UN Climate Talks Moving Full Steam Ahead

Climate talks in Cancun, Mexico have been much more successful than previous conferences, and by Friday a global climate could be in place.
Future cuts in carbon emissions and strictly monitoring countries’ actions were at the forefront of UN climate talks that are moving into their final stages this week. The talks, which include 193 nations, will end on Friday, and various government ministers and leaders have been applying as much political force as they dare in order to move toward a nearly global accord. The meetings, occurring in Cancun, Mexico, are pressuring many government officials to cobble together at least a preliminary agreement in order to restore some confidence in the summit, the last of which, in Copenhagen, failed to produce a binding agreement.

Noted Connie Hedegaard, "We cannot leave Cancun empty-handed." That was the sentiment of many at the conference which, among other things, seeks to establish a so-called "green fund" to help financially challenged nations reduce greenhouse gases, make it easier for nations to obtain patented green technology and compensate poorer nations for maintaining forested areas. Noted Hedegaard, "These texts cover all the elements for a balance package, and that is good. We have a basis to work from this week."

One major breakthrough of the conference came when China agreed to allow other countries within the group to review climate initiatives that have received financing internationally. The Chinese then agreed to open up all their initiatives – including those funded solely by the Chinese state – to international review. Altogether, the strides forward have been fairly significant, but by Friday even greater clarity should be achieved and we will know if a global accord has been reached.

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