Determined to avoid the internatinoal stalemate that plagued the COP15 summit in Cophenhagen, global climate delegates to the United Nations worked into the wee hours of the morning to reach an agreement at COP16 in Cancun.
The “Cancun Agreement” was signed by all nations in attendance except Bolivia, and marks the first time that the nations responsible for around 80 percent of global pollution formally committed to limit their emissions.
“This is the first time we’ve seen the US together with China and all other major emitters anchoring their national pollution targets in a formal UN agreement – the significance of this should not be underestimated,” said Erwin Jackson, Climate Institute Deputy CEO.
“The Cancun Climate Summit also made real progress on setting out the rules and processes to reduce emissions from the destruction of tropical forests, drive technology cooperation and unlock billions of dollars in financing to low pollution economic development,” Jackson continued. “It is however disappointing that governments could not agree a 2050 pollution reduction target.”
Bolivia did not sign because it claimed the agreement was “tantamount to genocide” because the proposed cuts are not tough enough to stop dangerous global warming, according to the Telegraph UK.
This objection was not enough to persuade the other countries to halt their search for an agreement, however.
Although some are saying that the agreement does little but set up for the future climate talks that will take place in Australia at the 2011 summit, officials say the expectations were set low on purpose.
A green climate fund for developing nations, financial mechanisms for forest protection, and an executive committee in charge of transferring clean energy technologies to poorer nations were other outcomes of COP16, reports USA Today.
Image Credit: Flickr - UN Climate Talks