Monday, 7 December 2009

COP 15 opens

Rachna Lal, USP Journalism, Climate Pasifika

7 December, Copenhagen - "Global warming knows no border. It does not discriminate. It affects us all. And here we are today, because we are all committed to action."

These were the opening remarks by the determined Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Lokke Rasmussen during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

"The magnitude of the challenge before us is to translate this political will into a strong common approach which is to forge an agreement that will provide for effective global solutions," he said.

Mr Rasmussen announced that the presence of the 110 Heads of State and Governments during the conference indicating the reflection of an unprecedented mobilization of political determination to combat climate change.

The Executive Secretary for United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change, Yvo de Boer emphasised that Copenhagen will only be successful if it delivers significant and immediate action that begins the day the conference ends.

"In the week ahead, the focus needs to be on crafting solid and practical proposals that will unleash prompt action on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, REDD and capacity-building," he added.

"Developing countries desperately need tangible, immediate action on these crucial issues. Much of the work that has been accomplished over the past two years can be turned into immediate action."

He also said the time for formal statements is over, the time for restating well-known positions is past and the time has indeed come to reach out to each other.

Basing her confidence on the daily contacts with the delegation, Connie Hedegaard, the chairperson of the COP15, said the time to deliver is now and this is the place to commit but there are still obstacles and it is up to us to over-come them.

Hedegaard believes finance is a bigger challenge.

"In the next two weeks we need to work really hard and find bth public and private money, especially money you can count on in the long term."

"Compromise, agree and find concrete solutions, use every skill available to pave the way for ministers and leaders to finalise the deal," she said.

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