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Connie Hedegaard: "We would like the 'D' in Durban to be a 'D' for decisions and delivery"

06/12/2011

Connie Hedegaard

Statement at the opening of the high-level segment of COP17.

"Madame President, ministers, ladies and gentlemen!

In some corners of the COP we have heard the argument that we do not need decisions on the future here in Durban. It is said that for the next years we should implement – AND spend some more years thinking.

Europe believes that the world has had a lot of time to think. What we need is not more thinking. What we need is more action. We would lament if this conference was remembered only for discussions and delay. We would like the 'D' in Durban to be a 'D' for decisions and delivery.

We must deliver. Deliver on what we have already agreed in Cancun and decide on further progress. We need progress on the gap between the 2 degrees ambition and current pledges. We need progress on transparency and finance and we must include the sectors that are still not covered. And most importantly we need to decide on the way forward to a new, comprehensive legally binding global agreement.

If there is one thing we have learned in Europe, it is this: Targets work. And pricing works. That is why we need a strong international framework. Only then we can bring the actions to the scale we need with the speed we need.

Europe is ready to decide and deliver. Our legislation is built on Kyoto principles. We will over-achieve on our Kyoto commitment. We have a 20 percent target for 2020. And we are ready to go to 30 percent, provided others are also ambitious. But Europe only accounts for 11 percent of global emissions.

The Convention and the Kyoto Protocol continue to be the foundation of our international regime. However, they were both crafted in the 20th century. A future regime needs to reflect the reality of the new century, and the reality is that the countries that were industrialised countries back in 1992 account for a rapidly decreasing share of emissions. Therefore in order to tackle effectively the challenge in the 21 st century all major economies need to commit.

We understand that are not ready for that right now. This is why the EU has put a significant offer on the table. Even if others are not, we are ready to take a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Now. We do this in order to preserve what it took us all so many years to agree upon. But we must be reassured that others will join us in a new legally binding framework after that second commitment period and WHEN they will. This is why we insist on an agreement to a roadmap for future action from all other parties here.

With these words I will give the floor to Minister Korelec from Poland."

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