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ll countries have a great deal to win fromstrong international action on climatechange and from a strong outcome at theUN Climate Change Conference inCancún. And they stand to lose a great deal if there isnot enough action. Throughout this year, governments have focused onlaying the foundations of the next chapter of theclimate regime, in order to usher in a new energyrevolution and help the poorest and most vulnerableadapt effectively to climate change.In a series of UNFCCC gatherings, governments havediscussed what is doable this year, and what may have to be left until later. There are politicaldisagreements, mainly over how and when to agree ona fair share of the responsibilities of action amongst allcountries, in the short, medium and long term. Butgovernments can break those deadlocks and bridgetheir differences.Already last year, the world saw the emergence of high-level political will to tackle climate change as thedefining challenge of our time. A powerful wind isblowing from societies, science and business to meetthe climate challenge. Governments must now set fullsail ahead to capture these winds of change thathumanity wants to release.Governments have both the opportunity andresponsibility to build on past efforts in five key areas.First, they need to resolve what to do with their publicpledges to cut emissions. All industrialised countrieshave made public pledges to cut emissions by 2020,and all major developing countries have submittedplans to limit their emissions growth. How thesepledges can be captured and entered in a binding wayinto an international agreement is a key question forgovernments. But even if all current pledges weredelivered on time, the response would remaininadequate in the long-term to keep within safer globaltemperature rises.Therefore, more stringent actions to reduce emissionscannot be postponed much longer and industrialnations must lead.International agreements that incorporate effectivemechanisms to speed up and scale up action betweeneconomies can undoubtedly help individual countriesraise their efforts to cut emissions. To progress,governments also need to have a serious conversationabout the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only existinginternational agreement with legal status to verifyemission reductions, not least for the sake of clarity onthe future of the carbon market.Second, governments can agree a comprehensive setof ways and means to allow developing countries totake concrete climate action. This includes adapting toclimate change; limiting emissions growth; obtainingadequate finance; boosting use of technology andpromoting sustainable forestry. All developingcountries need help to take these actions, but thepoorest and most vulnerable among them needsupport most urgently.In this context, it is critically important to turn dry textsinto a set of keys that unlock a new level of climateaction among rich and poor, business and consumers,governments and citizens. If climate financing andtechnology transfer make it possible to give thousandsof villages efficient solar cookers and lights, not only doa nation's entire carbon emissions drop, but childrenRight: ChristianaFigueres has beeninvolved in climatechange negotiationssince 1995 and is a widely published author on the design of climate solutionsFOREWORD"IT IS CRITICALLYIMPORTANT TOTURN DRY TEXTSINTO A SET OFKEYS THAT UNLOCK A NEWLEVEL OF CLIMATEACTION AMONGRICH AND POOR,BUSINESS ANDCONSUMERS, GOVERNMENTSAND CITIZENS "014THE NEW ECONOMYACHRISTIANA FIGUERES, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (UNFCCC)

THE NEW ECONOMY015countries are moving to a common ground.Fifth, and last, governments agree that pledges need tobe captured in a binding manner. But they still need towork out how to do that. Binding agreements amonggovernments can be on an international level, on anational level, or can be based on compliance withrules and regulations. They could also involve a mix ofall three, and governments are currently consideringthem all.It is important to note that the combination of the lasttwo elements - accountability and binding action - isessential for societies, science, and business to beconfident that clean, green strategies are beingpursued and will be rewarded globally, as well as locally.The challenge governments face is not a small one.What is at stake is the long-term, sustainable future of humanity.We know the milestones science has set - by when andby how much emissions must drop to have a chance ofavoiding the worst. This requires nothing less than anenergy revolution both in production and consumption.Governments have been building common groundsince the UNFCCC began in Rio in 1992, and thenconsecutively at major gatherings in Berlin, Kyoto,Marrakesh, Bali, Copenhagen and now Cancún. Theidea that a single magic, global agreement could solveall climate issues does not do justice to the crucialsteps already achieved and, most importantly,dangerously ignores the need to keep innovating.In Cancún, governments can take the next essentialstep to achieve concrete and unmistakable progresstoward a sustainable future for all. nABOUT THE AUTHORChristiana Figueres was appointed as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 17 May 2010. The appointment was endorsed by the Bureau of the Convention. Ms Figueres has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995. She was a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team and represented Latin America and the Caribbean on the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism in 2007, before being elected Vice President of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties 2008-2009. She has served on several boards of non-governmental organisations involved in climate change issues, including the Voluntary Carbon Standard. She is also a widely published author on the design of climate solutions, and has been a frequent advisor to the private sector on how to play a leadership role in mitigation. grow healthier, women work easier and families cantalk, read, and write into the evening.Third, industrialised nations can turn their pledges of funding into reality. Last year, these countriespromised US$30 billion in fast-track financing fordeveloping country adaptation and mitigation effortsthrough 2012. Developing nations see the transparentand real allocation of this money as a critical signalthat industrialised nations are committed to progressin the broader negotiations. Industrialised countriesalso pledged to find ways and means to raise US$100billion a year by the year 2020. Fourth, countries want to see that what they agree witheach other is measured, reported and verified in atransparent and accountable way. The concept of"MRV", as it is called in the negotiations, is notcomplex. Countries simply want to know that what theysee is what they get. Progress here will be a gauge that