Watching the Opening Ceremony of the High Level Segment

We’re at the COP, at the Zocota room, via closed circuit video, watching the opening ceremony of the High Level Segment at the building next door. There was a great opening with colorfully and fiercely costumed dramatic dancers. The panel of high level officials is now speaking. They are urging on all the parties, to bring their hard and detailed negotiations of the last week and an half to a successful conclusion at an higher level these last four days. Right now President Calderone of Mexico. He’s saying a number of things can’t wait. “No puede esperar.”

At the beginning, though UNFCCC head Christina Figueres spoke. “Fairness must guide long-term efforts,” she said. “If your country’s position is not reconciling with that of others, think of the common good. Don’t ask for compromise, offer it.” She concluded “there will be reporting and certainly verifying,” perhaps alluding to the U.S.’s past criticisms of China’s MRV (measurement/reporting/verification) actions. I’ve read reliable press accounts that our objections on this score have eased.

U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon then spoke. “Nature will not wait while we negotiate. The time for waiting while faulting others is over. We must not wait for the perfect. Action now. Cooperation, we will form a long-term response, every country among us. We must act as united nations.” He called for realizing the 100 billion dollar climate aid by 2020 agreed to in the Copenhagen Accord. I was impressed with Sec. Moon’s ability to orate in English, a language not native to him. He spoke with great feeling.

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