The Cancun Climate change conference has finished with what has been hailed by some, as the roaring of a chihuahua. It was good to see that the science behind climate change has stopped being disputed. There is global recognition that climate change “is one of the greatest challenges of our time” and that the need to engage in action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is urgent.
One of the primary objectives of the talks was to establish mechanisms by which developing countries could be helped in mitigating the effects of climate change. The agreement allows for the establishment of a climate fund managed by the UN, however, there are no specific cash promises attached. There is also agreement on the creation of a forestry programme dedicated to forestry conservation.
Much about the specifics of both agreements are still to be worked out. The details of the financial and technology transfer commitment of rich nations to contribute towards climate change mitigation in developing countries will be discussed at the next conference of the parties to be held in South Africa in 2011.
The Kirk is committed to helping congregations respond to climate change issues. the Moderator, the Right Reverend John Christie met David Cameron on the first day of the Conference in Mexico, urging him to fully engage with Cancun 2010. Although international development funding is primarily a UK Government responsibility we in Scotland can continue to set an example by reducing our own carbon footprint to meet the challenging targets of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. This would be no mean achievement.