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NEWS: International climate agreements should reflect civil society concerns

Also posted in Spanish

This week the Ministry of Environment of Peru hosted the event “Dialogue between the next Presidency of the COP20/CMP10 and Latin American civil society”, which had Christiana Figueres as special invitee. Jorge Villanueva from CDKN reports from the event.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Minister of Environment of Peru, Manuel Pulgar- Vidal, met on Tuesday with representatives of Latin American civil society to discuss the expectations of this sector for the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) of the Convention, to be held in Lima in December 2014.

According to Figueres, international climate negotiations should aim to reduce the gap between negotiated issues and realities that local communities face. “What is agreed internationally needs to be translated into policies and incentives at national and sub national level,” she said.

The Minister of Environment of Peru emphasised the importance of giving negotiations the urgency they deserve and the importance of high ambitions in seeking agreements. Among the most important issues to consider during the COP20, the Minister highlighted the Green Climate Fund, REDD (climate-related) Loss & Damage, and especially national contributions on mitigation, because they can be a driving force for the negotiations.

Voices of civil society

The meeting, entitled “Dialogue between the next Presidency of the COP20/CMP10 and Latin American civil society”, brought together representatives from the Indigenous Coordination of the Amazon Basin, the Latin American Climate Platform (PCL), Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA), the Climate Action Network – Latin America (CANLA), the Citizens’ Movement on Climate Change (MOCICC) and Peru COP20 Group.

Each of the civil society organisations had the opportunity to share publicly their expectations about what COP20 should mean for Latin America and the best way to integrate the contributions of civil society in the negotiations.

On this matter, the Minister Pulgar- Vidal highlighted the commitment of the future Presidency of COP20 to ensure that all voices are reflected, overcoming the understandable frustration of civil society in previous years.

Everybody is responsible

“We are the first generation to understand the harmful impact of our lives and our actions on the planet. This knowledge comes great responsibility that cannot be delegated to anyone. Everyone should take their own responsibility from the area where they work,” were the words of Christiana Figueres referring to the role played by various sectors, in international negotiations and national actions to address climate change.

Finally, the Executive Director of the UNFCCC said that “climate change convention is rather a human rights convention, because in the end what we’re talking about is about human rights, not only of those who live now, but those who will come after us.”

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