Expectations are much lower at the ongoing UN climate talks in Cancun compared with those on the eve of the Copenhagen summit last year.
In an appeal for more ambition and confidence to achieve a legally binding treaty by the end of the two-week conference, Christina Figures, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, said Monday that there were lots of good results from Copenhagen and that Cancun can launch a new era to create a safer future.
But after the climate conference in Copenhagen failed to produce such a treaty last year, expectations at Cancun are modest at best. The first phase of the current Kyoto Protocol, which sets limits on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions for industrial countries, is set to expire in 2012.
"Governments have made commitments to build stronger compromise," Figures said, expressing her optimism. "And I think they can reach a deal on mitigation, technology transfer, REDD+ and to reach a long term fund for climate change during the conference."
Patricia Espinosa, Mexico's minister of foreign affairs and president of the Cancun talks, also has high hopes.
"We expect concrete actions to benefit developing counties, where mostly suffer the consequences of climate change," she said. "We also need political actions to deal with the issues, including mitigation, reforestation, finance aid, and technology transfer."
Some delegates still said they don't expect much from this conference.
Luiz Alberto Figueiedo of Brazil said a legally binding deal is less likely to be reached in Cancun than it was at Copenhagen.