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Cop 16 In Cancun

Cop 16 In Cancun - The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP16 kicked off yesterday in Cancun, Mexico. Delegates from 192 nations are attending through December 10 hoping to determine a collective, international approach to slowing and preparing their countries for an increase in global temperatures.

Conference goals— laid out at an opening address by Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)— include the establishment of: commitments from countries to stop deforestation, a fund worth approximately $100 billion-a-year by 2013 to help poor people cope with climate change, and mechanisms that facilitate technology transfer between nations.

Last year’s COP 15 conference in Copenhagen failed in its primary mission to draw countries into a legally binding agreement to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. After the event, however, seventy countries signed the Copenhagen Accord, a voluntary political agreement to address climate change. As part of the accord, the U.S. said it hoped to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 but made no firm promises.

Studies published today by the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions A journal predict that world temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2F) as soon as 2060 if humanity’s contributions to climate change go unchecked.

The effects of warming that aggressive would include everything from drinking water shortages, to the loss of marine life (and important seafood supplies) as oceans become more acidic. The costs for nations to cope with such changes would be astronomical.

Cop 16 In Cancun


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