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UN climate talks open in Bonn with call to uphold Paris Agreement path

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-07 09:07

UN climate talks open in Bonn with call to uphold Paris Agreement path

General view shows the opening session of the COP23 United Nations Climate Change Conference on Nov 6, 2017 in Bonn, western Germany. [Photo/VCG]

BONN - The 23rd Conference of Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) kicked off here on Monday with a call to adhere to the path of Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The COP 23 is tasked with mapping out a guideline for the implementation of the Paris Agreement which was agreed on by almost every country in the world in 2015. The Paris Agreement aims to tackle climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and sets a global target of keeping the average temperature rise no higher than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

At the opening ceremony of the COP 23, UN climate change executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said: "Together with the Sustainable Development Agenda, we have a clear path forward to truly address climate change and sustainable development."

Espinosa outlined the work governments will be looking to address in Bonn. The goal, above all, is to take the next essential steps to ensure that the Paris Agreement's operating system is completed in time and that ways, as well as means to implement it, are strengthened.

The newly-elected COP 23 president, Frank Bainimarama, prime minister of Fiji, said "All over the world, vast numbers of people are suffering, bewildered by the forces against them. Our job as leaders is to respond to the suffering with all means available to us."

China's special representative on climate change, Xie Zhenhua, said at a press conference prior to the COP 23 that China hoped participants could reach a draft guideline reflecting the needs of all parties and all the key elements in the Paris agreement.

At a press conference of the Chinese delegation held in Bonn on Monday, Lu Xinming, a negotiator from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the Bonn meeting comes at a "crucial and watershed phase" both for defining implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement and also for battling the climate change across the globe.

Lu said that China had made ample preparations for the meeting and had submitted five proposals to the meeting on implementing the Paris Agreement, which has demonstrated China's "proactive attitude in participating into and guiding the global climate negotiations."

Pledging that China will play a proactive and constructive role during the COP 23, Lu told reporters that the country will also host some 30 side events during COP 23 to present China's climate policies, and achievements in coping with climate change.

German authorities expected 25,000 guests, including representatives of governments and non-governmental organizations, and 1,500 journalists, to attend the Bonn conference which will last until Nov 17.

According to the COP 23 press release, negotiators will also address issues including checking on the progress of the delivery of 100 billion dollars of support for developing countries by 2020 and the bringing into force of the Doha Amendment of the first international emission reduction treaty, the Kyoto Protocol.

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