Climate talks kick off in Paris with sense of urgency

Voltaire Tupaz
Climate talks kick off in Paris with sense of urgency


Philippine negotiators express optimism the talks have a good chance to succeed

PARIS, France – An unprecedented meeting at the Paris climate conference started earlier than planned on Sunday afternoon, November 29.

Members of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), which is tasked to craft an important negotiating text of the COP21 or the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, gathered in the Le Loire room for a two-hour meeting that started at 5 pm.

Speaking on Rappler’s Facebook Live before the meeting started, Purple Romero, a member of the Philippines delegation, said that the week-long meeting will tackle issues of climate change mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity-building, and transparency of action and support.

Emerging from the meeting two hours later, Philippine negotiators expressed optimism the talks have a good chance to succeed.

‘They wanted to go straight to negotiations. It’s a good sign,” Alicia Ilaga, Director of the Climate Change Office of the Department of Agriculture, told Rappler.

The Philippine delegation is composed of at least 50 members from government and civil society organizations. (READ: PH team ‘fully prepared’ for Paris climate summit)

Ilaga, who has attended 6 COPs in the past, recalled how COP21 chair Laurent Fabius stressed the “urgency of coming out with a draft agreement that is ambitious and legally binding.”

France, which is hosting the climate conference, wants to finish the negotiating text by Thursday, December 3, two days earlier than scheduled.

The Philippine government is calling for an “ambitious, legally-binding, and robust Paris agreement.”

This means that the country supports a deal that aims at keeping global warming below 2°C, the disastrous tipping point of climate change.

On Monday, November 30, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III joined about 146 other heads of state as they officially kicked off the two-week summit in Paris that seeks to forge humanity’s action plan against global warming. – Rappler.com

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