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29 Nov

Mankind's Survival Threatened by Climate Change

THE United Nations Climate Change Conference opened in Cancún, Mexico, with participants agreeing that climate change is threatening the survival of humans and action needs to be taken.

The COP16 talks, running from November 29 to December 10, aim to search for solutions to the climate problem, with about 25,000 participants from governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations and research institutions from close to 200 countries gathered in Cancun.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon told the opening ceremony that the Cancun conference shows that the responsibility of mankind is to fight climate change.

"The disasters caused by climate change are threatening the survival of human beings. Each topic at the conference has a close link with everyone," he said.

Calderon believes the Cancun conference will continue the progress of fighting climate change started at the Copenhagen conference last year, although no legally binding treaty was reached.

He added that a crucial moment has arrived for mankind to face up to the challenges of climate change:

"At present, it is more and more expensive to control global warming. We should try to promote the progress between the people and nature and shorten the gap between the developed nations and poor countries with financial support and technological support."

Mario Molina, the Mexican scientist who won the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry, said that climate change will produce dramatic results, like the drying up of the Amazon rainforest or the disruption of India's vital monsoon rains.

According to some analysts, it is hard to reach a legally binding treaty at Cancun, but they are hopeful that substantial achievements can be made in financial aid and technological support which can lay a solid foundation for the South Africa conference next year.

The Cancun conference is another important step for the international community to advance the "Bali Roadmap" negotiations after the conference in Copenhagen last year failed to reach a legally binding treaty for the years beyond 2012.

This year the parties will try to reach a legally binding treaty although the chances are slim. They will also pay attention to the issues including green technology transfer and additional financial support to developing countries.