Cancun Climate Change blog

The second and final week of the negotiations opens today, with ministers arriving to –hopefully- make the big political decisions prepared last week by the negotiating teams.

Today saw the EU clarify their position, as well as an announcement that UK Secretary of State for climate change, Chris Huhne, will be co-chairing this week's discussions on the future of the Kyoto Protocol.

Firstly, the EU has stated that they will continue to push for "a balanced package", and re-emphasised the importance of increasing the level of greenhouse gas reductions targets. While the confusion over reductions pledges continues, we need to hear stronger positions from countries in support of "anchoring" these reduction targets in the UN process. While we welcome this statement from the EU, as we know that stronger emissions reductions targets are essential, we need to hear from more countries in support of this.

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At the moment, the atmosphere at the talks is one of reluctance- no-one seems to want to stick their neck out and strongly state what they really want.

Nations definitely have a fear of being blamed for any stalling or slowing down of the negotiations, so any statements they are making are being made quietly.

The fear for us then is that this will continue until the end of the week and nations will creep towards an outcome at Cancun that is not ambitious enough, and that will lock- in slow progress until at least next year's negotiations. So, more strong statements from the UK and EU on increasing ambition on reductions targets, and reminders of the need for countries to be prepared to compromise and accept a balanced outcome please!

Meanwhile, we met with members of the delegation from Tuvalu to explain Scotland's world-leading climate change legislation, and to extend a hand of solidarity and support in the shape of a bottle of Scottish 42% whisky. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland teamed up with a distillery to create "The Year 2020" whisky, which celebrates Scotland's emissions targets of 42% reductions in greenhouse gases by 2020. This is in line with what science, and justice, says is necessary. Tuvalu, a low-lying island in the Pacific, faces the very real prospect of disappearing under rising sea levels in the coming decades. When facing the reality that entire nations could be made uninhabitable in a matter of years, the urgency of progress at these talks becomes frighteningly real.