The former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Brundtland and the former Prime Minister of Chile Ricardo Lagos team up in an op-ed that distills the concrete ways that the international community can make the climate conference in Cancun a success.
Prior to last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen, we served as Special Envoys of the United Nations Secretary-General, seeking to bring the nations of the world together around those negotiations. Like most people involved in the process, we sensed that a comprehensive agreement would elude our grasp, despite our best hopes.
Unfortunately, we were right. Despite the need for progress against a threat that grows more ominous the longer the world waits to act, Copenhagen did not give us the comprehensive agreement we wished for. However, important principles were laid down in the Copenhagen Accord, including agreement on:
-taking action to limit the increase in global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius;
– the need to establish a mechanism to mobilize financial support to combat deforestation;
– using markets to promote actions for reduced emissions; and
– levels of both short- and long-term climate financing, as well as the establishment of the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund.
Now, a year later, negotiators will gather once again, this time in Cancún, to resume the climate talks and see what progress can be made. As much as we would like to see a new global deal, we believe that the world is still not politically ready for it. Negotiators in Cancún should aim at building the pillars of a future comprehensive agreement, through an approach that seeks to build on the progress achieved in and after Copenhagen and encourages strong national action.