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UNFCCC Executive Secretary Addresses Spanish Parliament Commission for Climate Change

25 June 2009: In a speech delivered at the Spanish Parliament Commission for Climate Change on 25 June 2009, in Madrid, Spain, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer highlighted Spain's leadership in tackling climate change and its commitment to renewable energy.

Noting that within the negotiations, “we are not yet at a point where we can say that our generation will fulfil its destiny to avoid climate change,” he stated that, with six weeks of negotiating time left, “there is still time to deliver success.” He then provided an overview of the current state of the negotiations and what must happen in the future.

Internationally, he highlighted: the commitment of the new US Administration to fighting climate change and its engagement in a climate change dialogue with China; the re-launch of the Major Economies Forum of the 17 largest emitters; and progress achieved at the June UN climate change talks in Bonn. On these talks, he emphasized that governments had carried out two full readings of the text on long-term cooperative action, which revealed growing convergence on the need for a strong adaptation framework or programme. He then listed the four essential political elements the Copenhagen agreement must reflect, namely: clarity on quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives of industrialized countries by 2020; clarity on nationally appropriate mitigation actions of developing countries; stable and predictable finance to help developing countries to adapt and to mitigate; and an institutional framework to deliver support for mitigation and adaptation where developing countries feel they have an equal voice.

Underscoring the role of legislators, he said success in Copenhagen would depend on laws and levers that allow citizens, business and finance to take the right climate action, with the provision of legal, tax, standards and regulatory structures by governments. [The Speech]