“Only because of the extremely low expectations going into Cancún can it be judged a success, and because the process is now more or less back on track,” says Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of GWEC.

“The agreements do not actually move us a great deal further down the road towards saving the climate, but they constitute a renewed commitment by the global community to the multilateral UNFCCC process, and rekindle hopes for a global, binding climate agreement in the future.”

GWEC calls on governments to re-double their efforts to establish a framework within which greenhouse gas emissions can peak and begin to fall well before the end of the current decade, as the science dictates, in order to preserve the possibility of avoiding the worst ravages of human-induced climate change.

“None of the fundamental political, legal and architectural issues that still must be resolved in order to (re)establish an effective global climate regime have been ‘solved’, but the outlines of the way forward are beginning to emerge,” Sawyer concludes.

“The Mexican presidency has succeeded in creating an atmosphere of improved trust, cooperation and commitment to the process which was virtually destroyed in the shambles of Copenhagen. The outcome of Cancún was a necessary step to re-establish the legitimacy and efficacy of the UNFCCC process.”

Whether or not they yield fruit in the near future now becomes the responsibility of the South African Presidency leading up to COP-17 in Durban next year, GWEC says.

“Failure to deliver on the key outstanding issues will significantly undermine investment in clean energy technologies and other concrete action on mitigation,” Sawyer warns.

“A meaningful climate agreement must move us gradually towards a global price on carbon, to enable the private sector to play its key role in financing the energy revolution. The wind industry stands ready to play its part in this revolution.”

The global wind industry had issued a Cancún Declaration during the negotiations, calling on decision makers to make urgent progress on reaching a new climate deal.