The 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) kicked off on Monday in Bonn, with the aim of tackling measures to curb global warming and push world nations to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which was signed in 2015.
This year’s conference is chaired by Fiji, whose Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama stressed during the opening ceremony that there was no time to waste in limiting the catastrophic effects of climate change.
“The human suffering caused by intensifying hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods and threats to food security caused by climate change means there is no time to waste,” he said.
“We must preserve the global consensus for decisive action enshrined in the Paris Agreement and aim for the most ambitious part of that target – to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above that of the pre-industrial age,” he added.
Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, said: “COP23 in Bonn will show to the world the two faces of climate change—firstly positive, resolute, inspiring momentum by so many governments and a growing array of cities and states to business, civil society leaders and UN agencies aligning to the Paris Agreement’s aims and goals”.
The United States is participating in the summit despite the announcement by President Donald Trump of his country’s withdrawal from the agreement in a resolution that will come into effect only by 2020. A US scientific report approved by the White House said on Friday that the current period was the warmest in the history of modern civilization, adding that the situation would be exacerbated in the absence of significant reduction of greenhouse gases, as reported by AFP.