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UNFCCC Executive Secretary to World Bank Energy Week: Copenhagen Can Move the World Towards a Sustainable Future

31 March 2009: Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, addressed the opening plenary of the World Bank Group's Energy Week by video link and welcomed the meeting's theme, “Energy, Development and Climate Change,” noting the importance of addressing developing countries' energy concerns.

He told participants at the 31 March–2 April 2009 event in Washington DC, US, that the challenge is to achieve emission reductions of 50-80% by 2050. He stressed the link between access to energy and development and urged that upcoming investments in energy infrastructure be directed into climate-friendly options. He outlined how a Copenhagen agreement could enable the establishment of clean energy globally by reflecting clarity on: targets for industrialized countries; actions by major developing countries; the mobilization of significant financial resources to assist developing countries in their additional mitigation actions; and governance structures founded on equity. De Boer added that, whatever the agreed outcome in Copenhagen, it will impact the work of financial institutions that will have to implement actions in developing countries within the frameworks created by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. He concluded by underscoring that Copenhagen has the potential to “move the world towards a sustainable future” and stressed the importance that energy spending be channeled towards low-emissions energy infrastructure to avoid locking the world into unsustainable patterns of growth. [The speech]