Since Friday, December 10, the day the Cancun conference was supposed to come to a close, I have spent an inordinate amount of time gathering and sorting mainly useless information on the subject. It has been impossible even to find the actual closing time, on Saturday December 11, as the talks were stretched a number of hours in order to overcome the last impasses. The original time given for the end of the conference was in fact 6 pm, Cancun time, of December 10. Some article say the gavel was struck very early on Saturday morning, some mention the wee hours, but I couldn’t find the actual time anywhere.
If you haven’t followed the events in Cancun in the last couple of weeks, here is a link to access an interesting interactive site that will explain what went on: OneClimate.net
Here is another link to the UN Environment Programme,important times for re-assessing the way we communicate and divulge our opinions to the world, more reflective times, in which past attitudes can be scrutinized and past issues re-considered in a more insightful light.
Here is the Chart for that future event. Notice that I have used the same Opening Ceremon where you can find a concise list of all the points that the delegates have finally agreed on.
Remember the modest Last Quarter Virgo Moon at the Cancun Climate Change Summit’s opening ceremony?
Well, that Moon has delivered modest but realistic results at the end of nearly two weeks of difficult and heated debate, establishing the groundwork for more comprehensive future negotiations. On the very last day, as Mercury was turning Stationary Retrograde, the Mexican hosts asked for extra time, to make sure some agreement could be finalized. I think many would have been surprised that, considering the circumstances, a last minute compromise was actually reached.
As I expected reading the Chart that began the event, the results have been modest, but some important steps in the right direction have been made. The multilateral UN project on Climate Change has survived. The well founded fears that it will all end in a bad way have not been fulfilled. If interested, please navigate to introductory post on Cancun’s Climate Change Summit 2010 and my second post on the same event.
An Earth Watch BBC journalist, Richard Black, described Copenhagen as the Great Dane that whimpered, and Cancun as the chihuahua that roared. I feel this to be a very well fitting description.
In a nutshell: the major achievement of the Cancun Package
♦ The realization that international cooperation is possible to tackle the problems caused by climate change. These talks have restored some faith in the possibility of making legally binding commitments in the future. Before this conference the global cooperation was more an aspiration than a reality. Of essential importance was also the affirmation that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world in our time. Only Bolivia disapproved of the final package, but the desire for compromise and progress won all other nations.
♦ The establishment of a Green Fund for developing countries (100 US billion $), to aid them to prepare for the unavoidable difficulties of raising temperatures, and to avoid those activities that exacerbate the effects of global warming, like deforestation and pollution of natural habitats. They have been 900 or more natural disasters in 2010, one of the warmest years since record began in the 19th century and most have affected developing countries. The establishment of this all important fund was proposed in Copenhagen but few dared to hope that it will be passed in Cancun. Many facets of this accord are still uncertain as to their implementation, but it is nevertheless a great step forward. The USA won the first three years running of this Fund by the World Bank, a point that was heatedly debated and could have been a serious stumbling block too.
♦ As far as emissions are concerned the 194 countries delegates in Cancun have agreed to raise their emissions cutting targets between 25 and 40 % of 1990 level, by the end of this decade (2020). These targets are closer to the ones recommended by scientists in order to avoid a temperature raise of more than 2 degrees, even if they don’t quite match what the scientists demanded. The possible target of 1.5 degrees rather than 2 is mentioned in the final document, leaving the issue open to amendments during future talks.
♦ The final text solved the difficult knot about the future of the Kyoto protocol, that has seen the USA and China at loggerhead with each other and developing nations, by simply deferring the decision for another year, until the 2011 meetings in Durban. Compromising in this way has served the positive purpose of avoiding the paralyzing stalemate that the fundamental disagreement on Kyoto was creating.
♦ A global scheme, known as REDD (= Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) has been agreed upon, a first step to combat deforestation, by rewarding developing countries when they choose to protect and maintain their forests rather than exploiting them for short term gains.This scheme also pledge to transfer green technologies from the developed countries to the developing ones.
Despite the undeniable progress made at this conference, with many Green groups cautiously optimistic at the results, to many environmentalists this conference is another disappointment, because, despite some useful concrete steps taken, these measures may not prove sufficient to avoid dangerous temperature increases on the globe. And also no legally binding commitments have been agreed upon, leaving a lot to the discretion of participating nations. Countries have been urged to do more about emissions, but no concrete way of how to achieve this has been as yet established.
This has been the second global Climate Change Conference in a row that started on the wane of the Moon, close to the Last Quarter. This is a critical point in the cycle at the best of times, and one that has more to do with the past and unfinished business than with the start of something new. This effect was clearly shown by the amount of time that has been spent, some may say wasted, trying to fix old problems, arguing the very same chronic points discussed in Copenhagen in 2009. On the other hand Virgo is a Earth Sign, willing to work hard and keen on achieving concrete results, plus the accent that was in Sagittarius at the start (with the Sun, Mercury and Mars in this Fire Sign) shifted to Earthy Capricorn during the conference, when Mercury entered this Sign on December 2 and Mars on December 8. Both met Pluto during their Capricorn transit, fact that intensified the debate, creating more obvious power struggles, but also encouraging commitment to find solution and a serious attitude, Pluto’s energy thriving in tackling core issues.
The shift from Fire to Earth showed that some results were indeed possible and some real pledges will be made. The Moon herself has moved, between opening and closing dates, from a waning Virgo phase to a waxing Aquarius phase, a positive development.
I want to briefly mention here the most significant transits that became active on the last few days of the conference. First of all, Uranus in Pisces turned Stationary Direct on December 6, readying himself for his future ingress into Aries (March 12 2011), a turning point this, making the reforming and humanitarian energy of Uranus more available to all. Then a positive sextile between the Sun in Sagittarius and Saturn in Libra occurred on December 7, another grounding influence, positive for contracts and serious commitments. Many have described the final agreement as balanced, an appropriate word for a transit of Saturn in Libra, the Sign of justice and balance. Finally another sextile between Venus in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn became exact on December 9, promoting cooperation and the willingness to make things work.
Here is that first Chart again:
The next Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa
I had a look at the next global conference for Climate Change to be held in Durban, South Africa, between November 28 and December 9 2011. The good news is that the Capricorn Moon will be Waxing Crescent at the start of this future summit, reaching her climax Full Moon phase just before the ending, certainly a more promising Moon, if we are looking for action.
In the two preceding summits the Moon went instead from Last Quarter phase to early New Moon phase. In Copenhagen we had the New Moon very close to the end of the conference, when only Obama’s last minute intervention saved the day, or so we were made to believe. In Cancun instead the conference went on a bit further into the waxing cycle, to the Crescent phase. So, where we are leaving this year we will find ourselves at the start of the talks next year (Crescent).
Another observation that can be made about Durban is that the conference will take place between two Eclipses: a Partial Solar Eclipse on the Sagittarius New Moon preceding the event, November 25, 2011, and a Gemini Total Lunar Eclipse, on Full Moon day, December 10, a day past the end of the summit. At the time of the Solar Eclipse the Sun and Moon will be in helpful aspect to Uranus, promoting changes and a more out of the box kind of thinking. They will be however also in difficult aspect to Mars in Virgo, assuring lively arguments and splitting of hairs discussions too. At the same time Mars will be involved in an auspicious Grand Trine in Earth Sign, uniting with both Jupiter, by then in early Taurus, and Pluto in Capricorn. This is a configuration that promises greater commitments and a more down to earth approach.
At the eclipsed Full Moon time, on December 10, the Sun and Moon will be again at cross purpose to picky Mars in Virgo (more squabbles and antagonism), while throughout the length of the whole conference the planets Saturn, usually one of the greatest stumbling blocks when it come to transits, will be in harmonious aspect to Neptune, the planet that embodies all higher human aspirations and sense of spiritual unity. This aspect is also promising that some of our collective dreams and ideals (Neptune) may find a way to manifest in the hard world of physical reality (Saturn).
Another similarity between Cancun and Durban will be that both conferences will be close to a Mercury Retrograde’s period, Cancun ending as Mercury began his Retro Station in Capricorn, on December 9, early morning, Cancun time. While Mercury will go Retrograde in Sagittarius just one day before the Durban’s summit, turning Direct again only after the conference will end. The Stations and Retrogradation of our little neighbor always mark
y’s time that we had in Cancun. The actual time chosen may turn up to be different.
If interested please visit my introductory post on Cancun’s Climate Change Summit 2010, and also my second post on the same Global Warming event.