UNFCCC Executive Secretary: Cancun Agreements Form a “Solid Foundation”

2 March 2011: Addressing a climate change symposium organized by the Japan Institute of International Affairs, in Tokyo, Japan, Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, highlighted the outcomes of the Cancun Climate Change Conference and shared her views on the upcoming 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC, to take place in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011.

Figueres observed that the Cancun Agreements represent the most far-reaching collective effort to date to reduce carbon emissions and to build a system holding countries accountable to each other for those emission reductions. She said the Agreements form a "solid foundation" for scaled-up climate change action because: all industrialized countries have made their economy-wide reduction pledges official; they represent the broadest package ever to support developing countries; and they gave the strongest signal governments have ever sent to the private sector that the future of economies will be low-carbon.

Describing Japan's 25% emission target as "ambitious" and showing clear leadership, Figueres urged Japan to "stick to it" because it is "testimony to the new direction that economic growth in Japan set to take." She concluded by urging all governments to build on the Cancun Agreements throughout 2011. [Figueres' Statement]