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Remarks at the UNGA High-Level Event on Climate Technology Session

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York
September 24, 2007

As Prepared for Delivery

Secretary Rice speaks at the UN Secretary General High-Level Climate Change Event at the UN Headquarters.  State Dept. photo by Michael Gross.I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Secretary-General and his team for convening today's high-level event on climate change.

Climate change is a generational and global challenge. As a major economy and also a major greenhouse gas emitter, the United States takes this challenge very seriously. Our efforts to address climate change are focused on technological transformation, which is the topic of our conversation today. The United States understands the urgent challenge that climate change poses, and our government is prepared to broaden our leadership on this issue.

Today's meeting is an important step. And I want to use my time to address a few important ideas related to our common challenge.

First, the United States is firmly committed to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. We believe the UN climate process is the appropriate forum for negotiating future global action on climate change, and we look forward to participating actively in the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia. We view the Major Economies Meeting that President Bush and I will host later this week as the first in a series of meetings to support and help advance ongoing UN discussions - bringing together developed and developing countries to seek consensus on the key elements of a post-2012 framework on climate change.

Second, we recognize that climate change is such a complex and difficult issue because it cannot be dealt with effectively as an environmental challenge alone. As leaders agreed at this year's G-8 and APEC meetings, climate change requires an integrated response - encompassing environmental stewardship, the security of energy supply, and economic growth and development. How we forge this integrated response has major consequences, not only for our future, but also for our present - and especially for the millions of men, women, and children in the developing world, whose efforts to escape poverty require broad and sustained economic growth, and thus the energy to fuel it.

Existing energy technologies alone will not meet the growing global demand for energy, while also reducing emissions to necessary levels. Ultimately, we must develop and bring to market new energy technologies that transcend the current system of fossil fuels, carbon emissions, and economic activity. Put simply, the world needs a technological revolution.

Our common challenge is to promote these technological solutions aggressively - and implement them now. And we are making progress.

Since 2001, the United States government has invested nearly $18 billion to develop cleaner sources of energy, including through hydrogen technologies, carbon sequestration, advanced nuclear energy, renewable fuels and sources of electricity, and support for greater energy efficiency.

At the same time, the United States is working actively, both in the public sphere and in the private sector, to help other countries bring clean energy technologies and alternative energy sources to the marketplace - from solar, and wind, and biofuels, to diesel and hybrid vehicles, and clean, safe nuclear power. We are also promoting public-private partnerships in key energy-intensive sectors through the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. And, through initiatives such as the FutureGen International Partnership, we are providing substantial public investments to advance the cleaner use of coal.

What the public sector alone cannot do, however, is bring all of these technologies to market. So one of our major common goals must be to encourage the private sector investments that will bring about a new low-carbon energy future, while ensuring continued economic growth.

Let me make on additional point in closing: The United States is fully committed to climate adaptation. We know that global advances in understanding climate change enhance our ability to respond quickly and efficiently to the impacts of a changing climate system. The goal of climate adaptation is to enhance societal resilience. Key sectors for our investments include agriculture, water management, and coastal zones.

Improved technology can play a key role in our efforts to build more resilient societies. One advancement in this area is the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, an important partnership we have advanced with more than 70 developing and developed countries to address the world's most pressing environmental and biological challenges.

I look forward to our continuing dialogue this week and in the months to come. Climate change has truly global implications for each and every nation. I am confident that working together we can effectively address the serious issue of climate change and how it affects our citizens.

2007/805



Released on September 24, 2007

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