UNFCCC Executive Secretary Addresses Petersberg Climate Dialogue

3 May 2010: Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), addressed the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, which met from 2-4 May 2010 in Bonn, Germany, where he reflected on the Copenhagen meeting and the current status of the climate change process.

Noting that “the lack of trust within the process pre-dates Copenhagen, but Copenhagen perhaps made it worse,” de Boer said trust in the process needs to be rebuilt as a matter of urgency. He added that the process has been over-politicized and may benefit from being somewhat depoliticized. In terms of financing, de Boer noted that current pledges of public financing for 2010-2012 to developing countries add up to approximately US$30 billion, but these funds are not new and additional in all cases, meaning that some industrialized countries are beginning to “climate-wash” the funds, which he said is not conducive to rebuilding trust.

Looking towards Cancun, de Boer said a fully operational implementation architecture could be put in place. He highlighted a number of key policy issues that need to be resolved, including: clarity on the long-term finance beyond 2012, and the financial architecture to manage the finances; clarity on how to raise the level of mitigation efforts to ensure that the average global temperature increase stays below 2 degrees Celsius; guidance on the general question of reporting; and the future of the Kyoto Protocol.  He concluded by calling for a focused political debate on the legal form, and compliance and enforcement.

Co-hosted by Germany and Mexico, the Petersberg Climate Dialogue aims to establish a political position in time for the next round of formal UNFCCC negotiations. It was announced by Germany's Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in Copenhagen, and is bringing together participants from 45 countries. [The Speech] [General information on the Petersberg Climate Dialogue]