Lima Report: Monday, December 1, 2014

Posted on December 2nd, 2014 by Jennifer Klein

Jennifer Klein, Esq., Associate Director and Fellow
Meredith Wilensky, Esq., 2013-2014 Associate Director and Fellow

logoThe annual United Nations Climate Change Conference began today in Lima, Peru. The two week event is being held at the Cuartel General del Ejercito del Peru, a military headquarters also known as the “Pentagonito” (the little Pentagon). This morning, thousands of people representing at least 190 countries streamed into the venue to participate in and observe the negotiations.

Marcin Korolec, President of COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland opened the session this morning. After brief comments, he ceded the podium to the newly elected President of COP 20, Peruvian Minister of Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal. Mr. Pulgar-Vidal emphasized that the talks are crucial if the parties are to reach an agreement at next year’s UN conference in Paris.

President Ollanta Humala appeared via telecast, stating “Climate change is a reality. We know it is a result of human impact. Now is the time to return to the right path.” Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, discussing the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, underlined the need to reach zero emissions by the end of this century to avoid dangerous climate change, noting that we have already used 65% of our carbon budget. The ceremony also included addresses from Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change and Susana Villarán de La Puente, the Mayor of Lima. Additionally, the opening ceremony featured a performance drawing from a variety of Peruvian musical traditions.

Today’s events highlighted the goals of the COP and set the tone for the coming days. The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law will be here observing, interacting with other stakeholders, and assisting the Legal Response Initiative, a London-based NGO offering pro bono legal advice to the least developed countries.

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This blog provides a forum for legal and policy analysis on a variety of climate-related issues. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Center for Climate Change Law.

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