The United Nations Conference on Climate Change continued its work sessions the first week of December, with representatives from 195 countries focused on establishing an international agreement to put a brake on rising temperatures, limiting the increase to two degrees Celsius with respect to the planet’s pre-industrial average.
The COP21 High Level Segment took place December 7-8, with remarks made by heads of state and delegation leaders, as a compliment to the meeting held to initiate the summit.
Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Elba Rosa Pérez reiterated the country’s commitment to the success of the Paris conference, which she insisted must produce a fair, balanced, ambitious agreement, in a transparent manner.
Speaking during the high level session, Pérez said that Cuba will continue to work constructively to respond to the hopes which the world’s people have placed in the hands of the conference.
She quoted Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who during the earlier meeting of heads of state insisted that the agreement emerging from the gathering reflect a firm global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Venezuelan People’s Power Minister of Eco-socialism and Waters Guillermo Barreto expressed confidence in the achievement of a fair, equitable and ecologically sound accord at the United Nations event.
Barreto recalled that during the failed Copenhagen conference, President Hugo Chávez took to the streets with the demand to change the system, not just the climate, which inspired a rejection of the unfair agreement which rich countries attempted to impose at the last minute.
Nicaragua demanded direct, unconditional reparations for developing Latin American countries facing the consequences of climate change they did not create, likewise the African Group emphasized that a new agreement must prioritize the vulnerability and needs of this continent.
While Laurent Fabius, COP21 president, insisted on a worldwide agreement, nations of the South advocated for shared but differentiated responsibility, given the predominant role industrialized nations have played in environmental pollution. Developing nations demand that these ricer countries demonstrate the political will to remediate the problem by providing resources, training and technology to support adaptation to climate change and the development of alternate energy sources, Prensa Latina reported.
During an African ministerial conference on the environment, Ban Ki-moon praised these countries’ commitment to negotiate as a group, as powerful bloc of 54 nations, and welcomed the implementation of initiatives regarding adaptation to climate change and renewable energy resources.
Ban additionally highlighted the July adoption of an action agenda on financing in Addis Abba, as well as the UN agreement, in New York this past September, of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and 17 goals.