COP21 kicks-off with calls for a universal binding outcome agreement

French President Hollande. Photo credit: UN.

French President Hollande. Photo credit: United Nation.

THE 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) got underway in Paris, France with the French President telling the world leaders in attendance that France had put all its energy into reaching a binding agreement.

150 heads of states and governments including Solomon Islands Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology Hon Samuel Manetoali, who is representing Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and heads the Solomon Islands Government delegation, are present the first day of the two weeks summit.

President Francois Hollande told the world leaders that their presence is a sign of hope and that success in the climate talks is within reach.

He said a universal and binding agreement must come out of the talks, adding that: “future generations cannot hear us but in a way are looking at us now.”

The United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki Moon in his opening address echoed the need for the emergence of a binding deal from the climate talks.

“Leaders of the world, the future of our people and our planet is in your hands. We need a universal, meaningful and robust agreement,” he added.

The United States President Barak Obama also called for a united front in addressing climate change and reaffirmation of commitment to provide financial assistance to help developing countries mitigate the effects of climate change.

“One of the enemies we will be fighting at this conference is cynicism – the presumption that we can’t do anything about climate change.

“Poor nations must receive particular help. We must reaffirm our commitment that the resources will be there in financial assistance for the developing world.

“We must make sure these resources of climate finance fall to countries that need help in assisting vulnerable populations rebuild stronger after climate related disasters,” President Obama said.

Meanwhile, Hon Manetoali is scheduled to deliver his address at this climate talks next Monday.

The address will reiterate Solomon Islands uncompromised stand that any global average temperature increase should be limited to below 1.5°C.

France is 10 hours behind Solomon Islands.

Source: PM’s Press Secretariat Office