Statement to the Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate ChangePaula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs and Head of the U.S. Delegation
December 12, 2007
Thank you Mr. Chairman. We commend you for an outstanding Presidency and a superbly arranged conference. Your leadership and that of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is greatly appreciated and has contributed significantly to the COP proceedings.
Congratulations to Dr. Pachauri and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their excellent work and Nobel Prize. As the IPCC report reminds us, we are at a defining moment. We must develop a global response that rises to the scale and scope of the challenge before us.
The United States is committed to doing its part in this effort. We seek to work together toward a "Bali Roadmap" that will advance negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and lead by 2009 to a post-2012 arrangement that addresses climate change and strengthens our energy security.
A post-2012 arrangement must be environmentally effective and economically sustainable. It also must be flexible.
To attract global participation, a future arrangement must be flexible and accommodate a diverse range of national circumstances. We must also develop and bring to market clean energy technologies at costs that countries can justify to their citizens.
Emissions are global and the solution, to be effective, will need to be global. We want the world's largest economies, including the United States, to be part of a global arrangement. An approach in which only some are committed to acting cannot be environmentally effective.
We have proposed that a future arrangement contain several elements:
First, in the area of mitigation, we believe a post-2012 arrangement should contain both a long-term global goal for emissions reductions and national plans that set measurable mid-term goals. It should include improved measurement and accounting systems to track the progress of these efforts.
We must reduce emissions from deforestation. We welcome the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and we are committed to continuing our leadership through initiatives such as the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, the President’s Initiative Against Illegal Logging, and the Tropical Forest Conservation Act.
A second critical issue is adaptation, which is an increasing priority both at home and internationally. We are promoting effective planning as part of broader development strategies. Initiatives like the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) initiative, involving more than 70 countries, can play a key role in this effort. Last week, we announced $4.35 million for the Coral Triangle Initiative to help Indonesia adapt to some of the stresses that may come with climate change.
Technology is a third key element of a post-2012 arrangement. We want to collaborate on technology development and deployment strategies for key sectors such as advanced coal technologies and second-generation biofuels and work to increase access to technologies, especially for developing countries.
Finally, a fourth element is financing. President Bush has proposed a new international clean technology fund to accelerate the uptake of clean energy technologies around the world, and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is reaching out to partners to further develop this concept. Also, we recently joined the European Union in submitting a ground-breaking proposal in the World Trade Organization for eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers for environmental goods and services.
The Road Ahead
The United States is committed not only to developing a roadmap but seeing it through to its conclusion. We have brought one of our most senior delegations ever to Bali, including the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality James Connaughton, who is President Bush’s personal representative to the Major Economies Process.
As we go forward from Bali, we hope that the Major Economies initiative – announced in May 2007 and since endorsed by G8 and APEC leaders – can play a positive role by developing a detailed contribution to and advancing the UNFCCC process.
Mr. Chairman, we hope that the end of 2007 marks a new beginning – the launch of a new phase in climate diplomacy and negotiations that put us on the road to an environmentally effective and economically sustainable post-2012 arrangement on climate change.
Released on December 12, 2007