Remarks at an Informal Ministerial Meeting on Climate ChangePaula J. Dobriansky,
Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
October 24, 2007
Part One: Building Blocks for a Future Framework
Minister Rachmat, I thank you for convening this important meeting. We appreciate the opportunity to participate and join you in seeking to ensure that our efforts in Bali and beyond will be a success. As the international community's understanding of global climate change continues to grow, so too does our understanding of the means to address it. The United States is reinforcing its commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
We also know that all of our countries will benefit from a new path for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing for energy security, and supporting economic prosperity. Bali, and our meeting here, mark the beginning of a process toward that end. We enter this process in a spirit of openness. We look forward to hearing more about the views of other countries. We intend to be flexible and work hard to achieve consensus. Mr. Chairman, there are several considerations that we would like to highlight as we develop our roadmap toward a post-2012 framework.
One: Comprehensiveness. We support an approach on mitigation that reflects the need for concerted international action, with all Parties contributing to shared global goals in ways that are environmentally and economically effective, and equitable.
A future approach will not be environmentally effective if it excludes a significant percentage of global emissions. It will not be economically effective if it undermines countries' efforts to develop and achieve higher standards of living for their citizens.
We have a common responsibility to address climate change, and we will all need to make appropriate contributions to achieve our common goals. The United States will do its part, and will expect others to do the same. Emissions are global, and the solution to be effective will need to be global as well.
Two: Respect for diverse circumstances and efforts. Our domestic characteristics vary. A future climate framework should respect these differences. A diversity of national plans is appropriate because of our differing national characteristics - economic, geographical, and constitutional systems. Because of these differences, a one-size fits all approach will not work. Diverse approaches will help us to replicate success as we learn about each others' efforts.
Three: Accelerating the uptake of clean technologies. We know that advanced, low-carbon technologies are key to reducing emissions in a way that promotes economic growth. We need to increase our support for the development of transformational new technologies across a range of sectors. And we need to speed the global adoption of proven, market-ready clean technologies.
Four: Sustainable forestry and land use. The science tells us that how we use our land and manage our forests have a major impact on net greenhouse gas emissions. Promoting sustainable forest management and smart land use are good for our economies and good for the natural environment.
Five: Investment. There is a critical need for financing our transition to a new global energy system, and promoting adaptation and sustainable land use. We need financing tools that support the development and adoption of new technologies. Open trade and investment is vital. The United States is committed to enhancing our own efforts, and President Bush has proposed a new fund to promote international investment in clean energy technologies.
Six: Support for climate adaptation. The global climate system is changing. Building resiliency is critical. Effective adaptation strategies go hand-in-hand with sustainable development.
Seven: Recognition of the impact of response measures. Just as our changing climate will impact human and natural systems, so too will our emissions mitigation have impacts. We need to address these negative impacts by promoting economic diversification.
We want to work to conclude a post-2012 framework by 2009.
Finally, let me add that a number of these points above were raised by the United States and other participants at the recent Major Economies Meeting in Washington. We believe that the Major Economies Meetings will make a positive contribution to and advance the UNFCCC process.
Thank you Mr. Chairman. We look forward to our discussions.
Released on October 25, 2007