Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a priority that the entire world should address now; it is the only long-term answer for stabilizing the global climate. Without immediate action, we risk causing irreversible impacts on people and the environment.

IUCN believes one of the top priorities is to make new, ‘fast-track’ funding available immediately, for both climate change adaptation and mitigation. Donor Parties need to make tangible moves towards establishing long term funding arrangements.

One of the most immediately accessible and affordable solutions to reduce carbon emissions is to stop the loss and degradation of tropical forests.

“The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (known as REDD) mechanism developed under the post 2012 UNFCCC regime, whereby developed countries pay tropical developing countries to conserve and restore their forests, is one of the most promising developments in the past three years of negotiations,” says IUCN’s Climate Change Coordinator, Ninni Ikkala.

Adaptation, in particular how to fund adaptation measures, is high on the UNFCCC’s agenda. IUCN supports the establishment of a strong, action-oriented Adaptation Framework as part of the 2012 regime, and for the formal inclusion of Ecosystem-based Adaptation. This refers to the management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to ensure they continue to provide services such as flood control that enable people to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The debate continues over emissions reductions. Developing countries want to see clear commitments from developed countries and a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand, several developed countries are keen for major developing economies to take commitments on emissions reductions and to agree to monitoring and reporting on these reductions.

“It is unclear if countries will agree to decisions on other issues in Cancun unless there is agreement on these main hurdles,” says Ikkala.

IUCN experts will be attending the conference, engaging with Parties and observers and ensuring that the latest science underpins the decisions being taken. We’ll be reporting live from Cancun on the state of negotiations.

Learn more about IUCN’s involvement with the UNFCCC.