Search Results for Tag: UN
Looking Back at Cancun
The climate talks in Cancun are over, and it's time to look at the big picture. Was it a success? One of our Deutsche Welle reporters, Torsten Schäfer, covered the summit and wrote a commentary after it was over. We're going to share it with you in three parts. So read along and let us know what you think!
Cancun: A Fragile Framework
In the end, the unexpected last-minute success at Cancun saved multilateralism and renewed international trust in UN-led negotiations. Still, much work is left to be done when it comes to fighting climate change. It's up to the EU to take charge, but first it has to find its voice again.
Expectations were modest at best going into Cancun–some experts even predicted a complete disaster. Despite the odds, negotiators were able to come up with a tangible framework. Their basic agreement is admittedly fragile and clouded by uncertainty. But still, international leaders created a foundation to build upon at the next climate talks in Durban. In Cancun, it wasn't the end product that was important but rather the process itself. The UN will continue to lead climate treaty negotiations–as long as each of the 194 participating countries is willing to put aside differences and forge a common climate policy. So that's how Cancun saved multilateralism, which is essential to international diplomacy and global climate policy.
That positive progress was sorely needed, especially after the complete failure in Copenhagen last year. Many people lost all faith in the concept of joint climate policy and in the UN as a whole. So Cancun was an important test of the UN's ability to win back trust and make some sort of progress before Durban. But environmental officials did one better: not only did they restore the international community's trust (thanks also in part to the UN biodiversity conference in Nagoya), but they also managed to find common ground on a series of concepts. Still, many questions remain unanswered–and that's one of Cancun's biggest shortcomings.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow….
DateDecember 14, 2010
Sturm und Drang (Storm and Urge) – 2 voices
The COP16 climate talks in Cancun have entered the final stretch, but the prospect that the conference will conclude with a substantial agreement is more remote than ever. Generelly there's a sense among participants that there's increasing urgency to the issue of climate change – and a degree of astonishment at the declining importance of the topic in the media and in public perception – no matter if it's in the US or across the pond.
Among those, that are most vociferously campaining for rapid action on climate change is 350.org, a global network of pressure groups and NGOs. We talked to 350.org's Mexico coordinator Marcelo Quintanilla, who believes that there's been too much talk but that the Cancun conference nevertheless offers a big chance for change.
Second, there's Dave Jones who works to "raise the environmental IQ of America" – the chosen tagline of his science-based communications agency StormCenter – dedicated to driving the urgency of climate change home to a US public increasingly unfazed by the issue. At the Cancun climate talks he runs a multimedia display in the US pavilion to educate visitors about the impact of climate change. Just two findings are: The oceans have measurably warmed down to depths of 300 meters and storms won't necessarily become more frequent but very much more destructive, he says.
DateDecember 8, 2010
One of the topics of discussion at COP16 will be something called REDD. What is it? It stands for 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation' and it's a UN forest protection program. Basically, wealthy nations pay developing countries to preserve their forests, and in return they get "carbon credit" to use in the global carbon trading industry. Some countries, like Indonesia, are already taking part in the project. What do you think? Is this a good way to save our forests?
DateNovember 28, 2010