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SWS Commission

In Mexico, Socialist International outlines priorities for COP16

26-27 November 2010


The Socialist International Commission for a Sustainable World Society, having met in Mexico City on 27 November in advance of the opening of the 16th edition of Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

Mindful of the unfulfilled expectations of the COP15 held last year in Copenhagen and conscious that the COP16 in Cancún offers to the international community a new opportunity to address the consequences of global warming and climate change,

Considers it crucial that the conference should move forward on the following:
  • To insist in the urgent need to advance towards the conclusion of an ambitious and realistic international agreement on climate change, with binding commitments, with objectives and deadlines.
  • The need to make deeper emissions cuts. As stated in the past, commitments by individual nations should be based on past, present and future level of emissions and the country’s economic capacity to reduce them, under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The wealthiest nations with the greatest volume of emissions should reduce their emissions first and the most. In this context, we recognise the high ambitions of the European Union to reduce their own emissions.
  • The voluntary promises made since Copenhagen should be formalised, ratified and respected, without forgetting that the combined total of all the pledges made to date is insufficient to provide the necessary reduction in emissions for the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to fall to 350 parts per million (ppm), a figure we always have in our sights in order to limit the global temperature increase to a maximum of 2 degrees.
  • In this context, it is incumbent on developing countries to take nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) to limit their emissions. Whilst the potential for economic development of these states should not be harmed, it is vital that this development be sustainable. All commitments to reduce emissions must be measurable, reportable and verifiable.
  • To establish systems for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of the commitments taken and of the actions undertaken to reduce emissions, while contemplating mechanisms to make binding these obligations and to agree sanctions in the case of non-compliance.
  • To advance the schemes of compensation, technological cooperation, training and financing of measures for adaptation and mitigation. An urgent and significant increase should be accorded to adaptation measures, particularly in developing countries which have the lowest Human Development Indices or are at the highest risk and are most vulnerable to climate change.
  • Deepen scientific and technological cooperation between developed and developing countries on climate change. This exchange should focus on the promotion of the investigation and use of modern technologies.
  • To define an outline of an international financial architecture to combat climate change, putting into place the proposal to create the Copenhagen Green Fund in order to mobilise 100 billion dollars per year by 2020 to assist developing countries. In the short term, the commitment to provide 10 billion dollars in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for this purpose must be realised through a multilateral framework, in a manner that is transparent.
  • To support the recommendations of the UN High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, including a suggested carbon price of 20-25 USD per ton of CO2 by 2020 and referring to the potential for revenue generation of both a carbon tax, as outlined in the Commission report, and a global tax on financial transactions, as proposed by our International.
  • To set targets on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), which must be clear, comprehensive and strictly enforced. Not only does industrial deforestation contribute to emissions in its execution, but it also reduces global capability for the removal of greenhouse gas by forests and destroys the natural habitat of many endangered species. It is unacceptable that unsustainable deforestation continue to take place when its damaging consequences are so widely known and recognised. An agreement on REDD+ should include a flow of funds to reward a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions, supporting conservation, sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks and afforestation.

    The Copenhagen Accord, a statement of intent, contains voluntary pledges which must now be transformed into binding agreements. In order for this to be realised, a framework must be found on an equitable basis, in which all countries have the confidence to make the necessary commitments.

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