I wasn't expecting a lot from Cancun - see here my previous comment - however Ian Redmond who spoke at the Coffee House discussions was slightly more optimistic - see here. Well it was perhaps somewhere in between...
Photos: Ruscombe at the end of last week
Greens have given the Summit a lukewarm reception. Party leader Caroline Lucas MP commented that "It's a very weak deal - enough to keep the ongoing negotiation process alive, but not enough to save the climate."
On the positive side there was now - for the first time - an agreement amongst all countries that they must cut their emissions, and that the rich countries must provide funding support to developing countries to help them deal with climate change, including with their low-carbon development. There was also some protection for remaining forests. The negatives, however, included that the deal is not binding, that there are too many loopholes to allow countries to evade their responsibilities, and that the world still does not have agreement to achieve the CO2-reduction targets demanded by scientists.
Scientists are saying clearly that there must be 40% global CO2 cuts by 2020 for the world to have even a 50:50 chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. The Green Party continues to argue that the UK could meet the necessary target of 90% CO2 reductions by 2030, provided there was the political will to invest heavily in transforming the economy.
The UK government neaeds to lead by example - adopting the right targets and demonstrating the benefits that carbon-reduction policies can bring.
See here the Met Office. They are at least making very clear that climate change is a serious threat: "The evidence continues to accumulate, strengthening the link between man's activity and a wide range of indicators of a changing climate, both globally and regionally....Against this background of long-term climate change and shorter term natural variability, 2010 is one of the warmest years on record. The global temperature for the twelve months to September 2010 was 0.52 °C above the 1961–90 average (0.81 °C above the pre-industrial average)."
Interesting article from Geoff Lean (the only mainstream journalist yet known to say the Green Party’s economic policies are ahead of those of the big three parties)...who notes more about the good news - See here.