The UN Climate Change Conference in Peru ( 1- 12 December) kicked off on Monday with inspiring calls to climate action.
In her opening address, the UN’s top climate change official Christiana Figueres called on delegates to take inspiration from Peru’s famous Nazca lines etched into the soil by Peru’s indigenous Nazca people many centuries ago.
These lines depict symbols of Nazca mythology, and include the monkey, the hummingbird and the condor.
Ms. Figueres said the world now needed lines of action on climate change that are “as indelible over time as the Nazca lines."
Drawing parallels to the hard work, delegates need to undertake to design the 2015 global Paris agreement, and ramping up immediate climate action, she said:
"We must emulate the hard work it took to etch these lines into the soil, embody the tenacity of those who carved them, and create global climate and development agendas with the durability of this ancient art form."
According to Ms. Figueres, key deliverables for the meeting are:
- a draft of a new, universal climate change agreement on the table and clarification of how national contributions will be communicated next year
- consolidating of progress on adaptation to achieve political parity with mitigation, given the equal urgency of both
- enhancement of the delivery of finance, in particular to the most vulnerable
- stimulation of ever-increasing action on the part of all stakeholders to scale up the scope and accelerate the solutions that move us all forward, faster.
Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Environment Minister of Peru, was elected President of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20/CMP 10).
In his opening address, he said that the meeting was taking place against a background of announcements to curb emissions by several major emitting countries and the large public mobilization and many initiatives launched at the September Climate Summit in New York.
He also praised countries for making pledges towards the initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund.
Alluding to the summary of the latest findings of the UN’s International Climate Change, published in October in Copenhagen, COP President Pulgar-Vidal said:
"This report contains several messages that are undeniable: never before has there been so much evidence of social and natural effects of severe and irreversible climate change. Never before has it been so clear that the window of opportunity to reduce emissions will soon close. Never before has it been so necessary to ensure that our cities and sectors can adapt to climate change. Never before have we so clearly seen the multiple opportunities for co-benefits through accelerated efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climate change."