U.N. Unveils Tool for Tracking Progress of Climate Talks

We’ll always have Cancún. Online, at least.

The United Nations office in charge of international climate change negotiations introduced a new online tool on Monday to track progress toward meeting the goals agreed to last December at an international climate conference in Cancún, Mexico.

That meeting, remember, got the international talks back on track after the debacle at Copenhagen a year earlier. Climate negotiators came to Cancún in a more businesslike mood and with more modest and realistic expectations. No one expected to conclude a binding international treaty, and none was produced.

But the more than 190 nations represented at the talks achieved marked progress on the main agenda items: mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change, international financing arrangements, slowing deforestation and development of low-carbon energy sources. They recommitted to taking collective action to keep the rise in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius over the next half-century.
 
The new Web site maintained by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change details terms of the Cancún agreement and overall progress toward meeting them. A separate Web site compiles the pledges by individual nations toward those goals.

The United States, for example, offered a submission last week spelling out its views on how a committee on adaptation should be structured, financed and operated.

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