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Statement by H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, President-Designate for COP 18 and CMP 8, November 2012

H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al AttiyaAs incoming President of the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference, COP18/ CMP8, I take this opportunity to welcome you to my country, and to thank you for selecting Qatar as host to our conference.

Qatar’s rapid development has been powered by the energy resources with which we have been blessed. 

But learning from history, we do not take these blessings for granted.

For only a few decades ago, our people lived on a desert dryland, relying on a single industry: Pearling.

The sudden end of this industry taught us that we cannot base our sustainable future on just one resource.

So we are taking bold steps to diversify our economy – to ensure that our people enjoy a future of sustainable environment.

We know that the world cannot move from a high emission economy to a low emission future in a single leap.

We will need to cooperate, all of us, to cross the bridge to sustainability.

And to this purpose I invite all conference participants: Governments, Parties and NGOs to join us to make a commitment to an open-minded search for solutions.

Sustainability is a collective world discipline.

So we need to be practical and we must not argue. We need cooperation,  not accusation.

I welcome you to experience our culture, I welcome you to enjoy our city, and most of all, I welcome you to explore a better future.