Final accord reached at Cancun despite Bolivia’s objection

"The texts on the table represent the work of many delegations that carry the hope of delivering what our societies expect," said Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa, chair of the conference.

"I take note of your opinion, but if there are no other objections this text is approved," Espinosa told Pablo Solon, the Bolivian representative.

Bolivia has been rejecting the two documents of the deal, saying they amounted to a blank check for developed nations, because the commitments set to be in documents which have not yet been published.

"We will get every international body necessary to make sure that the consensus is respected," said Solon, adding that the rules said that no agreement should be passed when one state strongly objects.

"Consensus does not mean that one nation can choose to apply a veto on a process that other nations have been working on for years. I cannot ignore the opinion of another 193 states that are parties," Espinosa replied. Her response received a huge applause from the floor.

Another Bolivian official also complained that his nation had been denied basic rights by the conference.

"We had asked for a workshop to consider the topic of intellectual property during a workshop in 2011," the official said. "Bolivia has not even given the most basic opportunity."

The documents of the climate deal were approved at the plenary session after being considered first by an informal plenary session and then being passed to the two working groups regarding the Kyoto Protocol and longer commitment actions (LCAs), respectively.

At the start of Friday’s session, Mexico, the host country, published a draft of the deal that includes detailed financing plans but no plans for binding emissions cuts.

Most nations, including some of those most vulnerable to climate change, expressed support for the draft documents, although there were several nations that expressed reservations about the final accord.

The two-week long talks in Cancun were aimed at setting new targets – and finding new ways – to try and combat climate change.

The high profile discussions included some 25,000 government officials, businessmen, researchers and lobbyists – from more than 190 countries.

The measures in the draft documents were widely supported by participants in an informal session late Friday.

Most speakers said the document was partial but still represented progress at the climate summit held in the resort city Cancun on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

"It is not perfect and it is not a done deal, but let us accept it and let’s move forward," said Karl Hood, Grenada’s minister for environment and foreign affairs.

Grenada’s opinion is significant because it has the presidency of the 41-member Alliance of Small Island States, the nations most likely to suffer first from global warming.

Oceans are rising at twice the rate of the 20th century, researchers say, and Pacific islanders report they’re already losing shoreline and settlements to encroaching seas.

"The parties have made good efforts in these negotiations," said Xie Zhenghua, deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission. "We have been satisfied because the negotiations have been guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibility."

Both the United States and the European Union spoke in favor of the agreement during the meeting.

"I think this text points the way forward," said Todd Stern, the US representative in the climate talks. "Let us now do what it takes to get this deal done."

Connie Hedegaard, the Danish diplomat who represents the 27-member EU, praised the nations for their commitment to reaching an agreement and also offered the bloc’s conditioned support.

Cancun conference a success: head of Chinese delegation

The UN Climate Change Conference held here was a success and the Kyoto Protocol had been reaffirmed, the head of the Chinese delegation said Saturday.

Xie Zhenhua said the parties advanced with the guidance of the "Bali Road Map" and reached success at Cancun. "The achievements of the conference are results of the parties’ efforts and the advantages of the multilateral mechanism, which can promote the negotiation progress. We have full confidence in the multilateral mechanism after the conference," he said.

The next climate conference will be held in Durban in South Africa in 2011. According to Xie, the parties are confident about the South Africa conference. "We can step forward in South Africa, if we can continue to consolidate and carry on the spirit of unity and coordination formed at the Cancun conference," he said.

Although the results were positive, it could not be described as "perfect". Some details were left to solve in South Africa, Xie said.

"We will hold discussion about the substantial contents of the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period at the South Africa conference. The issues, including finance, technology, forestry and adaptation, which are the focus of developing countries, should be put into practice," he said.

Xie also said the parties would try to talk about the details and establish a transparency mechanism in South Africa.

The UN climate change conference finally reached a deal to fight global warming early Saturday after an all-night session, overruling objections from Bolivia.

The Global Wind Energy Council welcomes the agreements reached early Saturday morning at the international climate talks at COP 16 in Cancún, Mexico.

“Only because of the extremely low expectations going into Cancún can it be judged a success, and because the process is now more or less back on track,” said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council. “The agreements do not actually move us a great deal further down the road towards saving the climate, but they constitute a renewed commitment by the global community to the multilateral UNFCCC process, and rekindle hopes for a global, binding climate agreement in the future.”

GWEC calls on governments to re-double their efforts to establish a framework within which greenhouse gas emissions can peak and begin to fall well before the end of the current decade, as the science dictates, in order to preserve the possibility of avoiding the worst ravages of human-induced climate change.

“None of the fundamental political, legal and architectural issues that still must be resolved in order to (re)establish an effective global climate regime have been ‘solved’, but the outlines of the way forward are beginning to emerge,” concluded Sawyer. “The Mexican presidency has succeeded in creating an atmosphere of improved trust, cooperation and commitment to the process which was virtually destroyed in the shambles of Copenhagen. The outcome of Cancún was a necessary step to re-establish the legitimacy and efficacy of the UNFCCC process.”

Whether or not they yield fruit in the near future now becomes the responsibility of the South African Presidency leading up to COP 17 in Durban next year.

“Failure to deliver on the key outstanding issues will significantly undermine investment in clean energy technologies and other concrete action on mitigation,” warned Sawyer. “A meaningful climate agreement must move us gradually towards a global price on carbon, to enable the private sector to play its key role in financing the energy revolution. The wind industry stands ready to play its part in this revolution.”

The global wind energy industry had issued a Cancún Declaration during the negotiations, calling on decision makers to make urgent progress on reaching a new climate deal.

Wind power can and must make a significant contribution to saving the climate, according to a declaration issued today by international wind industry representatives at the Global Wind Energy Council´s ‘Wind Power for a Low Carbon Economy’ conference at the international climate negotiations in Cancún, Mexico.

Wind farm power could produce more than 12% of the electricity needed globally by 2020, saving 10 billion tons of CO2 in the process, or 1.5 billion tons per year. This would represent more than half of the emissions reductions envisaged by industrialised countries in their pledges to the Copenhagen Accord.

“Wind power generation provides economic, social and environmental profits. Mexico is committed to taking advantage of them through a local development strategy.” Mexico has an estimated wind power potential of 71,000 MW that can satisfy all the electricity needs in the country.

“The wind turbines industry stands ready to play its part as a key solution to combating climate change, and a leader of the energy revolution our planet urgently needs,” said Carmen Becerril, President, Acciona Energia, S.A. “But it cannot fulfil its full mitigation potential without unambiguous political commitment from the decision makers gathered here in Cancún.”

The global wind energy industry urgently calls for decision makers in Cancún to make rapid progress on negotiating an ambitious and legally binding international agreement to meet the 2°C limit set out by the Copenhagen Accord.

Wind energy is already making a significant contribution to reduce emissions in both industrialised and developing countries, and by 2020, substantial savings of CO2 can be achieved. Under a new 2020 climate agreement, wind energy alone will provide for a significant portion of the emissions reductions.