The key challenge of Cancun was accomplished.Photo: U.N. Climate TalksThe international climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, have concluded, and despite the gloom-and-doom predictions that dominated the weeks and months leading up to Cancun, the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [PDF] must be judged a success. It represents a set of modest steps forward. Nothing more should be expected from this process. As I said in my Nov. 19 essay -- Defining Success for Climate Negotiations in Cancun -- the key challenge was to continue the process of constructing …
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Robert N. Stavins is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, and Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.