The opening ceremony was by invitation only, so I did not attend. But here are the main points from Christiana Figueres’ address:
There are more actions on the ground and more policy progress than in the past 10 years but the door is closing fast. There are three 3 key objectives for COP18 to adequately respond to climate change:
1) renewed commitment to Kyoto protocol for the first commitment period (2008-2012) going into the second commitment period til 2020,
– for developing countries to gain trust that developed countries will take the lead
– to maintain environmental integrity
2) march toward universal agreement to increase ambitions now because of the urgency of action
3) speed up technical and financial support to developing nations for negotiations to be pushed into action/implementation
I did listen in at one negotiation about indigenous people and the safeguarding of their livelihood, i.e. forests. Every word is carefully negotiated, see pictures below.
I also participated in a side event, called “Third World Network: What Doha must deliver for the pre- and post 2020 climate regime” – a panel discussion by participants
from Malaysia, China, US, and Europe. The message was loud and clear: COP18 negotiations and agreements are very important for the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto protocol (2013-2020) and requires increased pressure on governments by civil society – increased pressure to demand necessary steps that need to be taken, rather than accepting what can politically get done.