New deal at Cancun

New deal at Cancun

$ 100 billion Green Fund set aside for global warming

New deal at Cancun

“Confidence is back, hope has returned,” host  Mexican President Felipe Calderon said, minutes after a set of decisions was adopted at the end of the two-week conference of ministers from nearly 200 countries.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh noted that the major emerging economies — Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) — had welcomed the decision.
“We are very happy with the text,” he said. “Cancun represents an important step forward.”

Progress at the conference includes a broad agreement on technology-sharing mechanism that will ensure that poor and vulnerable countries are able to access green technologies easily and in a cost-effective manner.

A “Green Fund” has been set up that is expected to mobilise $ 100 billion per year by 2020, which will be given to developing countries for adaptation and mitigation purposes. The nitty-gritty of the technology and finance mechanism still needs to be worked out.
The decisions reached in the conference will be followed up in negotiations next year, and it is hoped that a legally binding treaty emerges at the next climate meet in Durban, South Africa. Bolivia was the sole country to oppose the decision in Cancun, but was eventually overruled.

Many of the contentious issues had been bypassed to reach compromises in Cancun. For instance, no number had been given for further emission reductions under the Kyoto Protocol and there was no commitment to continue the Kyoto Protocol after it expires in 2012.

Some groups here said that it is a “weak” text that will eventually lead to the death of Kyoto Protocol, the only treaty that imposes legally binding cuts on developed countries. Others said that it is a workable “compromise” for the moment.

“Space has been given to dump the Kyoto protocol. The text allows for creation of new market mechanisms for carbon trading which could be built of the existing market mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol,” said Chandra Bhushan, from the Centre of Science and Environment.  Ramesh said that many of India’s contributions had been incorporated in the text, including the International Consultation and Analysis, which is a transparency mechanism to review whether developing countries are carrying out their domestic mitigation actions.

The minister pointed out that under the current texts, developed countries were subject to stricter scrutiny on their mitigation cuts than developing countries. He also highlighted that no “peaking year” for carbon emissions was mentioned in the draft and neither was a global emission reduction goal set for 2050.