UN OFFICIAL URGES GOVERNMENTS TO MEET CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE
The top United Nations climate change official today stressed the urgent need for governments to move forward in their negotiations ahead of a major conference in Cancun, Mexico, where they will be expected to conclude agreements related to issues such as technology transfer, mitigation and adaptation, and funding.
“We are barely two months away from the UN climate change conference in Cancun, the place where Governments need to take the next firm step on humanity's journey to meet the full-scale challenge of climate change,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Ahead of the next conference of parties to the Convention, to be held in November in Cancun, governments will hold a negotiating session in Tianjin, China, next week.
It is in Tianjin, said Ms. Figueres, that they will need to “cut down the number of options they have on the table, identify what is achievable in Cancun and muster the political compromises that will deliver those outcomes.”
She told a news conference at UN Headquarters that governments are converging on the need to mandate a full set of ways and means to launch a new wave of global climate action.
“On the whole, governments have been cognizant this year that there is an urgent need to move forward and they have been collaborating in moving beyond their national positions to begin to identify common ground so that they can reach several agreements in Cancun.”
The UN climate change chief said that negotiations are on track towards reaching agreements on the sharing of technology, jump-starting activities in developing countries dealing with reducing deforestation and degradation, setting out a framework for adaptation, and establishing a fund that would help developing countries with their mitigation and adaptation efforts.
“Let me be clear: there is no magic bullet, no one climate agreement that will solve everything right now,” she said.
“To expect that is naïve. It does not do justice to the crucial steps already achieved since the beginning of the Convention and it dangerously ignores the need to keep innovating.”
She noted four major trends shaping the future – energy supply and security; natural resource depletion; population growth; and climate change.
“An unchecked climate change is the flame that would make the other three burn most seriously,” said Ms. Figueres. “Governments can either stand together to turn these four threats into a new development paradigm that harnesses the full power of society, science and business, or they will fail divided.”