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his year, the UN Climate ChangeConference takes place in South Africa, onAfrican soil. It takes place on a continentwhich will lose so much, if climate changeis not fully addressed, but which can gain so much fromthe solutions to climate change. Those solutions cannow be strengthened further, in Durban.Governments meeting in Durban for theCOP17/CMP7 conference have a huge task ahead ofthem: to continue to steer the global economy onto alow-carbon and climate-safe path. In real terms, thisrequires nothing short of an industrial and energyrevolution, combined with a massive effort to protectthe most vulnerable populations of the world from theravages of climate change. To move decisively towardsthis, governments need to take the next decisive stepin the global response to climate change. The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban needsto build on past successes to enable a greatercollective effort on climate change. Last year inCancun, Mexico, the international communityagreed to limit the global average temperature rise tobelow two degrees Celsius, sending the clearestsignal ever that governments intend to transform andde-carbonise their economies. And it agreed themost comprehensive package ever to helpdeveloping countries limit the growth of theirgreenhouse gas emissions and adapt to theinevitable effects of climate change.In Cancun, three new climate institutions wereagreed. Now in South Africa, work on building theseinstitutions needs to continue apace to enable theirfull functioning in 2012. This relates to theTechnology Mechanism, which is being designed toincrease technology cooperation for reducinggreenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climatechange, and which will depend on active privatesector involvement for its success. This also relates to the Adaptation Committee, whichwill better coordinate the current fragmentedadaptation measures. And it means completing thefirst phase of the design of the UNFCCC's GreenClimate Fund.Secure and predictable long-term finance is crucialfor developing countries to take action. At Cancun,governments agreed to provide US$100 billion by2020. Going forward, governments need to clarifyhow to mobilise this amount and how to ramp upclimate finance well before 2020. Both governmentsand the private sector need to mobilise climatefinance, and countries are therefore activelyconsidering how to involve the private sector in thedesign and operation of all three Cancun institutions.Since the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancunlast year, governments have repeatedly acknowledgedthat their collective efforts to reduce greenhouseemissions as they stand are inadequate, with thepledges made in Mexico only amounting to 60 percent of what is required to stay below the agreed twodegrees Celsius temperature rise. Much progress on avariety of technical issues has been made in thecourse of 2011, and there is universal understandingof the need to increase the speed and scale of action. But the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban willbe the time when crucial political decisions on a futureframework to reduce global greenhouse emissions canbe made, charting the common path ahead, whilstsafeguarding what countries have developed and builtso laboriously over the past decades.FOREWORD012THE NEW ECONOMYCHRISTIANA FIGUERES, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE UNITED NATIONSFRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCC)T

THE NEW ECONOMY013Left: Christiana FigueresThe defining issue for Durban will undoubtedly be for the global community to clarify the future of the Kyoto Protocol on the one hand, and to advancethe evolving mitigation framework under the climatechange convention on the other. In this context, it will be critical to officially establish countries'mitigation pledges within the process withoutlocking in the current insufficient level of ambition.Additionally, further progress on the rules foraccountable emission reductions is urgently needed.Finally, governments meeting in Durban need to definethe rules to undertake the review, which will assess apossible need to strengthen the temperature goal,including in relations to a limit of 1.5C. The politicaldecision-making process depends on scientific inputs,and governments need to decide how exactly they wantto conduct this important process.Achieving all of the above will be a tall order, but byno means impossible. After all, the host countrySouth Africa had huge obstacles to overcome on theway to becoming the country it is today. That was onlypossible because those responsible never lost sight of the supreme goal of the common good, knowingthey could only pull through together by overcomingwhat for a while appeared to be insurmountabledifferences, and compromising on core issues. As Nelson Mandela famously said: "After climbing agreat hill, one only finds that there are many morehills to climb." Governments meeting in Durban haveno alternative than to collectively climb the steep hillof Durban, and to take the next series of crucialclimate steps. And this next series of crucial steps needs to enablethe collective effort in implementation by bothgovernments and the private sector. Thiscombination of policy and action is what is needed tospark the energy revolution and vulnerabilityreduction that the world is waiting for. n