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Last Minute Deal Struck in Cancun

  • Posted by Neil Simonton on December 12, 2010 in Energy
  • The Cancun climate talks are a wrap, and to no one's surprise, negotiators failed to agree to a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. So that's crap.

    But! At the nth hour, an agreement was hammered out to save the UN climate negotiation progress. Which may not sound like much, but compared to the debacle of the Copenhagen talks, when it looked like future cooperation was in jeopardy, it's something.

    The agreement also establishes the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations adapt to rising temperatures. The EU, US, and Japan pledged $30 billion in rapid assistance money with another $100 billion a year starting in 2020.

    In the climate aspect of the agreement, deep cuts in carbon emissions are called for to keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees celsius. But the total amount of emission reductions pledged won't be enough to meet that goal and it isn't legally binding in any case.

    Meanwhile, smaller scale actions between individual states are picking up some of the slack. Businesses in California made a pact to offset emissions by funding tropical forest preservation in Mexico and Brazil; Japan agreed to help pay for nuclear power plants in developing countries; and South Korea said it will invest in renewable energy at home.

    Photos, L-R: A WWF member lights a candle in preparation for a summit event (Eduardo Verdugo/AP), 350.org activitst demonstrate before the cameras during the conference (AP), Greenpeace activists submerge models of world famous buildings in Cancun (AP)


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