Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Excerpts from Opening Speeches at COP 19/CMP 9

The UN Climate Change Conference known as COP 19/CMP 9, started in Warsaw with calls to "harness the strong groundswell of action on climate change across all levels of government, business and society and make real progress here towards a successful, global climate change agreement in 2015." The conference began on November 11 and runs until November 20.

The newly elected President of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19/CMP 9), Mr. Marcin Korolec, Poland’s Environment Minister, said in his opening address that climate change is a global problem that must be turned further into a global opportunity.

In her opening speech at the Warsaw National Stadium, the venue of COP 19, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) pointed to the fact that we have exceeded 400 parts per million of atmospheric carbon and she referenced Typoon Haiyan. She also called on nations to act now.
"Our collective climate-friendly capacity has increased as the risks of inaction materialize and the rewards of action magnify and multiply...here is a groundswell of climate action. Not only for environmental reasons, but also for security, energy, economic and governance reasons. Political will and public support favour action now....a new universal climate agreement is within our reach. Agencies, development banks, investors and subnational governments are on board. The science from the IPCC is clear. Parties can lead the momentum for change and move together towards success in 2015."
In his opening address by the President of COP 19, Mr. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah referenced the civilization altering threat that we face in common and the fact that we have thus far failed to do what we must:
"...we are all experiencing threatening climate change... Only two days ago, a powerful typhoon swept through the Philippines, claiming thousands of lives, leaving hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes. A great human tragedy. Unforgettable, painful, awakening. I say awakening because it is yet another proof that we are losing this unequal struggle between man and nature. It got the better of us yet again, and will continue to do so in the future if we do not close ranks and act together to strike back."

"Climate is a global issue, global problem and global opportunity at the same time. It’s also a problem if we can’t act in a concerted way. It becomes opportunity when we demonstrate the ability to act together. One country or even a group cannot make a difference. But acting together, united as we are here, we can do it."
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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