Memo to Ministers

Dear ministers, let ECO be among the first to welcome you to bright and friendly Cancun.  The warm sunlight, sandy beaches and glittering pools create pleasant ‘wish you were here’ scenes.
We would certainly all enjoy some days by the pool or on the beach, sipping cold drinks and flipping through the pages of our new fair, ambitious and legally binding climate deal. But we must say, that is not what the coming week in Cancun will be about.  
ECO regrets waking you up from your daydream coming in from the airport. The world is still waiting for your governments to agree such a deal, and the demand for significant progress in Cancun will be ever present in the coming days.
But there should be some excitement about that too. There’s a lot to be done! Progress during the first week has been slow, not reflecting the urgency and seriousness the climate crisis calls for.
You and your colleagues now can step up and take the work advanced by your delegations, show a cooperative spirit, and provide the political will, decision making power and commitment needed to make solid progress. This is the week, and this is your task.
Two important examples of issues needing a strong political push are the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and the legal form of the LCA outcome. Both currently hang heavily on the backs of the negotiators in the two tracks.
In the KP, an uncertain future creates fast-growing tensions in the negotiations, and in the LCA, negotiators have been searching without much success for cohesion in defining the kind of agreement they are seeking.
These underlying issues are slowing down progress in the negotiations.  And as the discussions in the contact group on legal form revealed yesterday, these are issues which are difficult for the negotiators to progress without a strong push and a constructive approach from their ministers.
Dear ministers, the decision to maintain and strengthen the Kyoto Protocol as well as to adopt a legally binding agreement under the LCA are both essential elements.  They are key to obtaining a package of decisions here in Cancun that carries us down the road toward a fair, ambitious and legally binding global climate deal.  Having done that, you will surely deserve some rest and relaxation.

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