Progress in Cancun Climate Talks, Much Left To Do

In the wee hours of the morning, international negotiators announced we had an agreement in Cancun on some forward steps, building blocks toward a binding treaty we hope. There’s still a long way to go however, and a lot was left unfinished.

Joe Mendelson, global warming policy director of the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement today:

“Progress was made on a number of important issues, but it’s clear the Senate’s failure to pass clean energy legislation tied the hands of negotiators to come to a full global deal. Formally recognizing the Copenhagen reduction targets – including the U.S. 17 percent reductions by 2020 – still leaves the world woefully short of what needs to be done to tackle the climate crisis.”

NWF’s full release on the climate talks is here >>

Youth Climate Awards Canada one of multiple dubious fossil awards. Image from
The U.S. and Canadian delegations shared the dubious fossil awards for obstructing progress at various points in the negotiations. Canada, which extracts most of the world’s dirty tar sands, “won” multiple awards.

The talks were often tense, with speculation that Japan, Russia, Bolivia, China in addition to the U.S. were at times playing an unhelpful role. Nonetheless, the process worked to bring agreement in a variey of areas.

Barbara Bramble, NWF senior international affairs advisor said:

“While the process is cumbersome at times, the U.N.’s Framework Convention remains our best forum for convening global powers to solve a massive global problem. The process can work, and in fact produced some forward progress here in Cancun, particularly on deforestation and assisting vulnerable countries. But by not getting more done in Cancun, we are raising the stakes at the next round of talks in South Africa.”

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