Cancun 2010 Climate Conference

The 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancún, Mexico followed the failure of the previous COP 15 at Copenhagen to reach a consensus. The conference in the Danish capital had ended in disarray after several developing countries rejected the so-called ‘Copenhagen Accord’ negotiated behind closed doors by just 26 of the UN’s 192 member countries. In the interim Bolivia hosted the World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth inspired by Andean Indigenous Peoples vision of how humankind must live in harmony with all of creation. This World Peoples’ Conference set the tone for lively demonstrations in the streets of Cancún demanding that industrial countries face up to their responsibility to make reparations for the ecological debts owed to the Earth and to the Peoples of the global South. Alas the industrialized countries’ delegates at COP16 were deaf to these cries. They failed to agree on any substantial new measures leaving the world on track to a global temperature increase above four degrees Celsius. At the end of COP 16 only Bolivia’s Ambassador, Pablo Salon, rose to reject an accord that would be “disastrous for humanity.”


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