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Opening Remarks to Bonn Ad Hoc Working Group

Harlan Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative and Head of the United States Delegation
Remarks to the Opening Plenary of the Second Session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action Under the Convention (AWG-LCA 2)
Bonn, Germany
June 6, 2008

Mr. Chairman, the United States welcomes this first substantive discussion in the AWG-LCA following agreement on our program of work in Bangkok.

We look forward to detailed examination of issues in the three workshops on adaptation, technology, and financing, and to further discussions of all of the elements identified in the Bali Action Plan later this week.

We appreciate your efforts to reflect the various views of Parties in your Chair’s summary. Of course, it is impossible to fully capture the nuances of all Party views, and we look forward to discussing specific issues in the context of specific elements in the course of the proceedings over the next two weeks.

We would like to briefly reiterate several important points that we believe cut across the elements and which are important to a successful outcome:

  • First, we have emphasized that outcomes be simple and practical, and attractive to a wide range of Parties.

  • Second, we have emphasized the need to ensure that the Convention reflects the rapid evolution of the world economy since 1992. Activity related to climate change is increasingly global, as are the means to address it. If the Convention is to be environmentally effective and economically sustainable, it must evolve to reflect these realities.

  • Third, the Convention will need to recognize and leverage the considerable experience and wherewithal that already exist in many institutions working on issues of relevance to climate. This is particularly true with respect to adaptation, financing, and technology.

On the AWG-LCA process, we are content with the format that you identified in Bangkok as a means of efficiently undertaking our work at this stage — that is, in capturing discussions in a chair’s summary reflecting the manner of discussions so as to clarify and capture issues.

We do not see negotiating substantive outcomes to conclusion at this stage, as the Bali Action Plan is a two-year plan of work.

We no doubt will see proposals coming forward in the course of our meetings, and we believe it is important that Parties have the opportunity to reflect on the views of others as they develop their own positions.

We will need to ensure that efforts in the AWG-LCA build on, and do not conflict with, ongoing activities in the Subsidiary Bodies. We appreciate the Secretariat’s paper on the ongoing work of those bodies, and we believe that those discussions have much in the way of useful information and experience to offer our deliberations here.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.



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