The Cancun Calculation

CancunClimate talks in Cancun, that were four years in the making, successfully sparked a new deal on climate change. About 175 nations agreed to salvage the disappointing results of the Copenhagen.

The extra sessions, of at least a week long each, and a linked plan to prepare new draft U.N. climate texts would help pave the way to the next annual meeting of environment ministers in Cancun, Mexico, November 29-December 10.

The agreement will help prevent deforestation, promote the transfer of low-carbon technologies to developing countries and, by 2020, establish a green fund, worth $100bn (£63bn) a year.

Under the agreement, substantial lessening of carbon emissions will keep global temperature rise to 2°C–and possibly build up that target to 1.5°C.

The problem is: the amount of emission reductions being pledged are insufficient to meet that goal. They are now roughly at 15% below 1990 levels by 2020 when 40% is the amount needed.

The establishment of the Green Climate Fund, led by 24 representatives from both developed and developing nations, equally divided between the two, money from wealthy nations is to be distributed to poor nations to assist with climate change mitigation and adaptation. $30 billion in assistance money has been pledged by the European Union, United States and Japan, in addition to $100 billion a year starting in 2020.

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