Recognition of Local Governments in Cancun Agreements
If the Cancun Conference has shown the common political will of all the Parties to save the negotiation process under the UNFCCC and has come to some important decisions, it has also contributed to establish a clear recognition of the cities, local and subnational governments.
Mexican Presidency has played a strong and supportive role in this lobbying, that UCLG, ICLEI and other sisters’ organizations, being part of the climate negotiation process, have carried in the framework of the Local Climate Roadmap since Poznan in 2008.
Cancun Agreements: a step forward
Present during the two weeks of UN Climate negotiations in the framework of the COP 16, local governments welcome the progress and the commitments taken by the Parties. After a not very promising start, important achievements for local governments have been reached in Cancun: for the first time ever in UN climate documents, local governments are officially recognised as "governmental stakeholders", which strengthen their role in fighting climate change.
The Parties faced a real challenge after the critics that had received the outcomes of Copenhagen in December 2009 (COP 15): the Copenhagen Accord. The Mexican Presidency, host of the COP 16, had work hard all year long to rebuild trust between Parties but also to reinforce the place and role of the different stakeholders in the negotiation process.
The efforts of the Mexican Presidency are in line with the strong support the Mexican State has always been providing to local and regional governments since Poznan for their formal recognition in the texts, alongside the other members of the environmental integrity group, Switzerland and South Korea.
At the end of these two weeks, it is a whole package of agreements, the "Cancun agreements" that have been adopted by the Parties, with almost total consensus, still based on two tracks:
- the Kyoto Protocol, which future remains uncertain and will be determined at a later date
- the new Convention text (LCA), aiming at getting all Parties on board in the climate change actions.
Therefore, no binding agreement has been yet adopted, but these agreements are considered as setting the basis for the agreement to be adopted and enforce some of the main propositions of the Copenhagen Accord.
These agreements entail:
- Enforcement of the designation of a board with equal representation from developed and developing countries to design a Green climate fund under the Conference of the Parties.
- Confirmation of a fast start finance of 30 billion USD from industrialized countries to support climate action in the developing world up to 2012 and the intention to raise $100 billion in long-term funds by 2020
- Governments agree to boost action to curb emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries with technological and financial support (REDD +).
- The Industrialised countries targets and the Developing countries actions to reduce emissions are officially recognised under the multilateral process.
- The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanisms has been strengthened to drive more major investments and technology into emission reduction projects in the developing countries.
- Parties launched a set of initiatives and institutions to protect the vulnerable countries from climate change and to deploy the money and technology needed.
- A new Cancún Adaptation Framework is established to allow better planning and implementation of adaptation projects in developing countries through increased financial and technical support, including a clear process for continuing work on loss and damage.