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EU Environment Ministers Adopt Negotiating Position for Cancun

14 October 2010: At their meeting on 14 October 2010, in Brussels, Belgium, the Council of the EU Environment Ministers agreed on a negotiating strategy for the Cancun Climate Change Conference to be held in late 2010.

In the Council's conclusions, the Ministers stress the need for a stepwise approach, building on the Kyoto Protocol and the outcomes of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and paving the way for a global and comprehensive legally binding framework, integrating the political guidance given in the Copenhagen Accord. Ministers note the limited progress made at the Bonn and Tianjin sessions towards identifying elements of a balanced package in Cancun, and emphasize that a very significant increase in the pace of the negotiations will be needed in order to reach a successful and balanced outcome in Cancun.

Ministers indicate that decisions to be adopted in Cancun should cover: adaptation; mitigation; technology; capacity building; REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks); agriculture; monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV); finance and market-based mechanisms. They stress the need to anchor all countries' pledges in Cancun, whether made pursuant to the Copenhagen Accord or otherwise, in the context of the UNFCCC, with a view to facilitating the clarification of those pledges, mobilizing support for their implementation and supporting discussions on options to strengthen the collective level of ambition with a view to meeting the 2°C objective. Ministers also express support for a decision in Cancun to establish a registry to start capturing and facilitate matching of actions and support.

Ministers commit to make rapid progress towards developing sound guidelines, rules and modalities for REDD+ actions, in order to operationalize the REDD+ mechanism through a decision in Cancun, thereby ensuring its environmental integrity. They indicate that a decision on REDD+ in Cancun should address: securing safeguards, in particular with regard to biodiversity, consistent with the EU's objectives at the Nagoya Biodiversity Conference; recognizing the rights and knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities; and improving forest governance structures, supported by appropriate MRV requirements.

In addition, Ministers note that the Cancun Climate Change Conference should urge the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop without delay a global policy framework in a manner that ensures a level playing field and that does not lead to competitive distortions or carbon leakage, in accordance with the principles and customary practices of ICAO and IMO, taking into account the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC in the use of potential revenues.

Ministers also underline that the Cancun Climate Change Conference should provide a basis for the introduction of new sectoral or other scaled-up market mechanisms, including through pilot schemes, and the recognition of units resulting from such mechanisms, while preserving environmental integrity. They also: commit to work with all UNFCCC parties to develop guidelines for a coherent and balanced system for MRV, including international consultation and analysis; underline the need to promptly operationalize a Climate Technology Centre and Network; and emphasize their willingness to strengthen bilateral and regional alliances with a view to building bridges between parties that reinvigorate and feed into the UNFCCC, stressing the importance of the partnerships that the EU and its Member States have initiated with other UNFCCC parties on REDD+, MRV and mitigation, transparency of fast-start financing, adaptation and access to renewable energy, in preparing the ground for Cancun. [Council Conclusions]