Mixed progress sets the stage for major progress in South Africa

As the UN climate conference in Cancun finishes, the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition urged Governments to build on the progress made and aim for a major global deal at next year’s summit in Durban, South Africa.

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said: “Some good progress has been made on a Green Climate Fund, protecting forests and reporting systems, but there has been little movement on critical issues like setting targets under the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

"The meeting recognised that there is a big gap between what countries have promised to do and the scale of emissions reductions required by the science. However, there was little progress on closing this gap. This mixed progress means that the work over the next year needs to be more rapid if we are to meet the challenges of reducing emissions, helping the poor cope with a changing climate and steering the global economy towards low-carbon development."

“Overall some of the trust lost at Copenhagen has been rebuilt. It remains to be seen if there is commitment sufficient to produce agreement at the summit in a year’s time. That deal must keep any global temperature rise well below the danger threshold of 2 degrees centigrade.”

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland believes Scotland can demonstrate what can be achieved through setting ambitious targets such as the unanimous Scottish Parliament support to cut Scotland’s emissions by 42% (from 1990 levels) by 2020. Scotland’s Energy Minister, Jim Mather, is attending the Cancun meeting as a member of the UK delegation.

Tom Ballantine added: “It was important that a Scottish Minister was part of the official UK delegation to champion Scotland’s progressive climate change law.”

Stop Climate Chaos called on the Ministers in Cancun to:

  • Agree a process to deal with the 9 billion tonne gap between the reductions in carbon emissions pledged for 2020 and what the science shows is needed to stay well below a 2°C increase in average global temperature; PROGRESS – the gap between promises and what is required is formally acknowledged but little is proposed to fill that gap for now
  • Accept that climate change will have terrible impacts on vulnerable developing countries and agree to set up a fund, of at least $100 billion by 2020 of new and additional money, to safeguard people and nature from the worst consequences; PROGRESS – a new global green fund is to be created but sources of the finance are still to be decided
  • Agree a strong and fair mechanism to reduce deforestation and forest degradation; PROGRESS – not perfect but an important agreement was reached
  • Agree on a roadmap towards a fair, ambitious and legally binding global deal for climate action by the end of 2011. PROGRESS – clear how a deal could be done in South Africa but requires a lot more work from major countries between now and then.


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