From 29 November to 10 December, environment officials and ministers are meeting in Cancún in Mexico for the UN climate change conference to continue efforts towards an international deal on cutting carbon emissions. They are working on a global agreement to succeed the Kyoto protocol - which came into force in 2005 and commits rich countries to cut their emissions by 2012 - after the talks at Copenhagen last year failed to replace it.
COP16 is the official name of the Cancún summit, which is the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP is the highest body of the UNFCCC and comprises environment ministers from 193 countries who have met once a year since the 1992 Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro.
After two weeks, the fate of negotiations at the U.N. Climate Change Conference remains uncertain. At the center of the debate is the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the only treaty that binds almost 40 rich nations to cut their greenhouse gases until 2012. Last week, Japan said it would oppose extending Kyoto unless the U.S. and China also sign on. The United States has long been criticized for never having ratified Kyoto despite being historically the world’s largest polluter.
On Tuesday December 7th, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, urged nations meeting in Mexico to agree to a modest deal to rein in climate change without holding out for perfection.
Unfortunately the most powerful leaders are not even attending the summit and mayor media outlets worldwide are not even reporting about it. One of the few exceptions and highly recommended is the coverage at www.democracynow.org.
WikiLeaks is also a hot topic at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancún after secret diplomatic cables revealed new details about how the United States manipulated last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen. The Guardian newspaper reported the cables provide evidence that spying, threats and promises of aid formed part of a U.S. diplomatic offensive to shore up the controversial Copenhagen Accord.
It's The Age of Stupid.
Check: Energy Union's project partner Friends of the Earth UK features an updated newsfeed on the conference in Cancún.