With over 15,000 attendees gathering from around the world to seek agreement on global warming reduction goals, the United Nations Climate Change Conference was launched in Cancún on Monday by Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who called on leaders to set aside both personal and national concerns to reach important consensus goals.
In addition, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres urged the representatives of nearly 200 countries to allow a “revolution” to occur that would improve lives in all nations.
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC (F): Countries, civil society, businesses and citizens around the world are pressing ahead with their own climate and environment solutions. It is obvious that they will succeed faster and more effectively together if governments open the door wider into this new era of sustained, collective and increasingly ambitious responses to climate change.
VOICE: Among the first voices in the conference was the Alliance of Small Island States, who called for stronger actions to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, voicing grave concerns of storm surges eroding beaches and contaminating farmland and water supplies, as well as rising sea levels eventually submerging their nations entirely.
However, the Summit acknowledged that without rapid and drastic action, existing greenhouse gas reduction pledges would still result in a more than 2-degree global temperature rise. Studies indicate that one important way to help in this regard is a worldwide change in diet.
Correspondent (F): We are here just outside Cancúnmesse, one of the two main official sites for COP 16. As the delegates make their way to the sessions of the Climate Change Conference, they can see the “Adopt Veg Policies” banners from the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association and check out literature on the important "Be Veg, Go Green" solution to global warming. Reporting for Supreme Master Television from Cancún, Mexico.
VOICE: Our Association’s activities also drew many interviews from media groups, including the major Latin American television network, Televisa; Mexico’s Canal 10; the state-wide newspaper, “News of Quintana Roo,” and the daily “That’s Why!” (Por Esto!) which circulates across several major states.
These and others helped to inform the public about the veg solution to climate change, as in this excerpt from the “That’s Why!” article, “Vegetarians demonstrate in one of the venues of the COP16”: Rushing, but with an impeccable organization…members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association, prepared different “bulk” amounts of (vegan) dishes to take to each of the three stands they will have during the Climate Change Summit, from November 29 to December 11.
It is worth mentioning that the proposal of this Association is well supported, and veganism or vegetarianism would help in fighting climate change. Waste and animal feeding dispose more pollutants into our waterways than any other human activity combined…
VOICE: We thank all participants at this important summit for your diligent and cooperative efforts to protect both people and the planet. May beneficial policies, including an organic plant-based measure, soon be in place help to curb global warming in time.
During an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai suggested, as she often has, this priority area for leaders to counter the impacts of climate change.