Cancun Climate Change Summit Treaty Deal Reached With Kyoto Protocol Extended

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Cancun Climate Change Summit Treaty Deal Reached With Kyoto Protocol Extended

A last minute deal to re-commit to the Kyoto Protocol was finally reached yesterday at the Cancun Climate Change Summit Treaty Talks. Japan and Russia were reluctant to resign the agreement, but finally gave in to pressure. Japan was the last to agree after complicated legal maneuvering and pressuring from the other G20 countries. The Governments reached the historic deal on the climate that will commit all major economies to greenhouse gas cuts, and was four years worth of negotiations to conclude. The deal restored some faith in the process of the UN talks, but aren’t going to reduce temperatures as much as climate scientists say is needed, and again pushes most of the important decisions to future negotiations.

The accord did make some progress and reached agreements which should lead to less deforestation, the transfer of technologies to developing countries and the establishment of a yearly fund, potentially worth up to $1000 billion dollars, which would be used to help countries adapt to global warming. Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary who has led the UK’s negotiating team stated, “This is way better than what we were expecting only a few weeks ago. It’s a good deal which gives a new sense of momentum to climate change discussions.” He went on to add, This is a significant turning point. It clearly says that there should be reductions from developing countries. I would like to have seen a 2020 date for global emission to peak but this takes us forward to a legally-binding overall outcome.”

Bolivia was opposed to the deal, claiming that it would not stop the temperatures from rising by 4C and we know that 4C is unsustainable. They claimed that the deal was being pushed through without a consensus, “This has violated the multilateral rules because they didn’t respect the consensus – they are breaking the rules. This agreement won’t stop temperature from rising by 4C and we know that 4C is unsustainable,” said Pablo Solon who is Bolivia’s Ambassador to the UN. He also suggested Monday that if America and the other industrialized countries don’t to curb their emissions enough to prevent dangerous climatic change it was akin to committing mass murder. “Isn’t what we are talking about genocide?” he said to reporters.

Friends of the Earth International called the agreement “a slap in the face of those who already suffer from climate change and could still lead to a temperature rises of 5C. In the end, all of us will be affected by the lack of ambition and political will of a small group of countries. The US, with Russia and Japan are to blame for the lack of desperately needed greater ambition,” said NNimmo Bassey, the Friends of the Earth International Director. Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director Wnedel Trio stated, “Cancun may have saved the process but it did not yet save the climate. Some called the UN process dead but governments have shown that they can cooperate can can move forward to achieve a global deal.”

The talks also showed another familiar aspect, the US, Coal and Big Oil’s reluctance to take the lead in the process. With the government under financial pressures and under the thumb of big oil, they are reluctant to move forward towards a green economy, and would rather plug along with the current carbon economy. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina) stated “six months ago my biggest worry was that an emissions deal would make American business less competitive compared to China. Now my concern is that every day that we delay trying to find a price for carbon is a day that China uses to dominate the green economy.”

Another perspective on the American stance comes from Environmentalist Joss Garman, “And this brings us to the last big player in Cancun – Big Carbon. While the international oil companies and their ilk may not sit behind a UN flag, their influence on the talks is greater than that of most nation states. It was pressure from polluting industries that lay behind the Japanese decision to oppose an extension of the Kyoto Protocol. This comes as no surprise as these are many of the same companies that have America’s economy in a death grip – sacrificing its long-term prosperity to their own need to keep it permanently and fatally addicted to oil.”

With the Cancun Climate Change Summit Treaty Deal Reached With Kyoto Protocol Extended finally achieved, we can once again have hope that there will finally be a consensus and true deal in the future that will limit temperature rise to 2C, which is what most say is the tipping point. Anything beyond that will lead to insurmountable changes that will wreak havoc on our planet, and on all our lives, economies and well being. Our voices are starting to be heard, but not heard loud enough yet. Keep pushing my friends, the battle isn’t over yet, but we are making some headway against Big Oil and Coal, our two main adversaries, apparently. You’d think with all the blood money they have gotten from us and all the profits they have made over the years that they would diversify? Too easy I guess.

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