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Monday, January 24, 2011

cancun fails to unite the world to combat climate change

Most of the developing countries have described the recent world summit on climate change called, COP16, at Cancun, Mexico, a failure while developed countries say some results were achieved.
One positive result was that the countries have agreed to keep the negotiation process on track with the parties to the convention agreeing to a general consensus.
This has led toward a possible binding deal at COP17 in South Africa next year. Known as the Cancun Agreement, the decisions adopted on the final day of the conference acknowledges for the first time in a U.N. document that global temperature must not rise more than 2 degree celsius above pre-industrial levels while global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be adequate and meet the 2-degree target.
The Agreement also recognizes the emissions reduction targets submitted by some countries till date including the United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters. Now, the countries will be required to report their greenhouse gas inventories annually to ensure their commitments.
Bhutan raised issues relating to least developed countries (LDCs) such as implementation of National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) for short term adaptation needs and the LDC Fund which is the mechanism supporting the glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) Risk Reduction Project of Thorthormi Lake.
In issues related to a future international climate change agreement, Bhutan joined other developing countries in calling for an Adaptation Framework which would include a wide range of activities and implementation arrangements for adapting the adverse impacts of climate change and the need to ensure the financial and technological support for such actions.
Bhutan pursued for the approval of simplified procedures for small scale clean development mechanism (CDM) projects in LDCs, and the conservation of forests.
The agreement at Cancun will also prevent deforestation, promote transfer of low carbon technologies to developing countries and establish a Green Climate Fund.
While in Cancun, the agriculture minister, Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho, leading the Bhutanese delegation, said that Bhutan, as a small landlocked and least developed country, with a fragile mountain ecosystem, is aware of the dangers of climate change and the threat it poses.
“The catastrophic glacial lake outburst floods, drying water sources, increasing landslides and flashfloods, freak windstorms, decreasing snowfall and unpredictable rainfall patterns were some of the adverse impacts of climate change in Bhutan,” said Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho.
Lyonpo mentioned that in view of these eminent threats, Bhutan has made concerted efforts toward pursuing the goal of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the highest UN body on climate change.
Increasing forest cover to over 70% of the land during the last few decades, protection of 50% of the land area as parks and protected areas, and adopting a green economic development policy to further enhance the protection of forests cover are a few efforts Bhutan has made.
“However, we are only too aware that our efforts are not enough and that we need both regional and global support to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change,” said Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho.
With the Cancun meet reigniting a ray of hope, the executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, said that nations have shown they can work together under a common roof, to reach consensus on a common cause.
“They have shown that consensus in a transparent and inclusive process can create opportunity for all,” she said.
Meanwhile, climate activist around the world have declared the summit a failure.
The director of Centre for Science and Environment in India, Sunita Narain, who is also one of the top advisors to the Indian government on climate change, said that instead of finalizing emission targets “it has been agreed that now these countries will take action based on what they ‘pledge’ to do.” She says that Cancun legitimizes the countries like the US with the “right to pollute,” and described the conference as a victory for the western leaders with the western media “ecstatic about the breakthrough.”

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