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UNFCCC Executive Secretary Outlines Key Issues for Durban

Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary19 September 2011: During a press briefing held in New York, US, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres discussed her expectations for the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC, which will take place at the end of 2011 in Durban, South Africa, and underscored the significance of high-level consultations in New York, during the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Figueres expressed confidence that "governments will be able to take a significant step" in the climate negotiations if they solve four key issues in Durban, namely: the resolution of the political question of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; the definition of the rules for the review of the adequacy of the long-term global goal, which is to start in 2013; the provision of clarity on climate finance in terms of approval of the first cut of the design of the Green Climate Fund and the ramping up of climate finance up to US$100 billion; and the operationalization of the new Technology Mechanism and the Adaptation Committee.

She indicated that the Presidents of Mexico and South Africa are consulting with other Heads of State on these issues at the start of the UNGA's 66th session. Recognizing that world leaders are "in the deep midst of economic crisis," Figueres emphasized that “no matter what short-term solutions will be put in place" to address the economic crisis, "those solutions will not be able to maintain growth and stability throughout a longer period unless they are imbued within a global climate change solution.” [UNFCCC Executive Secretary's Press Briefing Introduction] [UN Press Release]