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Saturday, May 21, 2022

UN Secretary Opens COP 16 Confab


Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, has opened the High Level Segment of COP 16 with a call on governments to be flexible and negotiate in a spirit of compromise and common sense for the good of all people.
“Issues of climate change are not sprints, but a marathon and therefore it is important to keep taking determined steps forward. People around the world are watching. They need their governments to act in their best long-term interests,” he said.
Delivering a statement at the on-going 16th session of the Conference of the Parties and the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Cancun Mexico, he said, “We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good,”.
Mr. Ban cautioned that the world is failing its last chance to control climate change and appealed to nations to ramp up slow but steady progress at talks in Mexico, adding that the world has a limited gateway to cut carbon emissions or risk irreversible damage to the planet according to studies by scientists.
“I’m deeply concerned that our efforts so far have been insufficient, that despite the evidence and many years of negotiation we are still not rising to the challenge. Business as usual cannot be tolerated. Cancun must represent a breakthrough.
Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the fate of low-lying islands should be a “wake-up call”.
She said a big difference remains between nations on issues such as cutting emissions, protection from climate impacts and inspections of others’ emission curbs.
“It is unclear whether those issues can be resolved in the three days left. The political stakes are high because the effectiveness and credibility of your inter-governmental, multilateral process are in danger,” she said.
Ms Figueres said, “And the environmental stakes are high because we are quickly running out of time to safeguard our future”.
President Felipe Calderon of Mexico, said in his opening speech, “The work has been difficult, but I see the results of negotiations are encouraging although it is clear there are formidable challenges to overcome”.
About a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable.
More recently a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty namely the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful and legally binding measures.

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