The Cancun Climate Summit is scheduled to start on November 29, and Jones Lang LaSalle has just signed the Cancun Communiqué, which sets out the case for action on climate change. Not much is expected to happen at this “last-chance” summit before the first commitment period for the Kyoto Protocols ends in 2012. The U.S. and China, the world’s largest carbon producers, have not been able to agree on ways to measure, monitor and verify emissions, and are unlikely to sign onto the Protocols before the commitment period expires.
You can read more about the goals and challenges of Cancun, as well as an overview of where various countries stand on carbon efficiency and other sustainability indicators, in the newest installment of, Global Sustainability Perspectives, our quarterly report on energy and sustainability issues around the world.
One passage in particular I found enlightening. The report notes that the 15 European Union signatories to the Kyoto Protocols are on track to reach their goal of reducing CO2 by 8 percent between 2008 and 2012 compared to the 1990 baseline year—“and this in spite of a 45 percent economic growth over the same period.” So despite what many in the U.S. seem to believe, CO2 reduction and economic growth are not mutually exclusive goals.