UN climate change chief urges governments to quickly implement Cancún accords

1 March 2011 – The United Nations climate change chief today called on governments to quickly transform the agreements reached in the Mexican city of Cancún last year into tangible action on the ground, and provide clarity on the future of the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases emissions.

“Governments must now implement quickly what they agreed in Cancún and take the next big climate step this year in Durban,” the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, told reporters in Tokyo.

The UNFCCC is an international treaty which considers what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. Some countries have approved the Kyoto Protocol, an addition to the treaty, which has more powerful and legally binding measures.

Ms. Figueres is currently in Japan to meet with government officials, Japanese business and other civil society representatives, and to attend informal talks on Thursday, jointly organized by the governments of Japan and Brazil.

The agreements reached in Cancun, at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December last year, included formalizing climate change mitigation pledges and ensuring increased accountability for them, as well as taking concrete action to tackle deforestation, which accounts for nearly one-fifth of global carbon emissions.

Ms. Figueres described the outcome of the Cancún meeting as a solid step forward for strengthened global climate action, encompassing the basis for the largest collective effort the world has ever seen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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