By Max Clarke

Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has welcomed the agreements made at the international climate change (ICC) summit in Cancun, describing the deal as a ‘turning point .’

Such a breakthrough had been considered unlikely, due to opposition to extending the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in its current form in 2012.

“A global climate deal is in the UK’s national interest and Cancun shows other countries also want to get on with getting an international deal.” Said Huhne.
Specific achievements of the 12 day Summit in the Mexican resort of Cancun include;
• Agreement to peak emissions and an overall 2 degree target to limit temperature rise.
• Emissions: bringing details of what developed and developing countries are doing to tackle climate change, promised in Copenhagen, into the UN system so they can be assessed.
• MRV: agreed a system so we know how countries are living up to their promises to take action on emissions
• Long-term finance: established the Green Climate Fund and will start to get it ready to help developing countries go low carbon and adapt to climate impacts.
• Deforestation: agreed to slow, halt and reverse destruction of trees and agree the rules for delivering it and for monitoring progress.
• Technology/Adaptation: set up the mechanisms to help developing countries access low carbon technology, and adapt to climate change.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker added:
“Cancun will send a strong signal of confidence to business investing billions in the new global green economy. British companies are poised to reap the huge advantage of being the first movers in this rapidly expanding market. We will be working in partnership with the private sector to drive home that opportunity.”

The UK’s Coalition Government is already taking strong action at home to tackle climate change, and has put in place the foundations of a low carbon economy.