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UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Highlights Role of States and Provinces in Transition To Low Emissions Development Path

Richard Kinley, Deputy Executive Secretary<br /> United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 19 November 2008: Speaking at the Governors' Global Climate Summit, taking place from 18-19 November 2008, in Los Angeles, California, US, UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Richard Kinley highlighted that practical state-level action can be an important step towards a low-emissions global economy.

He welcomed the efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases being undertaken by the states and provinces, and industrial sectors, represented at the Summit, but underlined the need for further action. Recalling that emissions should be reduced by 50% by 2050, with industrialized countries doing more, he stressed the need for concerted national actions and “unprecedented cooperation” at the international level. Kinley added that the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol laid the basis for an ambitious new climate regime and that the Bali Climate Change Conference in December 2007 launched comprehensive negotiations on long-term cooperative action on climate change. He outlined the main elements of the Bali Road Map that will need to be refined, namely: ambitious emission reduction targets by industrialized countries; actions by developing countries to reduce their emissions, and support for them to take even more actions; support mechanisms that deliver financing, technology development and transfer, and capacity building to enable developing countries to shift to a low carbon economy; and a significant scaling up of resources to help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

He noted the expectation created by the election of Barack Obama and underscored that US leadership will be key in achieving success at the climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. Turning to action by state and provincial governments, he highlighted that: they control or influence important contributors to greenhouse gas emission and their early initiatives have illustrated what is economically feasible; they contribute to the ability of national governments to commit to ambitious targets internationally; and they will play a key role in implementing international agreements. In concluding, he congratulated participants for being climate leaders and called on them to undertake further action and cooperation. [The Speech]