MN 350 banner in the march!
On Saturday Dec. 3rd, a march of COP attendees and South Africans went through the city of Durban asking for action and progress in the negotiations. Ordinary people including peasant farmers and women from South African rural communities joined with people from around the world to make sure their voices were heard by media and the rest of the world, as they demanded immediate action on climate change. UNFCCC executive secretary, Christiana Figueres addressed the march saying children have only one message for climate negotiators: “do more, do more, do more.“
Yesterday marked the beginning of the second week of the UN climate talks (COP17) in Durban. As negotiations shift to the high-level segment on Tuesday, high-level government officials are arriving. China’s minister of environment, Xie Zhenhua, met with civil society and press Sunday stating that “China will continue to play a constructive role and adopt an open attitude in talking with other countries, and we’re confident progress can be made.” United States Special Envoy for Climate Change, Todd Stern, arrived on Friday and states that he has been meeting with colleagues on a wide range of issues. While delegations were busy throughout last week, this week is already marked by an increase in both pace and intensity. The U.S. and China are still unwilling to commit to binding climate goals without the commitment of the other, and with Kyoto set to expire in 2012, much is at stake for the negotiation process and the state of our planet. The question now is whether the negotiations will agree to postpone an agreement until 2020.
Check out this video to get a sense of the energy and tension at the negotiations from Week One
Additional video: Todd Stern, US Special Envoy on Climate Change, answers key questions about the US position on the Green Climate Fund, on the principle of a long term binding agreement on climate change, and his views about the European roadmap proposal. He was speaking at a press briefing at the Durban climate talks today. Watch the Video