News / Americas

UN Climate Talks End With Limited Agreements

which includes a multibillion-dollar Green Climate Fund to help poor countries deal with climate change.

Delegates look over the final draft agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico
Delegates look over the final draft agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico

Multimedia

Greg Flakus

After two weeks of deliberations and negotiations, representatives of more than 190 nations have concluded the  Uniten Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico with agreements to establish a fund to help poor countries deal with climate change and a body to help nations adapt. But the biggest achievement may have been keeping the process alive.

After a marathon session that went into the early morning hours Saturday, the climate change conference came to a close with a range of broad agreements.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, speaking as leader of the host nation, hailed the achievement. "With this accord you have altered the inertia and have changed the feeling of collective powerlessness for hope in multilateralism," he said.

One of the key agreements here in Cancun was the creation of a global fund through which industrialized nations will provide support to both climate change mitigation and adaptation in poor nations.

Expectations were low for this conference, following what was widely seen as the failure of last year's conference in Copenhagen. Many participants and observers from non-governmental organizations were questioning the multilateral process itself. But environmental groups expressed satisfaction with what was accomplished here in Cancun, saying the talks had moved the process forward on several fronts raising expectations for next year's conference in Durban, South Africa.

Tara Rao, Senior Policy Advisor on Global Climate for the World Wildlife Fund, told VOA this conference was productive. "I think this is a good start. This is something that provides the foundation to move forward. I think we have elements here that provide a good move towards putting together a legally binding agreement for South Africa," she said.

Rao says what is most important in the results of the Cancun meeting is that nations moved forward on all of the main issues rather than concentrating on only a few. She says this will help next year's conference participants work on a full package rather than just parts.

But not everyone was that optimistic. Some observers from non-governmental organizations say that, while Cancun did move the process forward, it would be unrealistic to expect  a full, comprehensive agreement by next year.

One sticking point that remained at the close of this conference concerned the so-called REDD program. REDD is an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. Coming into the conference this was seen as the program with the most potential for broad agreement, but negotiations fell into a morass of details over financing and implementation of the plan to fund forest preservation in poor countries. Conferees ended up approving a watered-down agreement with Bolivia holding out in protest.

Environmental organizations say progress on REDD is crucial since a forest operates as a carbon sink - pulling in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Every year more than five million hectares of forests are lost to logging around the world. Climate activists say it is crucial to put an end to that and to encourage preservation and protection of forests.


You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Raul Castro Steps Out of Brother's Shadow With US Deal

Cuban president scores diplomatic triumph, surge in support with this week's deal that ends decades of hostility with United States
More

US Report: Immigration Officials' Apprehensions Rose in 2014

Apprehensions of Mexicans fall 14 percent; those of individuals from other countries, predominantly in Central America, rise 68 percent
More

Strife, Mutual Interests Mark Cuba-US Ties

Island nation was once a vacation destination for Americans; over years, many Cubans sought refuge across the Florida Straits
More

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change
More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings
More

Cubans Imagine New, More Prosperous Life Without an Old Foe

News of the historic shift in US-Cuban relations echoed quickly through the Spanish colonial plazas of Old Havana this week
More