Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico

Representatives from almost 200 countries  signed a climate pact   in Cancun Mexico. Although   it is not a   binding   agreement,   many climate experts say it is a step in the right direction after the Copenhagen Climate conference in 2009 did not   produce   any real results.

In the Cancun   agreement ,   developed and developing countries   have promised to cut emissions . A new green   fund   is to be set up that will give poor countries over $133 billion   a year by 2020. They will use this money to protect forests, to share technology and to lower their  greenhouse gas   emissions . The United Nations has the job of monitoring the  emission rates .

The countries  present at Cancun,   however , did not agree on how to deal with the Kyoto Protocol. It was signed over a decade ago and is still in effect. Under the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2012, 40 rich nations have  promised   to  cut   emissions. It was not signed by the two largest polluters , the USA and China.

The   delegates   also   agreed   that global temperature should not rise more than 2°C (3.6”F) above the levels before the Industrial Revolution began.    According to climate experts the world is heading towards a rise of 3.6° C . Right now we are 0.8% higher than pre-industrial   times. Island countries of the Pacific and Indian Ocean are afraid that a rise in temperature will lead to a   flooding   of their countries.

 

The biggest   success of the Cancun  agreement   is that the talks will continue. It also has succeeded in   building trust   between rich nations and the poor ones of the Third World.

Only Bolivia   refused   to   sign   the   agreement . It said the agreement was   meaningless because richer countries would have to do much more to fight   global warming .

 

Rise in Global Temperature since the 19th century

Rise in global temperature since the 19th century

 

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Words

  • according to   =as said by …
  • agreement   = a promise to do something made by two or more people, organizations or countries
  • although   = while
  • billion   = a thousand million
  • binding agreement   = a treaty or agreement that countries must obey or follow
  • build trust   = when two people or countries think that they can be  honest to each other
  • cut   = lower
  • decade   = a period of ten years
  • delegate   = representative of a country
  • developed country   = industrialized country in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia
  • developing country   = poor country of the Third World
  • emission   = gas or other particles that are sent into the air
  • emission rate   = how high emissions are
  • flooding   = to cover land with water
  • fund   = money that is collected for something special
  • global warming   = the rise in the earth’s temperature because more and more greenhouse gases get into the atmosphere
  • greenhouse gas   = gas like carbon dioxide or methane that makes the atmosphere denser and lets light in but does not let heat out
  • however   = but
  • meaningless   = without any meaning , worthless
  • pact   = agreement, treaty
  • pre-industrial   = before the Industrial Revolution began
  • present   = at the conference table
  • produce   = turn out
  • promise   = to say that you will do something
  • refuse   = to say no
  • representative   = a person who comes to a conference to speak for his or her country
  • share   = to use together with others
  • sign   = to put your name on a document
  • success   = when you achieve what you have wanted to