Cancun summit nod to climate fund
A UN conference on Saturday adopted a modest climate deal creating a fund to help the developing world go green, though it deferred for another year the tough work of carving out deeper reductions in carbon emissions causing earth to steadily warm.
Though the accords were limited, it was the first time in three years the 193-nation conference adopted any climate action, restoring faith in the unwieldy UN process after the letdown a year ago at a much-anticipated summit in Copenhagen.
The Cancun Agreements created institutions for delivering technology and funding to poorer countries, though they did not say where the funding would come from.
In urging industrial countries to move faster on emissions cuts, it noted that scientists recommended reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial countries by 25 to 40 per cent from 1990 levels within the next 10 years. Current pledges amount to about 16 percent.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, in a 4 am speech, declared the conference "a thoroughgoing success," after two separate agreements were passed. The agreements shattered "the inertia of mistrust" that had settled over the frustrated efforts for a broad climate treaty, he said. One of the agreements renewed a framework for cutting greenhouse gas emissions but set no new targets for industrial countries.
The second created a financial and technical support system for developing countries facing grave threats from global warming. Foreign secretary Patricia Espinosa, the conference president, gaveled the deal through early Saturday over the objections of Bolivia's delegate, who said it was so weak it would endanger the planet.
Decisions at the UN climate talks are typically made by consensus, but Mr Espinosa said consensus doesn't "mean that one country has the right to veto" decisions supported by everyone else. The accord establishes a multibillion dollar annual Green Climate Fund to help developing countries cope with climate change, though it doesn't say how the fund's money is to be raised.
Last year in Copenhagen governments agreed to mobilise $100 billion a year for developing countries, starting in 2020, much of which will be handled by the fund. The agreements also set rules for internationally funded forest conservation, and provides for climate-friendly technology to expanding economies.
Mr Espinosa won repeated standing ovations from a packed conference hall for her deft handling of bickering countries and for drafting an acceptable deal, though it fully satisfied no one.
"It's been a challenging, tiring and intensive week" said US special climate envoy Todd Stern, clearly content with the results.
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