Two weeks of climate change talks have opened in Lima, Peru.
Around 190 countries have sent representatives
to the UN’s 20th session of the Conference of the Parties, otherwise known as COP20.
Delegates hope to work out a new deal on cutting man-made emissions to put before a Paris summit next year despite warnings that time is fast running out.
Peru’s Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal opened proceedings:
“It has never been clearer that the window of opportunity to reduce the emissions will close soon: It has never been seen with so much clarity the multiple opportunities for mutual economic and environmental benefits that accelerated adoption can present.”
On the conference sidelines, Peruvian ethnic Indians held their own meeting to draw attention to how vulnerable their way of life is to environmental problems caused by larger polluting countries.
Alberto Pizango who is president of the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon said his people were bearing the brunt of climate change:
“The indigenous people are the first in line to pay or are paying the most expensive debt without having committed this crime, which is the climate change crisis.”
With the UN’s panel of scientists confirming that it is 95% probable that man-made emissions are causing global warming, COP20 wants to see a cut which will limit average world temperatures to two degrees above pre-industrial times.