|Compromise Trumps Justice and Science
Written by Administrator
|Monday, 20 December 2010 11:25
Despite the optimism placed on them, the Cancun Agreements of the 2010 UN Climate Summit do not represent a success for multilateralism; neither do they put the world on a safe climate pathway that science demands, and far less to a just and equitable transition towards a sustainable model of development. They represent a victory for big polluters and Northern elites that wish to continue with business-as-usual.
The Agreements’ two main planks – the outcomes of the Convention and Kyoto Protocol negotiation tracks – merely anchor the pledges in the Copenhagen Accord into the UN climate process, and promise to continue talks on Kyoto’s second commitment period until 2011 in South Africa.
This means there is still no certainty on the future of Kyoto - the only legally-binding instrument for mitigation, whose first round lapses 2012, and which big developed countries such as the US and Japan have in word or deed abandoned – despite the fragile pledge to keep talking and ensure the first and second rounds of cuts carry on seamlessly.
This also means that the unjust Copenhagen Accord – which progressive governments and movements fought tooth and nail inside and outside the talks – is now firmly installed in the UN process, this time in official and more elaborate form.
In terms of mitigation architecture, the Agreements set up a pledge-and-review system that exempts the largest historical polluter US from taking on Kyoto-style obligations, while tasking poor countries to submit their mitigation actions to reporting and international analysis. Cancun is a step closer to the dismantling of the wall of equity and historical responsibility that has heretofore set apart Southern obligations from those of the North, despite the North’s failure to keep their end of the bargain.
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