(BN) Cancun Climate Talks Can Yield ‘Significant’ Accords, UN Says


Cancun Climate Talks Can Yield 'Significant' Accords, UN Says
2010-11-22 19:35:34.622 GMT

By Bill Varner
Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The next round of climate-change
talks, beginning Nov. 29 in Cancun, Mexico, can produce
"significant" progress on forest protection, aid for
developing nations and technology sharing, a senior United
Nations official said.
"There are enough issues that are close enough to
resolution that an important outcome could be achieved," UN
Assistant Secretary-General Robert Orr told reporters in New
York. "It is our assessment that significant progress is
Almost 200 nations will try to forge a deal to limit
greenhouse gases blamed for climate change that eluded last
year's meeting in Copenhagen. They failed to reach a binding
agreement to set a framework for greenhouse-gas reduction when
the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
Instead, the Copenhagen meeting yielded a political accord
calling for $100 billion a year by 2020 to fund climate efforts
in poorer nations. The countries also vowed to stop global
temperature increases at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees
Fahrenheit) higher than in pre-industrial times.
Orr, director of policy planning for UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon, said that, while "expectations for Copenhagen were
huge, we are at a different point today." As no broad-based
accord will be reached, the "order of the day is pragmatism"
and negotiators should "make progress where we can on the
issues we can," he said.
Talks since Copenhagen on forest protection, climate aid
and technology sharing have left those issues "ripe" for
agreement in Cancun, Orr said. "We encourage all parties to
push the last few inches across the finish line."

'Set of Understandings'

The UN is seeking a "set of understandings on
cooperation" to curb destruction of forests, which accounts for
20 percent of manmade carbon dioxide emissions, Orr said.
On providing technology to developing nations to mitigate
the impacts of climate change, Orr said the UN hopes for
"concrete" agreement on that process, including creation of
"regional centers" to facilitate transfers.
The third area of possible progress is agreement on
disbursing $10 billion a year in aid to developing nations to
finance their climate change mitigation measures. This so-called
"fast-start" funding was agreed to at Copenhagen.
"We need a package of decisions and outcomes," Orr said
of the Cancun talks.
Laurence Graff, head of international relations unit at the
European Commission's climate department, also said last month
that agreement in those three areas is "within reach" at
Cancun. "We need to be ambitious but realistic and manage
expectations so that we can lay the ground for action and
provide a good milestone for an international regime that would
be finalized later," he said.

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--Editors: Bob Drummond, Jim Rubin.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Bill Varner at the United Nations at +1-212-963-7617 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Mark Silva in Washington at +1-202-654-4315 or