Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cancùn: the aftermath

"Many commentators have called the Cancún accord a "step in the right direction." We disagree: it is a giant step backward. The text replaces binding mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with voluntary pledges that are wholly insufficient. These pledges contradict the stated goal of capping the rise in temperature at 2C, instead guiding us to 4C or more. The text is full of loopholes for polluters, opportunities for expanding carbon markets and similar mechanisms – like the forestry scheme Redd – that reduce the obligation of developed countries to act."

- Pablo Solon, Bolivian Ambassador to the UN,
"Why Bolivia stood alone in opposing the Cancùn climate agreement".

Having read thousands of words of analysis of the recent Cancùn climate change conference (the next in the series of international meetings that met in Copenhagen last year), I am still undecided as to how to evaluate it. Was it a small step in the right direction, an incremental improvement in international diplomacy that will of necessity be slow or yet another catastrophic failure to act in the face of a worsening crisis? Or both?

Here are a few links to more positive evaluations: a necessary compromise; a good outcome; not the end but a new beginning. Or was it worse than Copenhagen ("Copenhagen without the sense of failure") and as such threatens the life of humankind?

If you have read any interesting analyses, post the links in the comments.
Image by Bree.