Executive Director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, opened the conference saying "You are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools." Referring to the need to curb global warming, Ms. Figueres told delegates "Looking at what you have achieved over the past months, I am convinced that you can compromise to find a way to a concrete outcome in Cancun, and that outcome needs to be both firm and dependable and have a dedicated follow-on process for future work."
The conference is taking place days after the UN World Meteorological Organization found that concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have today reached their highest level since pre-industrial time.
Despite the need for strong action to address rising worldwide temperatures and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, opening statements offered positive thoughts and hope for delegates noting that "… climate change is humanity's biggest long-term challenge but it is also our greatest opportunity. The solutions to climate change not only address the environmental problem but also offer major opportunities for all nations to achieve sustainable, affordable and equitable development."
Today's agenda includes presentations about: The Polar Explorer; IPCC Update; EU Climate Financing; and, Private Sector and Climate Change.
Much of the conference and related meetings can be viewed online at http://unfccc.int or via webcasts or podcasts.