The Skywriter

And still, there is hope in Cancun.

6
Dec

And still, there is hope in Cancun.

cancun sunrise.jpg

We are about to enter Week 2 of the U.N. climate negotiations. It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours.

We arrived late Saturday night and immediately trotted down to Señor Frog’s, where the civil society representatives at the talks were partying like it was 1999. It felt like a climate spring break, maybe because some folks required a shot of tequila or two to deal with a couple key disappointments during Week 1.

Notably, Japan reneged on the Kyoto Protocol (the irony is painful), and four Republican U.S. Senators trumpeted their ignorance in a letter that denied climate science and demanded that President Obama abandon his commitment to desperately-needed climate finance for poor nations. Although Japan is the only country to officially come out in opposition to continuing the Kyoto process past 2012, Russia and Canada are widely presumed to be hiding comfortably behind Japan’s proverbial fig leaf.

And still, there is hope in Cancun. Despite playground politics amongst Kyoto signatories (which notably do not include the U.S.), we still have a fair amount to potentially gain, including progress on financing climate adaptation and mitigation.

Though the devil as always is in the details, the creation of a global climate fund would spell success for many climate activists. There is also hope that Cancun would create a framework that would lead to progress in Durban, South Africa next winter, demonstrating ongoing commitment to the UN process.

Lastly, there are a slew of policy vehicles, such as the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), MRV (Measuring, Reporting, and Verification) and technology transfer, which present opportunities for small steps forward.

As we enter Week 2 here, we’ll be reporting out on a lot of different issues, and we’ll be eager to hear your opinions too. Let us know what interests you most about the talks, and how we can get the right information out to you!

Over and out.

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