The Cancun conference produced nothing concrete except to meet in Durban, South Africa in 2012.
There were no carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets to reach, but each country can pledge its own target and the U.N. will check to see if they are achieved.
As one publication put it: “The essence of the non-deal deal reached at Cancun: Japan, Russia and other countries sick and tired of the idiocies of the Kyoto Protocol agree to say nothing that prevents other countries from pretending that the Kyoto Protocol lives; advanced industrial countries agree to keep discussing the fantasy that by 2020 they will be collectively shipping $100 billion a year to developing countries; developing countries agree to pretend to believe this will happen; countries agree to continue making laughably inadequate and also non-binding ‘pledges’ on carbon emissions; and everyone agrees not to think about the reality that pigs will fly before a treaty embodying any of these ideas will be ratified by the US Senate.”
Regarding dollars for developing countries, it is unlikely that a Republican-controlled Congress will approve such waste.
The Australian notes an irony of the conference: “The influx of 15,000 people attending the UN conference left a massive carbon footprint. The Mexican government puts the figure at 25,000 tonnes based on emissions caused by flying people across the world, bussing them between conference venues, feeding them and providing electric power….. this carbon footprint was equivalent to the output over two weeks from a small African nation of the type the UN wants to save.”
The Wall Street Journal opines: “World leaders at a climate-change conference in Cancun, Mexico, made clear that addressing the issue will be all about money, agreeing that rich countries would spend potentially trillions of dollars to help poor countries develop on a greener path.
But the diplomats postponed hashing out which rich countries would pay how much, and exactly what the poor countries would have to do to get the checks.
The two-week United Nations climate conference in the resort city of Cancun underscored that future global efforts to address climate change will likely depend more on economic incentives than on environmental mandates.”
A summary of the “shared vision” of the Cancun Agreement from Reason:
(1) As far as I can tell, the COP has indeed kicked the Cancun down the road by agreeing that they “shall aim to complete” further commitments by rich countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions “as early as possible.” They do include the saving phrase “and in time to ensure that there is no gap between the first and second commitment period.” Translation: Additional cuts should be agreed to before 2012. The telling words are “shall aim to complete.” No real promises here.
(2) The shared vision says that the parties set the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions “so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels….” The parties will think about trying to hold average temperature increase to 1.5 later after further scientific review in 2015.
(3) The shared vision drops the earlier text that would have required that the world cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and that developed countries cut their emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050. Instead, the parties will “work towards identifying a global goal for substantially reducing global emissions by 2050” and consider it at the next meeting in Durban.
(4) The shared vision also drops the proposal that global greenhouse gases should peak by 2015.
(5) The text also sets up a process for creating a system for accounting and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries. As far as I can tell from reading the rather opaque text, the U.S. has not been roped into a process that leads to legally binding emissions reduction commitments.
(6) China, India and other emerging countries also have not been roped into legally binding commitments, but if they take mitigation actions that are supported by outside money, those activities will be subject to some kind of international auditing. On the other hand, the world will have take their words for their domestically funded activities.
(7) The text also says that the parties decide to establish a Green Climate Fund under the authority of the Conference of the Parties with a board of directors consisting of 24 members, half of whom will be from rich countries and half from poor countries. The developed country parties commit to “mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.”
Phyllis Schlafly said of the conference:
It had little to do with any science about climate change and everything to do with trying to get the United States and other industrialized nations to redistribute their wealth to the poorer nations under the supervision of eager United Nations bureaucrats.
Like previous climate change conferences, COP 16 deliberately pitted the poor countries against the rich countries, encouraging the poor countries to demand what the rich countries have without earning or paying for it.
This is the internationalist version of the basic Marxist tactic called the class war.
COP 16 propagandists blame every human tragedy on the high standard of living enjoyed (and earned) by the rich countries.