Pre-COP-15 Meeting Convenes in Copenhagen

Eu Swedish Presidency17 November 2009: Forty ministers responsible for environment and climate met in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 16-17 November 2009, to prepare for the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the UNFCCC, scheduled to be held in December. At the meeting, ministers from Brazil and the Republic of Korea presented recently approved national decisions on emissions reductions.

In a message delivered by Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that the Copenhagen Conference “will mark a milestone in international efforts to build a more sustainable relationship with our planet.” He called for seizing this opportunity to reduce emissions and help the most vulnerable to adapt to present climate change impacts. Noting “unprecedented momentum for governments to act quickly and decisively,” he underscored growing support for a comprehensive outcome and outlined the essential elements of a Copenhagen deal. Ban also emphasized the mobilization of millions of people and the private sector, and highlighted the “clamor” of businesses for “the policy signals that could unleash green investments.” He told ministers that “[o]pportunity is knocking.  It is up to you to open the door” and highlighted that, although progress has been achieved in the negotiations, core political issues remain unresolved. He concluded by calling on them to support the COP presidency “with a sense of common purpose” and to work together with the UN to “make Copenhagen the success the world wants and needs it to be.”

At the close of the meeting, Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, President-in-Office of the European Environmental Council, reported that the ministers had confirmed willingness to achieve a comprehensive “binding agreement” in Copenhagen including clear commitments for all countries, as well as a clear timetable so that “the agreement will be turned into a legally binding document.” He also referred to the Chinese and US delegations confirming “the direction agreed by Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao,” and considered this “as progress, even though concrete answers have not yet been received.” He urged developed countries to put “figures and commitments” on the table, and advanced developing economies to present sufficient measures to be included in an international agreement.

Minister Carlgren is convening a special meeting of the EU environment ministers to be held on 23 November 2009, in Brussels, Belgium. [Meeting Announcement][UN Secretary-General Ban's Message][Minister Carlgren's Post-Meeting Remarks]