Ministers meeting in Cancun, Mexico reached a series of agreements that include measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a goal of limiting the global average temperature increase to 2°C, greater protections for forests, and a new U.N.-administered climate fund finance mitigation and adaptation activities in developing countries. While the "Cancun Agreement" doesn't set any binding targets, it lays the groundwork for a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
In total 26 agreements were reached, including language that advances the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism, which aims to compensate developing countries for protecting their forests. Although many of the details around REDD+ are still on the table, the text includes social and environmental ‘safeguards’ and creates space for interim "sub-national" projects nested under national monitoring and reporting systems. The agreement does not address whether market-based mechanisms (e.g. carbon trading) can be used to finance REDD. Read more and the various views on the REDD+ outcome from Cancun