With the Cancun climate conference entering its final hours, delegates and observers conceded that although progress had been made on several important issues – forestry, clean technology cooperation, a green fund for poor countries – there were still many areas yet to be resolved, including the legal form of any agreement, private sector financing, and the future of the Kyoto protocol.
Ambassador Shin of South Korea told the FT: “We are going to have to leave many things as homework for the next year.”
Forestry is one of the key areas of focus at the Cancun climate change talks, now in their second week. A programme – called REDD, for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation – that would provide poor countries with financial incentives to keep their remaining forests standing is being worked out, and has broad support.
Getting to this point has taken nearly two decades, even though keeping trees standing is by far the cheapest way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and staving off dangerous levels of global warming.
Some of the problems that have plagued the forestry talks include how to ensure that if logging is stopped in one part of a forest, it does not resume elsewhere; how to define land that has been degraded but could be restored; how to monitor the vast tracts of trees; whether and how to allow some forms of sustainable logging; and how to respect the rights of indigenous forest peoples.
As ministers, negotiators, NGOs and reporters prepare to jet off to Cancun for the annual UN climate talks, five prominent delegates outline what they want to see from the next two weeks of talks.
Keep your eye on Energy Source throughout the Cancun summit for Fiona’s regular posts, plus thoughts from other delegates around the summit.
Are you going to Cancun? Comment below on what you want to see happen. And if you want to post for the FT on your experiences while there, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.