UN Climate Speech / 11 Dec, 2008
Fourteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) Statement at the High-Level Segment by Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer

Fourteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) and the Fourth Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 4)
Poznan, 11 December 2008

Statement at the high-level segment by Yvo de Boer
Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


President Kaczynski,


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Welcome back!

We have missed you!

We need your leadership!

You showed courage and resolve in Bali.

Here in Poznan, one year from Copenhagen, we need to hear, feel and see your resolve to complete the task that you set us all in Bali.

You launched the Bali Road Map to fulfill this task - not to procrastinate on it. The Bali Road Map is about issues of today, not about delay.

And there are already clear signs of urgency:

Mauritania is already in the grip of a triple stranglehold: a growing desert, encroaching ocean and worsening floods. The Maldives are saving up for exodus because of rising seas.

These are issues you must address today.

In this great future, you cannot forget your past, along the way! No solid future can be built on a weak foundation. Distrust and suspicion have haunted these talks for much too long. You have decided to advance.

This is your opportunity to move on. To tell the world how you will deliver together. To tell the world how you will reach out to each other on finance and technology. To tell the world how you will create governance structures for finance in which no one is more equal than the next.

You have common but differentiated responsibilities. How will you take them forward and enhance your respective capabilities?

When you adopted the Bali Road Map, you agreed to the 2009 deadline. Twelve months before Copenhagen, you must give the process clear political guidance and show resolve.

Your arrival here in Poznan signals that negotiations have begun in earnest. As you can see behind me: the clock is ticking down towards Copenhagen. Time is running out. You must give these negotiations a positive start. You can do that, because you are not starting from scratch.

Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia have climate change strategies. India, China, Egypt have climate change plans and programmes. Nigeria, Angola, Pakistan are developing theirs.

All these Parties and more have identified additional mitigation actions that can be implemented with measurable, reportable and verifiable support.

On Monday, Minister Wong will announce Australia’s target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. President-elect Obama wants to return to 1990 levels by 2020. The EU is assuring us that it will stick to minus 20 per cent by 2020. And there is more. By 2020, Norway intends to be at minus 30 per cent, the United Kingdom has committed to minus 26 per cent and Sweden is discussing a target of minus 35 per cent.

Of course the world has changed since Bali. We are now in the middle of a financial crisis and at the beginning of an economic down-turn.

But that does not mean that climate change will slow down. And when the world has recovered from the economic recession, it will not have recovered from climate change.

There is a push for economic recovery that will also achieve green growth and green investments to prevent a next economic crisis sparked by dirty, obsolete investments.

A self-financing climate compact, using resources created through climate regulations, for example through levies on emissions trading or auctioning of emissions permits can further push that green growth.

It is a law of life that problems arise when conditions are right for their solutions. So how will you create a new way forward here? How will you spark a global green revolution?

Different actions by countries with different circumstances will need different docking stations of support. So what tools will you create within the climate change regime to deliver on adaptation and mitigation? How will you use those tools to develop a self-financing climate compact?

You reached a breakthrough in Bali. Now you must make progress in Poznan, so that you can lay the cornerstone for strong action in Copenhagen.

Its time for you to tell the world how you will:

1. send the world a clear signal from Poznan that you are ready to put in place finance structures to shift the global economy on to a low-emissions pathway;

2. send the world a clear signal from Poznan that you are ready to govern those structures as equal partners;

3. send the world a clear signal from Poznan that you are pushing towards Copenhagen in close cooperation.

Action expresses priorities. Climate change is the world’s priority. One year from Copenhagen, you must act to show the world that it is your priority.

One year from Copenhagen, you must show that you are ready to fulfill the promise that you made the world: the Bali Road Map. Fulfill it to respond to the greatest threat hanging over humanity.

Thank you

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