Cancun Agreement Summary

Unlike Copenhagen, the majority of countries have described the process led by the Mexican Presidency as transparent, which has established a basis for confidence in the negotiations. During 2010, countries felt inclusively consulted and were not concerned about the creation of a “secret text” and an overdoing their work in Cancun. This trust was fundamental to reaching an agreement. Through REDD, Norway and Ecuador reported on the main outstanding issues: funding; The scope of a REDD mechanism The link between the national and sub-national levels; and MRV security. Ecuador said the parties were on the verge of reaching agreement on a balanced text. Norway called for a spirit of compromise and declared that “no family, no community, no international community can survive without compromise.” From the beginning, Cancun was very different from Copenhagen: fewer heads of state and government, less media intoxication and celebrity electrifying corridors and much lower expectations. Cancun was not expected to produce a “big bang” result, but it was widely seen as a springboard for a future agreement. Nevertheless, most conference participants agreed that the issue of multilateralism and the fate of the UNFCCC process was important: “If we do not reach agreement on this, I do not see how it would be otherwise next year,” commented one negotiator. Overall, participants agreed that a further failure could lead countries to remove the UNFCCC framework and take increasingly informal initiatives, hampering international cooperation on climate change. Some felt that this “real and concrete risk” to the UNFCCC process had increased the willingness of the parties, or even the determination to seek acceptable compromises in Cancun. With regard to REDD, the agreement reaffirms that, if adequate and predictable support is provided, developing countries should aim to slow, stop and reverse forest cover and carbon loss.

It encourages contracting parties in developing countries to contribute to the fight against climate change in the forestry sector by reducing emissions from deforestation and deterioration; Preserving carbon reserves in forests; Sustainable forest management; Improved carbon reserves in forests. As part of this objective, developing countries are invited to develop, as an intermediate measure, a national strategy or national action plan, national research values or sub-national benchmarks, a robust and transparent national forest monitoring system and an information system on how protection measures (in Appendix I of the decision) are addressed throughout implementation. With regard to technology transfer and technological development, the agreement provides that technology transfer and technological development consist of supporting mitigation and adaptation measures and identifying technological needs at the national level. A technology mechanism will be put in place, including an Executive Technology Committee (its composition and mandate are included in Appendix V of the decision) and a climate technology centre and network (CTCN). This summary follows the structure below.