Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 4th 2014 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, November 4, 2014
In December, Trinidadian Kishan Kumarsingh
will, together with the European Union s Artur
Runge-Metzger, lead an international working group
tasked with the challenge of hammering out a crit-
ically-needed global agreement to address climate
Kumarsingh and German Runge-Metzger, co-chairs
of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform
(ADP) at the United Nations Climate Change Con-
ference (UNCCC), will play a pivotal role at this year s
Conference of Parties (COP 20) which will be held
in Lima, Peru from December 1 to 20. They will lead
negotiations for an agreement on the figures by which
countries should cut their carbon emissions to decrease
the impact of climate change.
The co-chairs were in Lima last week, along with
participating country delegates, where they continued
the process of putting together the necessary elements
of the agreement for countries to begin taking action
to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Kumarsingh, who heads the Multilateral Environ-
ment Agreements Unit of the Ministry of the Envi-
ronment and Water Resources, was elected along
with Runge-Metzger for the ADP last year.
Their ability to manage the often volatile and chal-
lenging negotiations is of critical importance since
many countries, including T&T, are already battling
the effects of climate change.
Peruvian Environment minister Manuel Pulgar-
Vidal said this COP20 cannot afford to fail and he
expects that a formal draft agreement will be achieved
in December. This draft will be taken to the Paris
COP21 next year for a formal agreement.
The ADP consists of 296 parties, which is made
up of 197 countries and the EU.
Climate change can no longer be dismissed as just
scientific theory since it is a very critical reality for
many countries, especially small island developing
states like some in the Caribbean, fighting for their
very existence. It is expected that these challenges
will weigh heavily in discussions in Lima, Peru. The
warming of oceans, sea levels rise and the global
temperature increasing are creating problems for
many countries and the minister said large countries
must commit to assisting smaller countries in their
mitigation and adapation efforts.
Pulgar-Vidal, addressing the opening session of a
media training workshop in preparation for the COP
20 in collaboration with the COP20 secretariat and
the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) recently
at BBVA main office, San Isidro, Lima, stressed the
need for a global agreement at the conference.
He said the failure to make a formal agreement in
December 2009 COP in Copenhagen cannot be
The impact of climate change, he said, is more
clear now than in 2009. The urgent need for an
agreement by global leaders cannot be denied, he
"Failure of the conference, at the negotiations is
the failure of the planet. The planet will not hold one
more time like it did in Copenhagen. The planet
cannot hold another failure. We will reach an agree-
ment, we have to hold to a common benefit," Pul-
He urged international and regional journalists
present at the workshop to raise the level of awareness
through their reports so the people most affected by
the damaging impact of climate change will have a
voice. Additionally, he said, more people will have a
better understanding of what is being done to address
Pulgar-Vidal said he is optimistic that the urgency
of the problem of climate change will influence leaders
to come to a formal agreement in Lima and then a
further commitment in Paris in 2015 at the next COP.
He said Peru has taken a different approach to the
COP and is confident of success.
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary UNFCC,
in her video message address at the opening, described
the negotiations as "complex and multifac-
However she said too expressed confidence
in the COP 20, since "the movement to address
climate change has a human face unlike any
other time in history."
"People area affected in record numbers from
megacities in the largest and most developed
countries to the emerging economies looking
to achieve full growth potential and to the small
countries fighting for their very existence. And
people are more aware than ever before about
climate change, the grave danger it poses and
the opportunity opened by transformational
change to stable, climate-neutral growth," she
Figueres said the Lima draft, if reached, will
go to cabinets and needs full ministerial support
not just from Environment ministers, but health,
transport, development and finance ministers.
She stressed the need for emissions reductions
and adaptation actions (actions to mitigate the
impact of climate change).
Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, chairman of
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) said the manifestations of climate change
is "very clear" and are "largely because of human
Trini holds key role in global climate talks
Kishan Kumarsingh, head of the
Agreements Unit of the Ministry
of the Environment and Water
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