The first of us have begun to arrive in Lima!
Today marked the first day of the COP20 UN climate summit. Thousands of delegates from around the world gathered this morning for COP20s opening ceremony, where the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres; Peruvian President, Ollanta Humala; Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Kumar Pachauri; President of COP19/CMP9, Marcin Korolec; Mayor of Lima, Susana Villaran; and Environmental Minister and President of COP20/CMP10, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal delivered speeches and welcomed guests through dance and music to take action to combat climate change.
COP20 negotiations follow the publication of the fifth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In his speech, Pachauri stressed that this report determines that science provides more evidence than ever before that anthropogenic actions have contributed to the planet’s warming and dangerous consequences of climate change. He left the crowd with an important message: science is at our doorstep, and it is our responsibility to come up with ethical and equitable decisions to give our world a more sustainable and cleaner future. Those leaving the ceremony seemed hopeful for fruitful outcomes during the negotiations, especially after the recent US-China agreement and EU emission reduction targets, but also very much aware of climate problems looming in our future.
COP20 negotiations will continue through the next two weeks, along with a wide array of side events, ranging from social innovation technology briefings, to women in agroecology panels, to art shows depicting climate change around the city. Stay tuned for more CUCSD at COP20!