Cancun’s warming effect

Year 2010 was one of the warmest ones from the last 30 years; floods in Pakistan and Colombia, forest fires in Russia, hurricanes in Haiti are unequivocal proof of global climate change and the challenges it poses for humanity. Despite the importance of the COP16 for the continuity of the planet, the global interest and attention during the Cancun conference was much lower to what the world experienced a year ago at Copenhagen. After a huge expectation from last year negotiations, including the mobilization of the Presidents of leading Nations and intense press and media coverage, the outside vision of this year negotiation was characterized by less global attention, the presence of fewer leaders, and headlines and front pages mainly covered everyday with new “wikileaks” documents. It seemed the negotiations were frozen after Copenhagen. Some could interpret this situation as a global lack of interest for climate change, or even a loss of trust or hope from the world community on the negotiation process. In my case I think that this context was actually a positive situation for the discussions, knowing that the targets and expectations for the negotiations could be more realistic and achievable and less utopist. Whatever the interpretation the reader gives to this situation, what should never happen is the decrease in the sense of awareness and urgency for agreements, decisions, and action. Climate change won’t wait for a global consensus to be achieved before it unleashes its destructive capacity; neither can the world leaders in climate change wait to come up with agreements and decisions that will bring hope for the future. In certain way, this is what happened after two weeks of negotiations at Cancun. The positive outcomes from Cancun like the Green Fund, fast track assistance, REDD and other decisions certainly helped to raise the COP thermostat, almost frozen after Copenhagen. The tropical and warm Cancun made the first and crucial steps for the achievement of future consensus. We learned that we still have a chance to do this the right way.