Mexico's President Felipe Calderon called for nations at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) to focus on mechanisms that will reduce emissions and halt the rise in average world temperatures at a public event here on Thursday.
"We need to make concrete what we can make concrete," Calderon told attendees in resort city Cancun, on Mexico's Caribbean coast. "That does not mean we should renounce our long term goals."
Mexico is hosting representatives from 194 nations that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The signatories are seeking a deal on reducing carbon dioxide emissions to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out in 2012. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), existing commitments taken on in Danish capital Copenhagen are 40 percent short of what is needed to meet the target stated there of keeping temperatures within 2 degrees centigrade of pre-industrial levels.
"I believe it would be better to achieve 1.5 degrees in fact it would be better to aim for zero," Calderon said. "We have been looking for a target, but we haven't focused enough about mechanisms."
He likened the situation with global warming to a passenger bus or aircraft that is careening out of control. "We need to brake as hard and fast as possible," he said.
During Mexico's time leading climate change talks, the nation has focused on making incremental steps and seeking practical mechanisms to help reduce emissions, pursuing a contrasting strategy to that of the Danes who were pushing for a large overall deal.