The 18th United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCC) has opened in Doha, Qatar, with a renewed call for action.
President of Conference of Parties (CoP) 18 Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Atttiyah told participants that â€œClimate change is a challenge for humanityâ€ and that the conference is a â€œgolden opportunityâ€ to be made use of.
The opening ceremony comes after months of anticipation and planning as Qatar prepared to welcome the world to the vital meeting.
As a coastal, dry land nation, Qatar is one of the 10 developing countries predicted to be most affected by rising sea levels.
â€œNow more than ever, the issues at the heart of these negotiations are at the forefront of global debate and discourse. All seven billion people living on the planet share a single challenge: climate change.
â€œThis is why we gather at the highest official levels in an international framework; this is our mission,â€ Al-Attiyah said.
With 17 000 participants coming from across the world, the conference has involved an immense organisational effort.
Conscious of the responsibility that comes with hosting the worldâ€™s most important climate change conference, organisers have strived to ensure that this yearâ€™s sessions will be environmentally friendly.
CoP18/CMP8 in Doha will be the first UN conference on climate change to implement the UNâ€™s Paper Smart Programme. Participants will be provided with digital copies of documents, so that they print only the documents they need.