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COP16 Closes, Some Agreement Reached

In spite of the low expectations for the latest UN conference on climate change, negotiators left the COP16 conference this weekend with a list of priorities that could help reduce emissions and increase adoption of renewable energy.

The package of decisions, called the Cancun Agreements, was adopted as the conference came to a close. The agreement was designed to help developing countries protect themselves against a changing climate, preserve forests and finance renewable energy projects.

Here's a list of the decisions within the agreement, as compiled by the United Nations:

  • Industrialized country targets are officially recognized under the multilateral process and these countries are to develop low-carbon development plans and strategies and assess how best to meet them, including through market mechanisms, and to report their inventories annually.
  • Developing country actions to reduce emissions are officially recognized under the multilateral process. A registry is to be set up to record and match developing country mitigation actions to finance and technology support from by industrialized countries. Developing countries are to publish progress reports every two years.
  • Parties meeting under the Kyoto Protocol agree to continue negotiations with the aim of completing their work and ensuring there is no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the treaty.
  • The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanisms has been strengthened to drive more major investments and technology into environmentally sound and sustainable emission reduction projects in the developing world.
  • Parties launched a set of initiatives and institutions to protect the vulnerable from climate change and to deploy the money and technology that developing countries need to plan and build their own sustainable futures.
  • A total of $30 billion in fast start finance from industrialized countries to support climate action in the developing world up to 2012 and the intention to raise $100 billion in long- term funds by 2020 is included in the decisions.
  • In the field of climate finance, a process to design a Green Climate Fund under the Conference of the Parties, with a board with equal representation from developed and developing countries, is established.
  • A new Cancun Adaptation Framework is established to allow better planning and implementation of adaptation projects in developing countries through increased financial and technical support, including a clear process for continuing work on loss and damage.
  • Governments agree to boost action to curb emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries with technological and financial support.
  • Parties have established a technology mechanism with a Technology Executive Committee and Climate Technology Centre and Network to increase technology cooperation to support action on adaptation and mitigation.

Negotiators will meet next December in South Africa to assess the progress of these initiatives.

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