Summary: Cancun Climate Change Conference

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Sixteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Sixth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol

November 29-December 10, 2010
Cancún, Mexico

Agreeing to put aside for now issues that have stalemated international climate talks for years, governments meeting at the U.N. Climate Conference in Cancún, Mexico, approved a set of decisions anchoring national mitigation pledges, and taking initial steps to strengthen finance, transparency, and other elements of the multilateral climate framework.

In large measure, the Cancún Agreements import the essential elements of the Copenhagen Accord into the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including mitigation pledges and operational elements such as a new Green Climate Fund for developing countries and a system of “international consultations and analysis” to help verify countries’ actions. Agreement hinged on finding a way to finesse the more difficult questions of if, when, and in what form countries will take binding commitments. The final outcome leaves all options on the table and sets no clear path toward a binding agreement.

Click here for a complete summary of the Cancún Agreements.

The summary was written by Elliot Diringer, Vice President for International Strategies, with contributions from International Fellows Kate Cecys and Namrata Patodia Rastogi.

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