THE CHALLENGES AND DIFFICULTIES OF THESE NEGOTIATIONS CANNOT BE FACED WITH DISMAY AND MUST NOT LEAD US TO GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT, SAID THE CHAIR OF THE G77 AND CHINA
Durban, South Africa, 28 November 2011
We hope all Parties will come to Durban prepared to make the difficult political decisions that are indispensable to preserve the process and the Convention, which will mean to continue to give all of us a fighting chance to prevent temperature raises such as the science is warning us will have dire consequences.
In Durban, South Africa, the Climate Change Summit was inaugurated today. The Group of 77 and China met throughout the weekend to prepare for the coming two weeks of negotiations. From 28 November to 9 December, 2011, the Seventeenth session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) and the Seventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP7), as well as the resumed 14th sessions of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol, and the 35th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) will be meeting in different formats, building towards the High Level Segment that will take place from 6 to 9 December.
In the extensive International Conference Center in Durban, South Africa, representatives from over 190 countries as well as civil society, academia and the media met today for the inauguration of the Climate Change Summit. The President of South Africa, H.E. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, inaugurated the COP17 together with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and former President of COP16, H.E. Patricia Espinosa Castellano, the newly-elected President of COP17 and Minister of International Relations of South Africa, H.E. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Ms. Christiana Figueres and other African leaders. All the major Groups taking part in these negotiations took the floor to pledge their support to the South African presidency and offer their perspective on the coming negotiations and on the possible paths to a successful outcome. A general feeling of deep concern and the need for greater and more decisive action, as well as higher ambition, prevailed in most speakers. Many Groups expressed their commitment to work to make Durban a new step forward towards the protection of the climate system. Some Developed Parties, nevertheless, insisted in inflexible positions that would make real progress in this session quite difficult.
During the past days, representatives from the 132 States members of the Group of 77 and China met to review and assess the situation after the progress made in Panama and the developments during the inter-sessional period.
A positive and active spirit was seen in the many consultations and the in-depth discussions that Group of 77 and China held on some of the possible scenarios for the coming days, taking into account positions expressed by several Parties as well as by experts, science and civil society. There was general agreement that we need to build on the current momentum to achieve in this meeting a comprehensive and balanced outcome with concrete decisions for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. "The challenges and difficulties of these negotiations cannot be faced with dismay and must not lead us to give up without a fight. We hope all Parties will come to Durban prepared to make the difficult political decisions that are indispensable to preserve the process and the Convention which will mean, to continue to give all of us a fighting chance to prevent temperature raises such as the science is warning us will have dire consequences", summarized the Chair of the Group of 77 and China.