Cuba and US Discuss Climate Change

Cuban and US officials met to discuss climate change before the UN Summit next month.
Cuban and US officials met to discuss climate change in preparation for the UN Summit on November 30th.

HAVANA TIMES — US Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern met on Wednesday with high Cuban government officials to hold an exchange on this environmental issue, DPA reported.

Stern met with interim Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina and exchanged opinions with the official, in anticipation of the upcoming UN Summit on Climate Change (COP21) to open in Paris on November 30 this year.

The US envoy also met with Minister for Science, Technology and the Environment, Elba Rose Perez, and the Minister for Energy and Mines, Alfredo Lopez Valdes, an official communiqué reported.

Stern’s visit to Havana coincides with that of Undersecretary for National Security Alejandro Mayorkas, the highest-ranking Cuban-born official in Barack Obama’s administration. Mayorkas arrived on the island on Tuesday to hold exchanges on trade and travel.

Since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations this past July 20, the governments of Cuba and the United States have prioritized negotiations in areas of common interest, such as the struggle against drug trafficking and the protection of the environment.

All the while, the process of achieving full normalization in relations between the two countries has yet to address a number of delicate issues, such as the lifting of the embargo on Cuba, US claims for compensation on expropriated properties, and the return of the Guantanamo Naval base territory to Cuba.