Mary Robinson

COP19: Mary Robinson on the ‘fierce urgency of now’

COP19 (20/11/13) – Head of the Mary Robinson Foundation and former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson said these talks are about bringing justice to those people who have been the most affected by climate change are the least responsible.

They need urgent decisions to be made on loss and damage and finance, she says.

Although she had low expectations before the negotiations, which have since been lowered, one area that is progressing well says Robinson, which is gender balance.

She says women are the agents of change on climate change issues like food and water security. May institutions are in place now to deal with this.

Despite the controversy of the World Coal Association’s summit held alongside COP, Robinson says it brought the idea of stranded assets into the limelight.

She says investors need to be aware that it is not economically viable to have coal as a fuel in the future, because if we are to limit global warming, fossil fuels needs to stay in the ground.

These negotiations affect the lives of millions of people around the world, says Robinson, but the fact that there are industrialised countries moving in the wrong direction at the moment is truly shocking and short sighted.

She says that if we are to leave a safe and secure world behind for our children and grandchildren, we need human solidarity.