UN-led climate negotiations in Mexico yesterday approved a deal after two weeks of talks and a final two days of virtually non-stop diplomacy.
Major powers including the US, EU, China, Japan and India all endorsed the deal. Bolivia was the only major holdout, but host Mexico overruled its objections.
Here are some key points in the agreement:
ACTIONS TO CURB
‧ Urges “deep cuts” in carbon emissions blamed for global warming to keep temperatures from rising no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Calls for a study on strengthening the goal to 1.5°C.
‧ Requires wealthy countries to cut emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. This section is under a working group on the Kyoto Protocol so it does not include the US, which rejected the treaty.
‧ Agrees to study new market mechanisms to help developing nations curb carbon emissions and to discuss the proposals at the next major climate meeting at the end of next year in South Africa.
ASSISTANCE FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
‧ Sets up a new international body, the Green Climate Fund, to administer money from wealthy nations for worst-affected countries. The EU, Japan and the US have led pledges of US$100 billion a year up to 2020, along with US$30 billion in rapid assistance.
‧ Invites the World Bank to serve as the interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund for three years.
‧ Sets up a 24-member board to lead the Green Climate Fund, with equal representation by developed and developing nations along with representatives from small island states which are most worried about climate change.
‧ Sets up a Climate Technology Center and Network to help distribute the technical know-how to developing nations to contain emissions and adapt to climate change.
‧ Voices broad support for efforts to reduce the destruction of forests, a leading cause of climate change as lush vegetation counteracts industrial pollution. Asks developing nations to draft anti-deforestation plans. However, the text does not include calls for a market role in such efforts.
‧ Urges all nations to respect the rights of indigenous people.
FUTURE OF KYOTO PROTOCOL
‧ Calls for wealthy nations to discuss a new round of emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol — whose requirements expire at the end of 2012 — “to ensure that there is no gap.” It does not require nations for now to inscribe their post-2012 commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Japan has led opposition to extending the treaty, saying it is unfair by not including China and the US.