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Ministerial negotiations begin at UN climate conference



The phase for governmental negotiations officially began on Tuesday at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid, as UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said science overwhelmingly shows the world is “going in the wrong direction.”

In her speech, Espinosa said that reports show “we are poisoning the very elements that keep us alive on this planet.

“Meanwhile governments continue to subsidise fossil fuel industries, our overall consumption habits have little changed, and the UN Gap Report shows that emissions continue to rise.”

“We are not acting quickly enough to enact the deep transformation in society that will change humanity’s future on this planet,” she said.

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas warned of the consequences of climate change, including powerful storms, droughts and floods.

He added that hunger is increasing around the world.

Further, 85 per cent of energy is generated using coal, oil and gas, Taalas noted, and only 15 per cent from nuclear power, hydro-power and renewables.

Taalas said that there was still some time to change the world’s systems but this has to happen in the next 10 to 30 years in order to successfully implement the Paris agreement.

Spain’s Environment Minister Teresa Ribera opened the high level segment on Tuesday in Madrid, telling leaders that we stand by the climate protection agenda, we stand for international cooperation.

Some governments see environmental issues from a short term and mainly domestic point of view, Ribera said, adding that this is wrong.

Experts and representatives from nearly 200 countries descended on the Spanish capital a week ago with the aim of ironing out rules to fulfil the 2015 Paris agreement.

Madrid stepped in to host the conference which was originally slated to take place in Chile but was changed after anti-government demonstrations broke out in the South American country.

The phase for governmental negotiations officially began on Tuesday at t

The two-week UN Climate Conference held in Madrid.

Edited by: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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