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International Meetings

2010 UN Climate Meetings:
COP 16 & CMP6 - Cancun, Mexico

COP16 logoThe United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010, includes the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). The thirty-third sessions of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the fifteenth session of the AWG-KP and thirteenth session of the AWG-LCA also will meet in Cancun.

To discuss future commitments for industrialized countries under the Kyoto Protocol, the Conference of the Parties, serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), established a working group in December 2005 called the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP). In Copenhagen, at its fifth session, the CMP requested the AWG-KP to deliver the results of its work for adoption by CMP 6 in Cancun.

View recommended links

View highlights from the first week

View highlights from the second week

Canada: Climate Change Laggard

Germanwatch report cover In December 2010 Germanwatch and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe released the sixth annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), which evaluates and ranks the 57 highest-emitting countries based on their emissions and climate policies. Canada placed 54th out of 57 countries, ahead of only Australia, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia. The survey consults 190 climate experts around the world and considers an analysis of national priorities, the strength of countries climate policies, and how well that country controls greenhouse gas emissions.

It's the sixth year in a row Canada has been judged an international laggard, and placed near the bottom of the CCPI. For the 2010 report, Canada ranked 56th out of 57 countries evaluated.

"Although Canada scored poorly across the board, its national policies were its greatest source of weakness. Sadly, that's not a surprise, as the federal government has failed to put in place the key policies needed to cut Canada's greenhouse gas pollution. It's worth noting that Norway — like Canada, a cold country that exports oil and gas — finished third overall, earning a high score on climate policy," stated Matthew Bramley, Director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program.

View December 6, 2010 Gemanwatch, Climate Change Performance Index 2011
View December 6, 2010 CBC article
View December 6, 2010 Winnipeg Free Press (online) article
View December 6, 2010 660 AM News (Calgary) article
View December 6, 2010 article
View December 8, 2010 Troy Media article
Source: Germanwatch, CBC

Cancún Creates Hope for Durban

COP16 logo "Confidence is back. Hope has returned!" exclaimed Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the conclusion of the Cancún Climate Conference. Delegates meeting at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), representing 193 countries, overcame deep suspicion and geopolitical rivalries, approving the Cancún Agreements which commit countries to increase their effort to battle climate change and preserves key principles of the Kyoto Protocol. "With this agreement, we have broken out of the inertia and feeling of hopelessness," added Calderon.

"We are much further than we thought we would be before coming to Cancún," said Wendy Trio, climate policy director for Greenpeace.

Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa was widely credited for her deft and transparent management of the intricate and often-heated negotiations. She avoided the mistake of last year's Copenhagen meeting -- where major countries crafted a deal behind closed doors that was later rejected by the convention as a whole -- while still managing to keep negotiations on track.

Achievements of the climate conference include:

  • Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation - an agreement that could play a role in helping prevent deforestation of developing nations by paying poorer nations to stop cutting down forests;
  • Establishment of a fund that will raise and disburse $100bn a year by 2020 to protect poor nations against climate impacts by assisting with low-carbon development.
  • Mechanism to transfer low-carbon technologies to developing countries.
  • Developing countries will have their emission-curbing measures subjected to international verification - when they have received the funds they have been promised by the west.

Chief U.S. negotiator Todd Stern said the deal "while not perfect, is certainly a good basis for moving forward, putting the world on a more hopeful path toward a low-emissions and sustainable future."

"Today's result chases away many of the ghosts of Copenhagen. Although the result is very far from perfect, the Cancun climate talks took real steps forward, including establishing a new global climate fund. Unfortunately Canada was singled out as a laggard among its peer countries, particularly on the question of the second phase of Kyoto," said Pembina Institute Policy Analyst Clare Demerse.

After tallying up 6 Fossil of the Day awards over the course of the Cancún climate talks, Canada was dishonored with the Colossal Fossil of the Year award for the fourth year in a row. The Fossil awards are voted on by over 500 leading international organizations to the country who has done the most to disrupt or undermine the UN climate talks. Canada is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, but the Canadian government backed out of Kyoto in 2006, and refused to commit to a second reporting period under Kyoto at Cancún.

The next Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC is scheduled for Durban South Africa from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

View Cancún Agreements on UNFCC webpage
View December 11, 2010 The Globe and Mail article
View December 11, 2010 United Nations press release
View December 11, 2010 Climate Action Network release
View December 12, 2010 Guardian article
View December 12, 2010 CTV News article
View December 13, 2010 Vancouver Sun article
View December 13, 2010 New York Times article
View December 13, 2010 ABC News article
Source: United Nations, The Globe and Mail, Climate Action Network

Manitoba Wildlands will be providing selected and recommended links for news, reports, and analysis regarding the UN Cancún Climate Summit December 2010. Media releases and clips will be listed by: Pre-Conference, During-Conference, and Post-Conference. Sub pages will appear below.

Videos/Podcasts:   video
Media Releases - Post-Conference:
Media Releases - Week 2:
Media Releases - Week 1:
Media Releases - Pre-Conference:

Cancun 2010 Highlights: Week Two

Quebec Premier Receives Australian Award

Quebec's Premier Jean Charest was given the South Australian International Climate Change Leadership Award in Cancun. Australia hands out the award every year to recognize a political leader for their contribution to stopping climate change.

Read on...

Alberta environment minister defends oilsands before Europeans

Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner defended the oilsands by meeting with influential officials from the European Parliament who have criticized impact of the oilsands at climate talks in Cancun.

Read on...

Cancun Talks Hears Canada's Message

Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, spoke to international climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, Tuesday December 7. Baird said he wants a new, international binding agreement that will see emissions stabilize and then decline, but he wants it to apply to all nations equally, even developing nations. Less developed countries such as China, South Africa, India and Brazil were not required to limit their emissions under the Kyoto protocol.

Read on...

Minister Baird's Coal Confusion

Environment Minister John Baird arrived in Cancun confused about what exactly Canada is and is not doing to combat global warming. Leading organizations across the country are calling on Minister Baird and the Canadian government to come clean on misleading claims that Canada has banned coal-fired electricity generation.

Read on...

Cancun Climate Conference: Fears Over Global Deal On Forests

A global deal to save rainforests, backed by the Prince of Wales, hung in the balance at the Cancun climate change talks as countries struggle to agree on how to stop deforestation.

Read on...

China Says Can Make Carbon Cuts "Binding"

China is willing to make its voluntary carbon emissions target part of a binding U.N. resolution. This concession may pressure developed countries to extend the Kyoto Protocol.

Read on...

China, India, Brazil Push U.S. for Deeper Greenhouse Gas Cuts

China, India, Brazil and South Africa said the U.S. must pledge deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to help make progress in United Nations climate talks.

Read on...

Pembina Reacts: Canada Again Ranks Near Last in Global Climate Change Performance Index

Canada continued a troubling tradition, once again finishing near the bottom of the Climate Change Performance Index, an evaluation of countries' success in tackling climate change. Just three countries of the 57 evaluated fared worse: Australia, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia.

Read on...

Cancun 2010 Highlights: Week One

Saudi Arabia Earns 1st Place Fossil Of The Day For Trying To Silence Civil Society

Saudi Arabia earned the 1st place Fossil of the Day for trying to limit civil society's participation and voice in the negotiations. This is Saudi Arabia's second Fossil at the Cancun negotiations.

Read on...

Climate Action Network Canada response to Executive Secretary's comments on Canada and the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol

The Executive Secretary's identified Canada as one of the very few countries that will not commit to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Read on...

2010 Set To Be Canada's Warmest Year Yet

The year 2010 is expected to be one of the three warmest years worldwide since the collection of reliable climate data began - and Canada's on track to record its hottest year yet. Data released by the UN's weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization, provides further evidence of a warming trend due to the rise in man-made greenhouse gases. During the first 10 months of 2010, the global combined sea surface and land surface air temperature was 0.55 degrees C above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14 degrees C.

Read on..

Summary of Developed Countries Fast Start Climate Finance Pledges

World Resources Institute (WRI) carried out a preliminary analysis based on available information on countries' immediate pledges announced thus far in Cancun. The accompanying table sets out both the amounts and the mechanisms by which funding would be delivered. WRI has also looked at whether these pledges will provide "new and additional" funds compared to existing official development assistance.

Read on...

Summary of UNFCC Submissions

Summary of Country submissions April 2010 through November 2010 in the lead up to the 2010 Cancun negotiations. Tables summarize various aspects of Party submissions and categorize them into main sections.

Read on...

Over a Dozen Countries Share Fossil Awards for Carbon Capture & Storage "Hot Air" - Climate Action Network-International

From Norway to New Zealand and Algeria to Australia, thirteen countries shared the "prize" of two Fossils of the Day for promoting carbon capture and storage in the Clean Development Mechanism, and trying to preserve the "hot air" of surplus Assigned Amount Units in future commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol.

Read on...

Thousands in Mexico Rally as Cancun negotiations begin - Reuters (Video 1:56)

As the U.N.'s climate change conference kicks off in Cancun thousands of environmentalists rally in Mexico City hoping these talks will lead to an agreement.

Read on...

Japan Wins 1st (and Only) Place Fossil of the Day for Trying to Kill Kyoto Protocol - Climate Action Network-International

Japan received the dubious distinction of being the only government to win a Fossil of the Day award November 30 for its efforts to prevent the continuation of a protocol to the United Nations climate convention that was agreed to in its own city of Kyoto.

Read on...

Canadian Youth Delegation in Cancun hosts peaceful sit-in to solve accreditation issues - Canadian Youth Delegation Wordpress

The Canadian Youth Delegation (CYD) staged a peaceful sit-in at Hostel Moloch thanks to accreditation issues that kept the CYD out of the climate negotiations. The sit-in began on November 28 when delegates learned a glitch in the UNFCCC system was preventing the CYD from accessing accreditation badges.

Canada: Once, Twice, Three times a Dinosaur! - Climate Action Network-International

The Canadian government, led by returned Environment Minister John Baird, kicked off United Nations (UN) climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, by winning three Fossil of the Day awards - first, second and third place simultaneously!

Read on...

Canada won't follow U.S. plan to cut greenhouse gases: Baird - CP

The Harper government has no plans to follow a U.S. initiative to slash greenhouse gas emissions of big polluters - even though Ottawa had pledged to harmonize its climate policies with the Americans.

Read on...

Climate deal not expected at Cancun says Canada's lead Negotiator - CBC

This year's UN climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, is unlikely to yield a deal that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, says Canada's negotiator Guy Saint-Jacques.

Read on...

Lead Canadian negotiator in Cancun calls entire UNFCCC process into question - Globe and Mail

Canada's chief negotiator, Guy Saint-Jacques, questions whether the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) is the best forum for climate negotiations, and downplays possibility of success in Cancun.

Read on...

Documents show Canadian collusion with oil companies to kill U.S. and E.U. climate legislation - Climate Action Network-Canada

Government letters, memos, speeches, and lobbyist reports assembled through freedom of information requests by Pembina Institute, Natural Resources Defence Council, and Climate Action Network-Canada point to a coordinated lobbying strategy to kill climate change policies in other countries.

Read on...

We Must Stop Climate Change
We Can Do it in Cancun

by Claudia Salerno, Venezuela's Climate Negotiator

As Venezuela's lead negotiator on climate change, I recently participated in a preparatory round of negotiations in China leading up to the global summit in December in Cancun, Mexico. This summit will take up where the 2009 Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change left off.

Much has been said in the media about the meeting, and one thing is certainly true - there is plenty of frustration and uncertainty about the possibility of achieving an agreement on climate change by year's end. But this does not mean it is impossible.

In fact, it is quite achievable if there is the political will to do so. Developed countries need only to commit to fulfilling their existing first period reduction obligations established by the Kyoto Protocol and pledge to substantially reduce and reabsorb their domestic greenhouse gas emissions in accordance to a second commitment period to be established in Cancun.

View November 3, 2010 AlterNet article

Dion Maps Road to COP16

COP16 logoIn a September 6, 2010 address to the Technológico de Monterrey, a Mexican private educational institution, Canadian MP and former Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion outlined the challenges on the road towards COP 16 in Cancún, Mexico, November 29-December 10 2010.

COP 16, or the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and 6th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, will continue negotiations from the 2009 Copenhagen sessions, including to have a binding international agreement in place before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

downloadDownload September 6, 2010 Notes for an address by the Honourable Stéphane Dion (DOC)

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