Launching Discussions on Long-Term Cooperative Action to Address Climate ChangeDr. Harlan L. Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative and Alternate Head of the U.S. Delegation
Remarks on Presidents Non-Paper
December 2, 2005
The United States would like to thank you for the preparation of this non-paper entitled "Launching Discussions on Long-Term Cooperative Action to Address Climate Change," and to also thank you for the opportunity to present our views here today.
We are pleased to be contributing to the on-going consideration of a five-year programme on adaptation and continuation of the work on mitigation under the UNFCCC in SBSTA and are optimistic that we will have a package that can be accepted by all Parties.
We also recognize that Kyoto Parties are legally obligated to commence discussions here in Montréal on a second commitment period, which for them would presumably begin in 2013. We respect that obligation and expect that they will meet their commitment to do so. However, the United States is opposed to any such discussions under the Framework Convention.
We are involved in climate discussions on an ongoing basis through many government and non-governmental venues, including the G8 and bilateral and regional discussions with other countries.
These engagements provide many opportunities for countries to join together to discuss climate policy, often focusing on practical steps to address climate change such as accelerating the development and deployment of advanced energy technologies.
Within the Framework Convention, we have had numerous informal conversations about approaches and have welcomed our ability to participate in and learn from the discussions that have taken place during official COP roundtables and the Seminar of Government Experts in Bonn last May.
However, formalized processes under the Framework Convention—such as is proposed in this non-paper—or formalized discussions under the Framework Convention—such as proposed by some Parties—are in fact negotiations. The U.S. position remains consistent: we see no change in current conditions that would result in a negotiated agreement consistent with the U.S. approach.
The United States seeks to focus attention on progress toward the shared objectives of the Framework Convention rather than to detour positive approaches toward a new round of discussions or processes that will inevitably result in negotiations. We do not support such an approach.
U.S. climate policy is founded upon the conviction that actions bring results. We believe that it is best to address this complex issue through a range of programs and technology initiatives that address climate change issues through partnerships based upon both near-term and longer-term sustainable development and clean energy objectives.