The United Nations Climate Change Conference - Copenhagen, 2009 opened today with a strong sense of confidence that countries can seal a comprehensive, ambitious and effective international climate change deal in Demark and with an unprecedented sense of urgency to act on climate change.
The highly anticipated conference marks an historic turning point on how the world confronts climate change, an issue with profound implications for the health and prosperity of all people.
Newly elected COP President and Danish COP 15 Minister Connie Hedegaard said, ‘We have reached the deadline and there is no going back. Copenhagen will be the city of the three C’s: Cooperation, Commitment and Consensus. Now is the time to capture the moment and conclude a truly ambitious global deal. This is our chance. If we miss this opportunity, we will not get a better one.’
According to the UN’s top climate change official, negotiators must focus on solid and practical proposals that will unleash prompt action on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and capacity-building.
UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Executive Secretary, Yvo de Boer, said there was unprecedented political momentum for a deal and announced three layers of action that governments must agree to by the end of the conference. These were a fast and effective implementation of immediate action on climate change; ambitious commitments to cut and limit emissions, including start-up funding and a long-term funding commitment; and a long-term shared vision on a low-emissions future for all.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an aggregate emission reduction by industrialised countries of between minus 25percent and 40 percent over 1990 levels would be required by 2020 in order to stave off the worst effects of climate change, with global emissions falling by at least 50 percent by 2050. Even under this scenario, there would be an only a 50 percent chance of avoiding the most catastrophic consequences.
110 heads of state and government will attend the conference at its conclusion and more than 15,000 participants, including government delegates, representatives from business and industry, environmental organisations and research institutions, are attending the two-week gathering.
Posted under Climate Change and What it Means to You on 7 December 2009