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UN’s top climate change official calls on governments to quickly transform Cancún Agreements into action, provide clarity on future of the Kyoto Protocol

March 8, 2011


(Tokyo, 1 March 2011) . Speaking to media Tuesday on a visit to Japan, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres called on governments to quickly transform the Cancún Agreements, agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico in December of last year, into tangible action on the ground, and provide clarity on the future of the Kyoto Protocol..Governments must now implement quickly what they agreed in Cancún and take the next big climate step this year in Durban,. she said.

Ms. Figueres is presently in Japan to meet with government officials, Japanese business and other civil society representatives, and to attend the 9th informal consultations on Thursday, jointly organized by the governments of Japan and Brazil.

Ms. Figueres described the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico 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.

In addition, she said the Cancún Agreements formed the most comprehensive package ever decided by governments to help developing nations deal with climate change, and a long-term global agreement to keep average global temperatures below two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

However, she warned that the sum of promises to reduce or limit emissions so far equals only 60% of what the scientific community says is required by 2020 for the world to stay below 2 degrees, and that emissions need to peak by 2015 to avoid the agreed temperature goal slipping out of reach.

Looking ahead to COP 17 in Durban and the international climate change activities to take place in the course of this year, Ms. Figueres explained governments need to agree a way to cut global emissions about twice as fast as they have already promised, along with increasing the certainty that they will do what they say.

.Governments meeting in Durban must resolve the remaining issues over the future of the Kyoto Protocol,. she said. .In this context, we need to keep in mind that the Kyoto Protocol remains the only working, binding international model to reduce emissions, and nations have an urgent task to decide how to take forward the protocol.s unique benefits of transparency,

I am therefore confident that Japan will push for successively stronger international climate agreements to make sure that this happens,. the UNFCCC Executive Secretary said.


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