Cancun aftermath leaves industry with mixed feelings

Not many laws, but plenty of good intent. That was the view of green campaigners at a meeting last night discussing the aftermath of Cancun. The developed nations at Cancun […]

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By Tom Gibson

Not many laws, but plenty of good intent. That was the view of green campaigners at a meeting last night discussing the aftermath of Cancun.

The developed nations at Cancun pledged to set up a green fund worth $100 billion a year by 2020 to aid poorer counties in their fight against global warming.

Speaking at a Green in the City event, David Hill, International Climate Change Deputy Director at the DECC, said: “What Cancun delivered was significant progress on a few issues, which after Copenhagen might not have happened. The multilateral process is back on track”

Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director of The Carbon Neutral Company, said patience was needed: “The opportunity is too good to miss. This is going to take another three, five or ten years to do it properly. This is the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases into some kind of business advantage. We need to change the narrative from fighting climate change to creating jobs, by creating a world where our economy does more good, rather than less bad.”

However the ultimate goal of creating a global climate agreement was delayed until the next summit in South Africa. Others were more critical and said not enough had been achieved.

Sean Kidney, the Executive Chair of the Climate Bonds Initiative, said: “Have you seen the science at Cancun? Have you seen the extent of the emissions trajectory? We don’t have three, or five, or even ten years. The IPC report is frankly terrifying. We are not going to get a carbon price in the foreseeable future. God knows we need one.”

A big issue for most is whether or not legal controls should be put in place that would accelerate the process of de-carbonising globally. Countries still classed as developing, such as China and India, oppose legally binding emissions targets, saying their economic growth would be impeded.