The Journey to Success

7 December 2010

Dear Ministers, it’s ECO again.  We welcome your early arrival and commitment to a global agreement on climate change!
Your delegations have been working hard. In front of you are choices that have been clearly laid out by delegates with the assistance of your capable LCA Chair and facilitators. We trust that you bring flexibility and a strong desire to agree options that are sufficiently ambitious to ensure a successful outcome this week.
Which raises the question, what does success at Cancun look like?  First and foremost, COP 16 must provide substance and direction toward a fair, ambitious and binding deal at Durban in 2011. Trust and commitment in the UNFCCC process will be reinvigorated if Parties act together and the public sees this process producing what the world expects –  a legally binding deal in Durban.
The result in Cancun must be completely clear that a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will be finalised and agreed at Durban along with a legally binding outcome in the LCA track.
To be sure, the emission reduction pledges presently on the table are insufficient to prevent dangerous climate change. Cancun should acknowledge the gap of 5 to 9 gigatonnes that the UNEP has spotlighted, and establish a process to strengthen the pledges by Durban.  
Recall also, the Bali Action Plan acknowledged the target range of 25-40% reductions by 2020 for developed countries.  But the science has moved since then, and we now know that even more mitigation is needed. Your citizens will not accept a Durban deal that locks in the current low levels of mitigation and the disastrous climate change that would ensue.
Clearly there are other elements of success needed here. Adaptation, technology, capacity building, surplus AAUs, REDD+ and more – all must make significant steps forward. There is no excuse for these issues to be held hostage to narrow political agendas and miscalculated national interest.
Instead, it is in every nation’s interest to agree an ambitious climate deal. Serious 
action will not only save the vulnerable countries, but provide economic, social and environmental benefits for us all.
Establishing a fair climate fund, with sufficient content in the text for it to be realised, is the minimum level of expectation from you in regard to climate finance. The negotiations also need a clear indication that the required scale of finance will be forthcoming, from guaranteed public sources such as the innovative sources of climate finance identified in the Advisory Group on Finance (AGF) report.
Ministers: your task here is not simple and it is not easy. All the same, it is essential. It is essential to restore faith in this process, to restore credibility to your governments, and to secure a real future of all of us.

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