UN Climate Conference opens

2009-12-07 14:03
Mohamad Shinaz, a Maldives climate activist holds a sign reading "Act Now Save Lives" as he is submerged in water in a 3 meter perspex tube outside the Bella Centre on the opening day of the Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (AFP)

Mohamad Shinaz, a Maldives climate activist holds a sign reading "Act Now Save Lives" as he is submerged in water in a 3 meter perspex tube outside the Bella Centre on the opening day of the Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Climate Change
    Read more about the environmental changes and challenges the world faces. Now R261.00
    buy now
Copenhagen - The largest and most important UN climate change conference in history opened Monday, with diplomats from 192 nations warned that this could be the best, last chance for a deal to protect the world from calamitous global warming.

The conference, the climax of two years of contentious negotiations, convened in an upbeat mood after a series of promises by rich and emerging economies to curb their greenhouse gases, but with major issues yet to be resolved.

Conference president Connie Hedegaard said the key to an agreement is finding a way to raise and channel public and private financing to poor countries for years to come to help them fight the effects of climate change.

Hedegaard - Denmark's former climate minister - said if governments miss their chance at the Copenhagen summit, a better opportunity may never come.

"This is our chance. If we miss it, it could take years before we got a new and better one. If ever," she said in prepared remarks.

Flooding of coastal cities

Denmark's prime minister said 110 heads of state and government will attend the final days of the two-week conference. President Barack Obama's decision to attend the end of the conference, not the middle, was taken as a signal that an agreement was getting closer.

At stake is a deal that aims to wean the world away from fossil fuels and other pollutants to greener sources of energy, and to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from rich to poor countries every year over decades to help them adapt to climate change.

Scientists say without such an agreement, the Earth will face the consequences of ever-rising temperatures, leading to the extinction of plant and animal species, the flooding of coastal cities - about half of humanity lives with 160km of a coastline - more extreme weather events, drought and the spread of diseases.

Negotiations have dragged on for two years, only recently showing signs of breakthroughs with new commitments from The United States, China and India to control greenhouse gas emissions.

The first week of the conference will be focused on refining a complex text of a draft treaty. But major decisions will await the arrival next week of environment ministers and the heads of state in the final days of the conference, which is due to end on December 18.

Climate change strategies

Among those decisions is a proposed fund of $10bn each year for the next three years for poor countries prepare climate change strategies. After that, hundreds of billions of dollars will be needed every year to set the world on a new energy path and adapt to new climates.

"The deal, that we invite leaders to sign up on, will be one that affects all aspects of society just as the changing climate does," said Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen.

"Negotiators cannot do this alone, nor can politicians. The ultimate responsibility rests with the citizens of the world, who will ultimately bear the fatal consequences, if we fail to act."

A study released by the UN Environment Program Sunday indicated that pledges by industrial countries and major emerging nations fall just short of the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions that scientists have said are needed.

Environmentalists have warned that emissions commitments were dangerously short of what UN scientists have said were needed to keep average temperatures from rising more than 2°C.

Read more on:    connie hedegaard  |  copenhagen  |  climate change  |  cop15
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.