Historic climate conference begins

November 27, 2012 - 2:10:11 am

President of the Climate Change Conference H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah and other officials at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP18/CMP8) at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha yesterday. (SALIM MATRAMKOT)

By Satish kanady

DOHA: The landmark Doha Climate Change Conference got under way here yesterday with upbeat organisers saying the Summit would mark key milestones in taking on climate change challenges.

Addressing the opening session of the 18th session for the Conference of the Parties (COP18/CMP8), key leaders of the organising committee made fervent calls to the Parties, member countries and the negotiators to “act urgent”’ to avert what scientists forecast irreversible damage to the planet earth.

The newly-elected President of the Conference, H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said: “A golden opportunity awaits us over the coming days, and we should not miss it. Instead of lingering on marginal issues, we must lay emphasis on the main principles of negotiations-strengthening of the role of state parties in the negotiation process”.

The Doha summit is considered a historic event, and the topics that it addresses represent a major turning point in climate change negotiations. “For the first time in the history of these negotiations-seven subsidiary bodies are meeting, which constitutes an additional challenge to its administration.”

Al Attiyah added: “Climate change is a challenge for all humanity, so we have to deploy serious efforts to mitigate its effects, and secure a better future for us and for future generations….Our achievements here in Doha will draw upon past success, and I am optimistic about your readiness to work and cooperate with us during the next two weeks. We have to reach an agreement on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol”.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) said the CMP8 will mark the closure of the first commitment period of the Kyoto and Bali. COP18 will move the Bali Action Plan from plan to action, from design to the full and effective implementation that expedites urgent response to climate change and enables much needed financial assistance and technical support for developing countries. The outgoing Conference President Nkoana Mashabane said COP 18 is another opportunity to make history by opening a new chapter that will lead humanity beyond 2020. She called on the delegation to work for the beginning of a “new era operation’, and focus on the implementation of the agreements and lay groundwork for the future. The Peninsula


Civil society groups wary of outcomes

Doha: Civil society groups, especially those that champion the cause of developing nations, seem to be rather doubtful about the outcomes as they believe the Doha Summit is meeting amid confusion. “There is nothing on the table on key issues like Climate Fund and the second commitment”, says the Third world Network.

Climate Action Network International (CAN) said the inadequate performance by developed countries was eroding trust which would have implications for the negotiations.”   The Peninsula