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EU Welcomes Cancún Agreement as Important Step

European Union welcomes Cancún Agreement as important step towards global framework for climate action

The European Union welcomes the positive results of the Cancún climate conference. The balanced and substantive package of decisions adopted on 11 December, known as the Cancún Agreement, represents an important further step on the road to building a comprehensive and legally binding framework for climate action for the period after 2012.

President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said: "The Cancun Agreement on climate change represents an important step towards a comprehensive and legally binding framework for global climate action. Europe has worked throughout the year to save the United Nations process to tackle climate change and the prospect of a global climate deal.

The Cancún Agreement shows that the multilateral process can deliver. The EU has set itself ambitious climate and energy targets for 2020 but now we are looking to the long term action. Next spring the European Commission will present a strategy for completing the transition to a low-carbon economy by 2050. This will stimulate fresh economic growth, job creation and innovation while strengthening the EU's energy security."

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, added: "We have strengthened the international climate regime with new institutions and new funds. Europe has succeeded in speaking with one voice. However, the difficult negotiations in Cancún have shown that we have a long and challenging journey ahead of us to reach a legally binding global climate deal. All parties should now take domestic action to reduce or limit their emissions so that we can keep global warming below 2°C. Europe is willing to do its fair share of this global effort."

Joke Schauvliege, Flemish Minister for Environment, Nature and Culture, who represents the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union at Cancún, said: "The EU has worked tirelessly to be a bridge-builder in Cancún while also advancing its positions. The EU has reported transparently on the progress it has made in mobilising the 7.2 billion euros of fast-start funding it has pledged over 2010-2012 and we will continue to do so on an annual basis. We congratulate the Mexican Presidency on conducting an exemplary conference."

The Cancún Agreement builds on the decisions taken a year ago in Copenhagen and also sets out processes for making further progress in the future. It represents a well balanced compromise between different interests within the United Nations system. Key elements of the package include:

• Acknowledgement for the first time in a UN document that global warming must be kept below 2°C compared to the pre-industrial temperature, and establishment of a process to define a date for global emissions to peak and a global emissions reduction goal for 2050;
• The emission pledges of developed and developing countries have been anchored in the UN process and a process set out to help clarify them. The text also recognises that overall mitigation efforts need to be scaled up in order to stay within the 2°C ceiling;
• Agreement to launch a process to strengthen the transparency of actions to reduce or limit emissions so that overall progress can be tracked more effectively;
• Confirmation of the goal that developed countries will mobilise US$ 100 billion in climate funding for developing countries annually by 2020, and establishment of a Green Climate Fund through which much of the funding will be channelled;
• Agreement on the Cancún Adaptation Framework to enhance action on adaptation to climate change;
• Launch of a "REDD+" mechanism enabling action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries;
• Agreement to consider setting up new carbon market mechanisms going beyond a project-based approach;
• Establishment of a Technology Mechanism, including a Technology Executive Committee and a Climate Technology Center and Network, to enhance technology development and transfer;
• Establishment of a clear process for reviewing the adequacy of the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C, including consideration of strengthening the goal to 1.5°C, to be concluded in 2015;
• Extension of the work of the ad hoc working groups under the UN climate change convention and the Kyoto Protocol for a further year while leaving open the legal form of the eventual outcome of the negotiations.

ENDS

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