UNFCCC Executive Secretary: Bonn Climate Change Talks Represent “First New Opportunity for True Cooperation”

29 March 2009: Addressing delegates at the opening of the seventh session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 7) and the fifth meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 5) taking place in Bonn, Germany, from 29 March-8 April 2009, Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, reminded them that they only have six weeks of “real negotiating time” over the next eight months to reach an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen.

He noted the desire of many countries to make progress at the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, and stressed the need to focus on the essential elements of an agreement. He highlighted two issues that are particularly pressing for AWG-LCA 5, namely: how the necessary financial and technological support for adaptation and mitigation actions in developing countries will be generated; and clarity on the provisions, mechanisms and institutions to be contained in the agreed outcome. As for urgent issues before AWG-KP 7, he emphasized new commitments for Annex I Parties, as well as on the means to reduce emissions. De Boer underscored the importance of cooperation among parties, stressing that the present talks represent the “first new opportunity for true cooperation.” He underlined that funding is still required for the session to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, at the end of September. He concluded by noting that, on 28 March 2009, millions of people around the world had switched off their lights in one of the largest public demonstration on climate change ever, thereby sending a clear mandate to their government representatives to seal the deal in Copenhagen. [The speech]