State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Climate News Roundup – Cancun Summit

Baird to Flaunt Climate Cash at Cancun Talks Toronto Star, Dec 6.

Canada has committed a $400 million package to assist developing nations reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Canada’s environment minister John Baird highlighted the fact that while Canada is responsible for 2% of global emissions, it is paying for 4% of the $20 billion package promised by rich nations in Copenhagen to aid developing nations. Canada also agreed to cut its emission by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Climate Talks “Too Complicated”, EU Says as UN Negotiations Slow Bloomberg News, Dec 6.

Connie Hedegaard, the EU commissioner in charge of climate policy, said that countries must “step up” the pace of climate negotiations. Under UN rules, any joint declaration requires consensus of all nations, and therefore a single country can hold up the negotiation process. China, India and Brazil all say that industrialized nations need to make new commitments on deeper emission cuts.

Cancun Climate Change Summit: Japan Defiant in Face of Diplomatic Pressure The Guardian, Dec 8.

Japan’s climate negotiator, Akira Yamada, has reiterated that the country will not sign up for a second commitment period after the Kyoto Protocol expires, a stance supported by the EU. However, Yamada explained to the media that an agreement can still result from the summit, but that countries are still working on “finding the right wording”.

Cancun Climate Change Summit: “Leaked Documents Reveal Alternative Deal” The Guardian, Dec 9.

A move by Europe, Mexico and a small number of Pacific Island Nations to propose a new international climate treaty has angered China and India. These large developing nations are concerned that a new treaty will be used to abandon existing emission reduction obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

UN Climate Deal a Small Step Forward in Global Warming Fight The Huffington Post, Dec 11.

The Cancun Summit resulted in 193 countries agreeing to provide a fund for climate change adaptation but allowed for another year of negotiations on the question of whether and how much countries should further reduce their carbon emissions. Both the Mexican President and the chief EU climate negotiator praised the modest agreement framework. It is the first time in three years that a UN climate summit has yielded an official climate deal.

Bolivia Won’t Support Agreement Without Binding Emission Cuts The Hindu, Dec 12.

Bolivia’s chief climate negotiator Pablo Solon told a plenary session that the country will not support any climate agreement emanating from the Cancun summit if industrialized nations did not agree to another round of mandatory emission cuts. Bolivia’s stance was supported to some extent by countries such as Cuba and Venezuela. Mr. Solon commented that the deal was not tough enough to stop global warming.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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