Calls for compromise at COP 16

The 16th Climate Change Conference in Cancun opened yesterday with a speech from Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

He said climate change affected everyone and highlighted some of the extreme weather disasters in the last year such as the floods in Pakistan and hurricane in Mexico.

He said: “Climate change is an issue that affects life on a planetary scale. What this means is that you will not be here alone negotiating in Cancun.

“By your side, there will be billions of human beings, expecting you to work for all of humanity”.

Also speaking was Mexican Foreign Minister and COP President Patricia Espinosa who also called for a commitment to making progress.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said that governments had revealed a growing convergence and a number of “politically charged” issued needed to be resolved.

Chiefly, how to take mitigation actions forward and formalise the targets as a matter of urgency.

Unresolved issues include accountability for implementation of the mitigation targets, the mobilization of long-term finance along with an understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts.

Christiana Figueres said: “When the stakes are high and issues are challenging, compromise is an act of wisdom that can unite different positions in creative ways.

“I am convinced that governments can compromise to find their way to a concrete outcome.

“That outcome needs to be both firm and dependable and have a dedicated follow-on process for future work”

Alison Brown

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