Sample Materials for CSAT Paper -1 (G.S.) Pre 2013: “Environment and Ecology: 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference”

Materials From Our Study Notes for CSAT Paper -1 (G.S.) Pre 2013

Subject: Environment and Ecology
Topic: 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference was
held in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. The conference
is officially referred to as the 16th session of the Conference of the
Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) and the 6th session of the Conference of the Parties serving
as the meeting of the Parties (CMP 6) to the Kyoto Protocol. In addition,
the two permanent subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC – the Subsidiary Body for
Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for
Implementation (SBI)– held their 33rd sessions. The 2009 United Nations
Climate Change Conference extended the mandates of the two temporary
subsidiary bodies, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex
I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on
Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), and they met as


Following the non-binding Copenhagen Accord put forth in
2009, international expectations for the COP16 conference were reduced. Four
preparatory rounds of negotiations (i.e. sessions of the AWG-KP and the
AWG-LCA) were held during 2010. The first three of these were in Bonn,
Germany, from 9 to 11 April, 1 to 11 June (in conjunction with the 32nd
sessions of SBSTA and SBI), and 2 to 6 August. The Bonn talks were reported
as ending in failure. The fourth round of talks in Tianjin, China, made
minimal progress and was marked by a clash between the US and China.The Ambo
declaration was adopted at the Tarawa Climate Change Conference on the 10th
November 2010 by Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Fiji, Japan, Kiribati,
Maldives, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Tonga. It calls
for more and immediate action, and was slated to be presented at COP 16.


In August 2010, Ban Ki-moon stated that he doubted
whether member states would reach a “globally agreed, comprehensive deal,”
suggesting instead that incremental steps might come. After the Tianjin
talks in October Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said, “This week has got us
closer to a structured set of decisions that can be agreed in Cancun …
This is the greatest societal and economic transformation that the world has
ever seen.” Other commen-tators spoke of a positive spirit of negotiation
and of paving the way for agreement in Cancun.


The outcome of the summit was an agreement adopted by the
states’ parties that called for a large “Green Climate Fund”, and a “Climate
Technology Centre” and network. It looked forward to a second commitment
period for the Kyoto Protocol.

The agreement recognizes that climate change represents
an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the
planet, which needs to be urgently addressed by all Parties. It affirms that
climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and that all
Parties must share a vision for long-term cooperative action in order to
achieve the objective of the Convention, including through achievement of a
global goal. It recognizes that warming of the climate system is
scientifically based and that most of the observed increase in global
average temperatures since the mid twentieth century are very likely due to
the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, as
assessed by the IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report.

The agreement further recognizes that deep cuts in global
greenhouse gas emissions are required, with a view to reducing global
greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average
temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and that Parties should
take urgent action to meet this long-term goal, consistent with science and
on the basis of equity; and recognizes the need to consider, in the context
of the first review, strengthening in relation to a global average
temperature rise of 1.5°C. The agreement also notes that addressing climate
change requires a paradigm shift towards building a low-carbon society. The
agreement calls on rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
as pledged in the Copenhagen Accord, and for developing countries to plan to
reduce their emissions. The agreement includes a “Green Climate Fund,”
proposed to be worth $100 billion a year by 2020, to assist poorer countries
in financing emission reductions and adaptation. There was no agreement on
how to extend the Kyoto Protocol, or how the $100 billion a year for the
Green Climate Fund will be raised, or whether developing countries should
have binding emissions reductions or whether rich countries would have to
reduce emissions first. Reuters Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle
reported that to most delegates, though they approved it, the agreement
“fell woefully short of action needed.”

The New York Times described the agreement as being both
a “major step forward” given that international negotiations had stumbled in
recent years, and as being “fairly modest” as it did not require the changes
that scientists say are needed to avoid dangerous climate change. John
Vidal, writing in The Guardian, criticised the Cancun agreements for not
providing leadership, for not specifying how the proposed climate fund will
be financed, and for not stating that countries had to “peak” their
emissions within 10 years and then rapidly reduce them for there to be any
chance to avert warming. Also criticised were the deferral of decisions on
the legal form of and level of emission reductions required. A 40-nation
“transition committee” was to meet by the end of March 2011, but it was
deferred until late April amid squabbles among Latin American countries and
the Asia bloc about who should be on the committee. The committee is due to
present a complete plan for the fund by the next climate conference in South
Africa starting in November, 2011.

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It decides to establish the Cancun Adaptation Framework
and the Adaptation Committee, invites Parties to strengthen and, where
necessary, establish regional adaptation centres and networks and notes that
an international centre to enhance adaptation research and coordination
could also be established in a developing country.


Developed countries should submit annual greenhouse gas
inventories and inventory reports and biennial reports on their progress.

Agrees that developing country Parties will take
nationally appropriate mitigation actions in the context of sustainable
development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and
capacity-building, aimed at achieving a deviation in emissions relative to
“business as usual” emissions in 2020. It decides to set up a registry to
record nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international
support and to facilitate matching of finance, technology and
capacity-building support to these actions. Once support has been provided
they are called internationally supported mitigation actions (ISMAs), that
will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification.


It takes note of the collective commitment by developed
countries to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and
investments through international institu-tions, approaching USD 30 billion
for the period 2010–-2012 and recognizes that developed country Parties
commit, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and trans-parency on
implementation, to a goal of mobi-lizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by
2020 to address the needs of developing countries.

It decides to establish a Green Climate Fund, to be
designated as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the
Convention. Also decides that the Fund shall be governed by a board of 24
members; the trustee shall administer the assets of the Green Climate Fund
only for the purpose of, and in accordance with, the relevant decisions of
the Green Climate Fund Board.

The conference establishes a Standing Committee under the
Conference of the Parties to assist the Conference of the Parties in
exercising its functions with respect to the financial mechanism.


In technology development and transfer, decides to
establish a Technology Mechanism, which will consist of a Technology
Executive Committee and a Climate Technology Centre and Network. The Climate
Technology Centre and Network and the Technology Executive Committee shall
relate so as to promote coherence and synergy. The Technology Executive
Committee shall further implement the framework of the Convention
(technology transfer framework) and Committee shall comprise 20 expert
members. The Climate Technology Centre shall facilitate a Network of
national, regional, sectoral and international technology networks,
organi-zations and initiatives


It reaffirms that capacity-building is essential to
enable developing country Parties to participate fully in addressing the
climate change challenges, and to implement effectively their commitments
under the Convention.

Test Your Knowledge

1.Consider the
following statements:

  1. Climate life is a film, book & digital
    exhibition project initiated by the copenhagen climate

  2. Poznan is situated in Norway.

Which of the above statements is/are
true ?

  1. All of the above

  2. 1 only

  3. None of the above

  4. 2 only

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Answer of Question 1: B

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