AEFJN Update Food Sovereignty Group December 2010

Climate change   16 ° Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change (COP16) in Cancun


The geopolitical climate dominates talks


The first challenge was to manage multilateral negotiations, as this process had failed in Copenhagen. The adopted text, non-legally binding, left much of the decisions to next year’s talks without ensuring the post Kyoto Protocol. It does not contain sufficient measures to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and to achieve the goal of limiting the increasing global temperature below + 2 ° C. An outcome: the Aid Fund.

All participating countries, except Bolivia, approved a text which provides 33 pages to hand over major decisions at the next conference to be held in November 2011 in Durban (South Afr.). Failure to complete those negotiations - despite the road map established in Bali 3 years ago – is due to the fact that most developed and emerging countries continue to increase their GHG emissions. Their political leaders are turning probably already to another type of treaty directed no more towards the climate but towards biodiversity or the environment, it would be national standard and no longer multilaterally.

On the other side, developing countries rely heavily on the "Green Climate Fund" to "support projects, programs, policies in developing countries." It should help pay for developing countries, in principle to the poorest ones, increasing sums to reach one hundred billion dollars (€ 76bn) annually by 2020. How this fund will be constituted remains unanswered. Western countries, indebted, will not be able to make such an effort by public funds, so they seek alternative sources but these are also relevant to other budgets. Contrariwise, the Fund's management has been defined. The Fund will be steered by a board of members chosen evenly from developed and developing nations, but for the first 3 years, the World Bank would oversee it.

The Cancún deal also agreed on a mechanism for reducing deforestation that accounts for about 15% to 20% of global GHG emissions. The goal is to "slow, stop and reverse the loss of forest cover," with "participation" of the parties involved in forest management, including indigenous peoples. But the controls are not provided and the funding remains unclear.

Two last agreements, the review of climate goals in 2015 to assess whether a commitment to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees centigrade is needed and the monitoring nations' climate pledges based on data provided by nations and without sanction planned.


As said Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for Climate Action: "It is real progress, but it is also fair to say that we have a long and challenging journey ahead of us."

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Logo COP16

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