UNFCCC Executive Secretary Addresses Public Climate Change Hearing

14 April 10: At a public hearing on Climate Change in Brussels, Belgium, held on 14 April 2010, Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, stated that the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference constituted an important event because it: raised the profile of climate change policy to the highest political level; significantly advanced the negotiations on the infrastructure needed for well-functioning, global climate change cooperation, including improvements to the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); and produced the Copenhagen Accord, "a clear letter of political intent to constrain carbon and respond to climate change, both in the short and in the long term."

De Boer noted that the “process is currently characterized by a high degree of suspicion and mistrust ” including because of the lack of significant finance coming forward, leading to developing countries' hesitation to fully engage in the process. He explained that developing countries are not ready to abandon the Kyoto Protocol because they feel that industrialized countries have largely failed to meet their emission reduction targets.

He also outlined examples of a growing movement towards sustainable development, which he qualified as a "mega trend," including: soaring investments in renewable energies in all regions since 2008; increasing numbers of consumers demanding a departure from the traditional, unsustainable provision of goods and services such as energy; an increasing number of companies integrating sustainability into their operations; and selected government spending on green economic components, which has already created jobs and is starting to create new, green industries that strengthen economic growth. He stressed the need for climate policies to “strengthen the budding green economy” and to "help the world fully embrace sustainable development."

On priorities, de Boer highlighted the need to concentrate on rebuilding trust within the process, including the speedy channeling of funds to developing countries. He said that Cancun needs to "conclude what remained incomplete in Copenhagen" and, in terms of process, the problems that surfaced at Copenhagen need to be addressed. In conclusion, he stated that negotiations under the UNFCCC are the only way to deliver a climate deal that delivers for all countries. [The Speech]