UNFCCC Executive Secretary Addresses Tokyo Symposium

28 February 2011: Speaking at a symposium organized by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), in Tokyo, Japan, Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, emphasized that all parties have to be "on-board" in order for greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations to be stabilized.  

Highlighting the significance of the Cancun Agreements, she noted the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 17), scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa, at the end of 2011, needs to build on Cancun, not only on the new institutions but also in terms of increasing certainty of the international framework. Figueres highlighted that Japan's 25% target is "testimony to clear, strategic economic thinking which will create economic advantages well into the future." She added that, together with Japan's New Growth Strategy, it will put the country on "a cutting edge path to low-carbon growth." She urged Japan to assess how an international climate change agreement could help achieve this ambitious target, and cautioned that a categorical "no" to the Kyoto Protocol would cause Japan to lose out on the sizable investments it had already made into Kyoto Protocol infrastructure. [Figueres' Statement]