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President Felipe Calderon hosts climate change summit

December 29, 2010 - MEXICO

Mexico hosts the United Nations 16th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change in Cancun with the aim of winning a binding replacement for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The parties agreed only on voluntary measures at the climate change summit in Copenhagen in Dec 2009. The Cancun meeting represents another shot at a binding pact for some 190 nations engaged in the talks. News about inaccuracies in UN climate data complicate the mission.

Mexico hosts the United Nations 16th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change in Cancun with the aim of winning a binding replacement for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The parties agreed only on voluntary measures at the climate change summit in Copenhagen in Dec 2009. The Cancun meeting represents another shot at a binding pact for some 190 nations engaged in the talks. The UN diplomat leading the climate negotiations, Christiana Figueres, said in a news conference that she is optimistic the Cancun talks can meet agreement. At a conference held in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, the parties to the Convention agreed to a protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by harnessing the forces of the global marketplace to protect the environment. The measures included emissions targets and timetables for industrialized nations. The Convention enjoys almost universal support: 192 countries have ratified it. Some leaders at Copenhagen agreed to a watered-down and voluntary version of the hoped-for accord. The Copenhagen Accord aims to jump-start immediate action on climate change and guide negotiations on long-term action pledging to raise $100 billion annually by 2020. It also includes an agreement to working towards limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius and efforts to reduce or limit emissions. Fifty-five countries submitted pledges for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by the 31 Jan deadline in the substitute document. Strong disagreements between wealthy industrialized nations and developing countries presented an obstacle to reaching a comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen and are likely to handicap the effort to forge a 2010 agreement in Mexico.

Environment ministers pledge to strengthen efforts for climate change: UN (UN 26 Feb 2010)

UN to launch review of embattled panel (Vancouver Sun/Canwest 27 Feb 2010)

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

United Nations Framework Congention on Climate Change (UN)

Date written/update: 2010-12-29