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UN Climate Chief asks Governments to progress with agreed Cancun changes

By Kirsten E. Silven - 05 Apr 2011 7:4:0 GMT
UN Climate Chief asks Governments to progress with agreed Cancun changes

As an essential component to control climate change, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has asked participating governments to enact changes that will allow the agreed upon works from last year's summit in Cancun, Mexico, to be implemented by 2012.

''Governments have early opportunity here in Bangkok to push ahead to complete the works they agreed to in Cancun. If they move forward in the continued spirit of flexibility and compromise that inspired them in Cancun, I am confident that they would be able to make significant new progress this year,' stated Figueres in a recent press conference.

Last year during the talks in Cancun, leaders developed a time frame during which they agreed that they will launch new institutions, technology and funding that is designed to help developing nations handle the challenges of climate change. New institutions include a Green Climate Fund to provide support for developing nations, a new technology initiative and a framework designed to improve communication in the international community and to protect developing countries from the impacts associated with climate change.

Figueres also stated that governments have two main issues to resolve before they can really begin to move forward: The Cancun agreements and the future of the Kyoto Protocol. ''Countries have formerly pushed forward their national plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions,'' she said. ''But some of these efforts fall short of the required long-term efforts.'' Resolving these issues is essential in order to establish a strong foundation for worldwide efforts to cut emissions.

The various agreed-upon government works from the 2010 climate summit in Cancun are also an essential part of ongoing efforts by the UNFCCC to establish a larger global climate protocol. Figueres is hopeful that participating governments will take the necessary steps to deliver the agreed-upon actions and institutions by 2012, leading to more stable long-term agreements. ''There is still much to be done this year, but I remain confident that countries with the necessary political will will be able to achieve what they need this year.''

The current UN Climate Change Conference, which is taking place in Bangkok from April 3rd through the 8th, will host more than 1,500 participants, including representatives from the government, business, industry, environmental organizations and research institutions, from more than 170 countries.