Cancun was a modest success as it buried the ghost of the failure of Copenhagen. However, the Cancun Agreements postponed important issues that underpin the success, or otherwise, of efforts to fight catastrophic climate change.
The Cancun Agreements provide real opportunities to advance global cooperation in adaptation, forests, climate finance and technology transfer. If all opportunities outlined within the Cancun Agreements are grasped, and parties take the following thoughtful and logical next steps, it is possible that COP17 in Durban could establish the basis for a fair, ambitious and binding global climate change regime. If this does not happen, if instead there is delay and lack of ambition, then we risk losing the chance to keep global warming below 1.5oC and we must face the catastrophic consequences for loss of life, economic growth and natural habitat. Without adequate mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building we will have to accept that poor communities and countries who are already feeling the impacts of changing climate will be picked off the planet.
This is why CAN believes that a compromised or low-ambition outcome is not an option for Durban, and why we set a high but achievable bar for COP 17. Parties can confront this historic challenge with new levels of solidarity and partnership and avert this pressing climate reality, by taking the steps outlined here.