The outcome of the U.N.’s climate meeting in Cancún meeting was what we expected. Media reports describe it as “A near-consensus decision” but these happy reports don’t explain that the agreement was “a near-consensus decision” to not make any difficult decisions yet.

The conference did not reach agreement on a target date for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, there is no guarantee that the countries will honor their pledges to reduce emissions or improve efficiency, and no detail how a “green fund” will be created to help developing countries, not how the money will be spent.

The conference also did not agree on what to do about the expiring Kyoto Protocol. Set to expire in 2011, there is no replacement for Kyoto. Adding insult to lack of action, Japan itself has flatly stated that it will not agree to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. Other nations will follow suit.

The conference did agree to meet again, but then again, delegates always agree that they should meet in exotic locales on their governments’ dime.

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