Environment groups welcome climate deal

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CANCUN - Climate activists welcomed a deal reached at a UN summit in Mexico for making real progress in confronting climate change, but said there was still a long way to go.

Groups praised governments for salvaging the international process and setting up mechanisms for poorer countries to confront climate change, marking a departure from the deep failures of the Copenhagen summit in December last year.

“Governments came to Cancun bruised and facing public pressure to act on climate change,” said the World Wildlife Fund’s Gordon Shepherd. “Countries are leaving with a renewed sense of goodwill and some sense of purpose.”

Governments created a new Green Climate Fund to channel funds to the poor and an Adaptation Committee to help developing countries boost their climate defences.

But decisions on what a future global climate treaty could look like were more vague, leaving environmental groups urging ministers to make another effort to close the deal at the next summit in a year’s time in South Africa.

“Cancun has delivered the momentum, but we haven’t arrived there yet,” said Wendel Trio, director of Greenpeace’s climate policy. “In Durban we need a global deal that helps countries build a green economy and that holds polluters accountable.”

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