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3 days to the end of COP16

December 8, 2010

At the opening plenary for the high level segment of COP16, the opening speeches by Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres and Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon highlighted several issues that remain to be solved through the series of high level meetings that will be held in this 3 days, all leading up to an agreement that possibly resembles the fabled ‘fair, ambitious and legally-binding’ deal that has been touted for some time now as the Holy Grail of COP.

In her speech, Figueres mentioned succinctly the tasks that still needed to be overcome:

Your task over the next very brief three days is to reach conciliation in a balanced manner on all outstanding elements of the Bali Road Map, including:
• Conciliation on the future of the Kyoto Protocol, and its mechanisms and on avoiding a gap beyond 2012;
• Conciliation on how and where to anchor mitigation proposals that have been put forward this year;
• Conciliation on the accountability for the implementation of mitigation proposals and the accompanying financial support;
• Conciliation on long-term funding to assist developing countries and specifically the most vulnerable of these;
• Conciliation on response measures; and
• Conciliation on an understanding of fairness to guide long-term mitigation efforts.

She showed optimism in that Cancun would be a substantial step in making climate change history and in the right direction, but urged countries to negotiate with flexibility and concern for their shared home – the Earth.

If you find your national position is in opposition to that of others, don’t ask for compromise – think of our common planet, and offer the compromise first.

This call for Cancun to produce a substantial product was echoed later by speakers who agreed that giving up Cancun was not an option.

Connie Hedegaard of the European Union asserted, “We owe it to our citizens, the people who have climate change as a fact of their lives, to make Cancun fruitful.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon also mentioned in his address that “Climate change wasn’t created overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight either.” There would be no Copenhagen Accord last minute deal for sure, but the long, drawn-out process would be accelerated for the end of COP16.

For more information, follow @eco_singapore on Twitter for live updates with quotes from plenaries that we have access to.

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