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CANCÚN FOCUS021mitigation actions, according to our common butdifferentiated responsibilities and capabilities.As a developing country, Mexico knows first-hand thatfinancing is key to ramping up responses on mitigationand adaptation to climate change. The existing financialarchitecture in this field is limited in scope, faces somedelays, and lacks a unified long-term vision. Anagreement on finance is paramount to allow realprogress in the implementation of all pillars of the BaliAction Plan. The creation of a Green Fund therefore iscentral to the overall effort and particularly important fordeveloping economies.We must also redouble our efforts around capacity-building, recognise the importance of reducingemissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as establish a dynamic framework for technology development and transfer. Action onadaptation must allow developing countries to enhance their resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change that most are already experiencing. The regime will necessarily require transparency, withstreamlined and clear procedures. We can all agree onthe importance of building confidence and following-upon the efforts undertaken, through differentiatedschemes of measurement, report and verification (MRV),both of mitigation and finance, and a mechanism thatprovides for international consultation and analysis (ICA).We must be ambitious, while also being realistic and pragmatic. We must deliver, and prove that themultilateral system remains the most effective path forreaching global solutions. The Conferences in Cancúnprovide a unique opportunity to start a new era of globalaction, based on what science tells us is required. nABOUT THE AUTHORAmbassador Patricia Espinosa was appointedSecretary of Foreign Affairs on 1 December 2006.She has been a member of the Mexican ForeignService since 16 September 1981 and was promotedto Ambassador in January 2000.From June 2002 until November 2006, she served asAmbassador to Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia and asPermanent Representative to the InternationalOrganisations in Vienna, and from 2001 through 2002,as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.Prior to that, Patricia Espinosa was Director Generalof Regional Organisations of the Americas at theSecretariat of Foreign Affairs from 1997 until 1999,National Coordinator for the Rio Group, the Ibero-American Summit, and the Latin America andCaribbean - European Union Summit.She was assigned to the Permanent Mission ofMexico to the United Nations in New York from 1993through to 1997. In September 1997 she completedher tenure as President of the 3rd Committee at the51st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.Ms Espinosa was Director of InternationalOrganisationsat the Secretariat of Foreign Affairsfrom 1991 to 1993. From 1989 to 1991 she servedas Chief of Cabinet to the Undersecretary of ForeignAffairs. From 1982 to 1988, she was responsible foreconomic affairs at the Permanent Mission of Mexicoto the United Nations in Geneva.Patricia Espinosa was educated at the GermanSchool Alexander von Humboldt in Mexico City, andcompleted one academic year in Ahrensburg,Germany. She graduated in International Relationsfrom El Colegio de México and continued herpostgraduate studies in International Law at theInstitute for High International Studies in Geneva.She is fluent in German, English and French.

he world has an important opportunity inCancún, Mexico, to make progresstowards a global agreement on effectivelytackling climate change. But beforeconstructive negotiations can take place, carefullyassessed policy options must be put forward to promotethe key elements of any agreement. This requires understanding the magnitude of the risksfrom climate change; the economic, technological andbehavioural options for transitioning to low-carbongrowth, and how the different nations of the worldmight collaborate to achieve a fair and efficientoutcome. In the absence of such basic preparations,negotiation by international bureaucrats on issues that require complex, technical understanding and the evaluation of uncertain policies, risk beingunproductive, misguided, and chaotic. But if properfoundations are laid, then countries can go forwardwith confidence that a credible and constructiveresponse to the joint challenges of securing growth,reducing poverty and managing climate change can be found. The risks from unmanaged climate change areimmense. It was in 1824 when Joseph Fourierobserved that the surface of the earth was muchwarmer than it would be without its atmosphere. About150 years ago, John Tyndall showed that the presenceof gases such as carbon dioxide were responsible forcreating the greenhouse effect - the trapping of solarenergy as heat by the atmosphere. Since then, thescience has become ever more clear and nature isconforming to theory more closely than anyone couldhave expected.On the basis of the scientific evidence outlined by theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if we donot take action and carry on with something like"business as usual," we may reach greenhouse gas(GHG) concentrations by the end of the century thatwould imply perhaps a 50 per cent chance of a rise inglobal temperature of 5°C or more above its level in thenineteenth century by early next century. Such a globaltemperature has not been seen for more than 30million years (humans, as homosapiens, have beenaround for only around 200,000 years). The physicaland human geography of the planet would be radicallyredrawn over what, in terms of geological time-scales,is a mere blink of an eye. Because different parts of the world will warm atdifferent rates, pressure patterns will change andseasonal air currents will shift. This will cause changesin levels and the distribution of water: storms, floods,droughts, river flows and rises in sea level. In otherwords, changes in the fundamental historicaldeterminants of how and where we live our lives. As aconsequence, regions previously inundated with rainsmay turn to desert and vice versa. In addition, theclimate will no longer be cold enough to keep the ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica stable,threatening sizable increases in the global sea level. All this could mean the movement of hundreds ofmillions or billions of people, a scale that historysuggests would likely involve extended, severe, andglobal conflicts. Yet accurately projecting the precise impact ofgreenhouse-gas emissions is far from straightforward.There is uncertainty about future emissions, about the possible magnitude of absorption of greenhousegases by the land, forests, and oceans, about themagnitude of warming from changes in greenhousegas levels, and about the effects on local climatesaround the world. Complex multidimensional general-Right: The risks fromunmanaged climatechange are immenseFOSTERING A NEW ERA OFLOW-CARBON PROGRESSAND PROSPERITY022GLOBAL VOICESTPROFESSOR LORD NICHOLAS STERN, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS (LSE)DIMITRI ZENGHELIS, SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISOR, LONG TERM INNOVATION GROUP, CISCO