|Ms. Patricia Espinosa, President of COP 16|
|President Felipe Calderón|
The president of COP16, Ms. Espinosa, is from Mexico, the host country. Yesterday, she introduced President Calderón, who addressed the observers. Mexico has taken its responsibility with the COP very seriously, and they are very interested in making changes. A first step has been to insist on more transparency, citing the “sour memories” of Copenhagen. At the same time, he recognized that Copenhagen was important for demonstrating the importance of climate change at the highest levels of governments. Here in Cancun, Mexico sponsored the first “Climate Change Communication Forum” concurrent with the COP. Working with the Pew Center on Global Climate, this new initiative is interested in engaging public opinion and participation. They hope that this forum and discussion will continue when the COP presidency transfers to South Africa in 2011. Here in Cancun, Mexico wants to “hear all voices and perspectives – employers, workers, indigenous, and civil society.”
Mexico has been making steps forward in terms of combating climate change. Calderón said that “Mexico is determined, although a developing country and with poverty,” and has a program to combat climate change. They have “embarked on ambitious projects with wind energy,” and pay the indigenous to protect forests. They have reduced emissions by 42% of the target set for 2012, and by 2014 will replace all incandescent light bulbs. They will provide subsidies for the 11 million poorest households to make this possible.
Calderón emphasized the importance of the COP process and the necessity to come to agreements. “The atmosphere belongs to everyone. The air makes no distinction between political ideologies, political borders or personal interests. We are all passing visitors on this planet. It is a common threat, and we have to take shared responsibilities.”