Progress in Cancun, Work Begins on Durban
December 12, 2010
Cancun — A new deal on climate change, struck in Cancun, Mexico, has brought greater optimism, and opened the way to addressing loss and damage in developing countries brought on by the impacts of global warming, including sea level rise.
The inclusion of the words "loss and damage", which could allude to compensation and a legal obligation on the part of developed countries, would have been unimaginable a year ago.
Countries have been asked to submit their views on the possible development of a climate risk insurance facility that would pay out after a severe weather event.
This was not the only surprise in the Cancun package. A Green Climate Fund, originally proposed by Mexico, will also be set up. "There is hope for the world," a young activist remarked.
The shape of a global climate change treaty - including adaptation beyond 2012 - was established in Cancun after delegates stayed up for two nights.
"In Durban we need a global deal that helps countries build a green economy, and that holds polluters accountable," said Wendel Trio, climate policy director of Greenpeace International.
"The governments not only acknowledged the gap between their current weak pledges and where they need to get to, they actually stated that emissions cuts needed to be in line with the science - 25 to 40 percent cuts by 2020 - and that they need to keep global temperature rise below two degrees [Celsius]," Trio noted.
The new deal calls on developed countries to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 in long-term finance to help developing countries, "But they didn't establish any way of providing that money," Greenpeace's Trio commented.
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