2010 – COP 16/MOP 6, Cancún, Mexico
2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
This was the 16th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), so referred as COP 16.
This was also the 6th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, so referred as CMP6.
Background of the Summit:
On 18 December 2009 at the end of the COP 15 / MOP5 which was held at Copenhagen, Danish Capital a “Non binding Copenhagen Accord” was put forth. The disappointment of the COP-15 which could not produce a climate agreement at the Danish Capital had already raised the doubts whether a long running 194 nation’s talk would ever agree on a legally binding treaty for combating Global Warming.
The core failure of the COP meetings is in finding a consensus formula for mandatory reductions in the countries’ emission of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases.
Agenda of the Summit:
The Global sentiments after COP15 had left little chances for a substantial outcome from the COP 16.
It was already expected that a legally binding agreement would not come out from the Cancun summit.
So the main standoff was not expected to get resolved.
The focus was on secondary “building Blocks” such as climate financial aid, combating deforestation and other matters.
The agenda was also to build a momentum towards an umbrella deal going to happen at South Africa or possibly the Earth Summit 2012 at Rio de Janeiro.
Role of United States:
It’s a reality that a global agreement on climate cannot put much of the dent in world’s CO2 emissions without the help of the world’s largest emitter United States.
The previous Bush regime continued to oppose the mandatory emission reduction targets, leaving option for voluntary reduction targets with no teeth.
The takeover of the US house of representatives by the Republicans further resulted in dismissal of the evidence of the Human Caused warming and thus ruling out US action for at least 2 years.
The agenda for Cancun was also an agreement on a “Green Fund” to disburse the aid that the developed countries promised at Copenhagen i.e. $ 100 billion a year by 2020 for the developing countries to adapt the climate change by building the seawalls and shifting farming patterns and also to install clean energy sources.
The Developing countries expected better terms for transfer of patented green technology from the developed nations.
Prior to the COP 16, an Ambo declaration was adopted at the Tarawa Climate Change Conference on the 10th November 2010 by Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Fiji, Japan, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Tonga. This declaration called for an immediate action to be undertaken to address the causes and adverse impacts of climate change. The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, who also attended the conference, chose not to be part of the declaration by taking Observer status.
Outcome of the Summit:
The nations, as expected failed to adopt a binding climate treaty. The outcome of the summit was a nonbinding agreement which calls on the rich countries to cut their GHG emissions by the amounts the pledged one year ago at the COP15. Again, these cuts are not legally binding.
The agreement came up with a Green Fund and $ 100 billion a year that the wealthier countries would provide to the poorer countries to finance the programmes to cut emissions and cope with the drought and other methods.
India had its previous position of not any acceptance to the “binding emission cuts” but softened saying that it would consider in agreeing to the mandated cuts at some point in the future.
Our Minister said that “all countries must take binding commitments under appropriate legal forms” to control their emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG).
This was looked as a departure from India’s previous stand that it would not accept legally binding emission cuts.
It was declared “unacceptable” by the Indian Parliament in 2009.
The Minister has come under fire by the opposition parties which alleged that Jairam not only broken alliances with China, but also compromised India’s interest. These parties have asked the Government to come up with explanation of this renewed stand
2011 – COP 17/MOP 7, South Africa
The 2011 COP 17 is to be hosted by Durban, South Africa, from November 28 to December 9, 2011