The New York Times described the agreement as being both a "major step forward" given that international negotiations had stumbled in recent years, and as being "fairly modest" as it did not require the changes that scientists say are needed to avoid dangerous climate change
Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
The related terms "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" date to 1995 and earlier, in the Second Assesment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change and previous science it cites.In 2002, the United Nations...

. John Vidal, writing in The Guardian, criticised the Cancun agreements for not providing leadership, for not specifying how the proposed climate fund will be financed, and for not stating that countries had to "peak" their emissions within 10 years and then rapidly reduce them for there to be any chance to avert warming. Also criticised were the deferral of decisions on the legal form of and level of emission reductions required.

A 40-nation "transition committee" was to meet by the end of March 2011, but it was deferred until late April amid squabbles among Latin American countries and the Asia bloc about who should be on the committee. The committee is due to present a complete plan for the fund by the next climate conference in South Africa
2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference
The 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference is an ongoing conference, held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011....

 starting in November, 2011.

Adaptation


It decides to establish the Cancun Adaptation Framework and the Adaptation Committee, invites Parties to strengthen and, where necessary, establish regional adaptation centres and networks and notes that an international centre to enhance adaptation research and coordination could also be established in a developing country.

Mitigation

  • Developed countries should submit annual greenhouse gas inventories
    Greenhouse gas inventory
    Greenhouse gas inventories are a type of emission inventory that are developed for a variety of reasons. Scientists use inventories of natural and anthropogenic emissions as tools when developing atmospheric models. Policy makers use inventories to develop strategies and policies for emissions...

     and inventory reports and biennial reports on their progress.
  • Agrees that developing country Parties will take nationally appropriate mitigation actions in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, aimed at achieving a deviation in emissions relative to "business as usual" emissions in 2020. It decides to set up a registry to record nationally appropriate mitigation action
    Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action
    Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action refers to a set of policies and actions that countries undertake as part of a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The term recognizes that different countries may take different nationally appropriate action on the basis of equity and in...

    s seeking international support and to facilitate matching of finance, technology and capacity-building support to these actions. Once support has been provided they are called internationally supported mitigation actions (ISMAs), that will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification.

Finance


It takes note of the collective commitment by developed countries to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010–-2012 and recognizes that developed country Parties commit, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.

It decides to establish a Green Climate Fund, to be designated as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention. Also decides that the Fund shall be governed by a board of 24 members; the trustee shall administer the assets of the Green Climate Fund only for the purpose of, and in accordance with, the relevant decisions of the Green Climate Fund Board.

The conference establishes a Standing Committee under the Conference of the Parties to assist the Conference of the Parties in exercising its functions with respect to the financial mechanism

Technology


In technology development and transfer, decides to establish a Technology Mechanism, which will consist of a Technology Executive Committee  and a Climate Technology Centre and Network. The Climate Technology Centre and Network and the Technology Executive Committee shall relate so as to promote coherence and synergy. The Technology Executive Committee shall further implement the framework of the Convention (technology transfer framework) and Committee shall comprise 20 expert members. The Climate Technology Centre shall facilitate a Network of national, regional, sectoral and international technology networks, organizations and initiatives

Capacity-building


It reaffirms that capacity-building
Capacity building
Capacity building also referred to as capacity development is a conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations from realizing their developmental goals while enhancing...

 is essential to enable developing country Parties to participate fully in addressing the climate change challenges, and to implement effectively their commitments under the Convention.

Kyoto Protocol


The Outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol at its fifteenth session:
  • Recognizes that the contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC
    IPCC
    IPCC may refer to:*Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the United Nations*Independent Police Complaints Commission, of England and Wales*Irish Peatland Conservation Council...

    , to achieving the lowest levels would require Annex I Parties as a group to reduce emissions in a range of 25-40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 (close to the 51% reduction in a low-carbon society).
  • Urges Annex I Parties to raise the level of ambition of the emission reductions to be achieved.
  • In the second commitment period, the base year shall be 1990.
  • The global warming potential
    Global warming potential
    Global-warming potential is a relative measure of how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. It compares the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of the gas in question to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide. A GWP is calculated over a specific time...

    s shall be those provided by the IPCC.

See also

  • Bali Road Map
  • Climate Vulnerable Forum
    Climate Vulnerable Forum
    The Climate Vulnerable Forum is a global partnership of countries disproportionately affected by the consequences of global warming as a result of heightened socio-economic and environmental vulnerabilities that actively seek a firm and urgent resolution to a current intensification of climate...

  • Copenhagen Accord
    Copenhagen Accord
    The Copenhagen Accord is a document that delegates at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to "take note of" at the final plenary on 18 December 2009....

  • Debate over China's economic responsibilities for climate change mitigation
    Debate over China's economic responsibilities for climate change mitigation
    This article documents the debate over China's economic responsibilities for climate change mitigation and mitigation of climate change in China....

  • Joint Implementation
    Joint Implementation
    Joint implementation is one of three flexibility mechanisms set forth in the Kyoto Protocol to help countries with binding greenhouse gas emissions targets meet their obligations. JI is set forth in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol...

  • Politics of global warming
    Politics of global warming
    The politics of global warming have involved corporate lobbying, funding of special interest groups and public relations campaigns by the oil and coal industries which have affected policy decisions and legislation worldwide...

  • Post–Kyoto Protocol negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions
  • Tarawa Climate Change Conference
    Tarawa Climate Change Conference
    The Tarawa Climate Change Conference , was held in the Republic of Kiribati from 9 to 10 November 2010. The purpose of the conference was to support the initiative of the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, to hold a consultative forum between vulnerable states and their partners with a view of...

  • World People's Conference on Climate Change
    World People's Conference on Climate Change
    The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth was a global gathering of civil society and governments hosted by the government of Bolivia in Tiquipaya, just outside the city of Cochabamba from April 19–22, 2010...

  • 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference
    2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference
    The 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference is an ongoing conference, held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011....


External links