Cancun Climate Summit: Uncertainties loom

World leaders, Policy makers, Non Governmental Organizations, Research institutions and businesses are meeting in Cancun, Mexico, for the annual United Nations climate change conference. An estimated 10,000 people are expected to attend the conference which wraps up on December 10.

Climate change conference kicks off in Mexico

There are uncertainties with regards to the conference in Mexico because the meeting last year in Copenhagen was a total fiasco as no firm resolutions were reached.  Last year, the majority of developed countries were demanding emission cuts from emerging giants such as China and India. However these countries argued that richer countries should invest more money in the process, and that the richer nations are not living up to their own commissions. The result was that no specific decisions were made and no immediate actions taken.

The issue at hand is a difficult one, and could have many sides – including the aspect of conflict of interests among nations – especially in the light of the current economic situation. The only way to somehow resolve this conflict of interests is to build a solid foundation on which countries can base a platform for international cooperation. This means looking to find some kind of compromise on the problems of climate change, where emerging economies can continue developing, and developed countries can cope with the results of the economic recession.

Patricia Espinosa, the foreign minister of Mexico,  said that participants could come closer to agreement this time if the focus on issues such as adaptation, technology, reducing emissions due to deforestation and financing within the framework.

Delegates at Climate Change Conference

“Conflicts remain on issues such as transparency of emission-reduction figures, but all the negotiators realize that some elements must be continued, such as climate funding and forest protection,” said Li Yan, Beijing campaign manager for climate change at Greenpeace, reported Global Times.

Li said that this time, the negotiators will be more realistic in trying to reach a legally binding agreement at the summit.

Bi Xinxin, program officer of climate change in China for Oxfam Hong Kong, said that “emerging economies like China will certainly face pressure from developed countries as their robust economic growth causes huge amounts of greenhouse gases. But they are also determined to reduce emissions domestically,” he said, according to Global Times.

A positive outcome of last year’s summit was that developed countries pledged to provide $30 billion in climate aid between 2010 and 2012.

Despite the constant bickering over who should save money, and which countries should reduce emissions, however, both of the sides realize that it is absolutely necessary to find a common platform for cooperation.  It is important for all countries to realize, that, perhaps, in the case of global warming and climate change, it is crucial to look not at which countries are more developed, and can invest more money, or, on the other hand, which countries are causing the most greenhouse emissions. The important thing is to realize that countries must work together to come to a conclusion, because the future depends on the decisions that are made now.

The summit will seek to advance efforts that will establish a post 2012 climate treaty after the nearly failed Copenhagen summit.

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