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Brussels, 7 December 2010

Statement by European Commissioner for Climate Action at the opening of the High-level Segment of COP-16/CMP-6 in Cancún

Madam President,

Although the European Union was ready to commit to an international, legally binding agreement already in Copenhagen – and of course still is – we know that here in Cancun we cannot get everything done.

But it is absolutely imperative that we deliver something, something substantial. Something leading to immediate action. Something that paves the way towards the international agreement that the world needs to tackle climate change effectively. To come out of Cancun with nothing is simply not an option.

Over the last years we have managed to mobilize the whole world and get people from around the planet to acknowledge the urgency of this challenge. Seeing the pictures of palm trees and beautiful beaches, how would they judge us – the governments of the world – if we left Cancun empty-handed?

We owe it to them to deliver. Just as we owe it to the people suffering the consequences of climate disruption.

The flooded families in Pakistan. The farmers in Mali coping with desertification and drought. The Arab villagers suffering from water shortages.

We owe it to them – and to all other citizens of this world to whom climate change is already now a fact of life – to end this week with a set of decisions. A set of decisions that puts the world on track towards a sustainable future with cleaner and greener growth…

It is easy to see how complicated, difficult, and slow the UN process is. But it is much harder to see an alternative that can deliver more results faster. So for the credibility of the negotiations it is crucial to prove that this political process leads to political progress.

Madam President, let me assure you that the EU is committed to doing all it can, under your guidance, to ensure that Cancun produces the successful outcome the world so badly needs. We still have 72 hours to do it. Thank you!

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