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SPEECH/ 09/570

José Manuel Dur ã o Barroso

P resident of the European Commission

Opening remarks of Presiden t Barroso on climate change following his meeting with Lord Stern and Dr Pachauri

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


VIP Corner

Brussels, 3 December 2009

I am delighted to welcome Lord Stern and Dr Pachauri back to Brussels. We last met together here on 19th May, and I am grateful to them for coming back again for this very good meeting . They have a crucial role to play in the next couple of weeks – I greatly value their advice and insights for global awareness and global commitment to fight climate change.

We are approaching the moment of truth at Copenhagen. Words are no longer enough – now we need to see commitments from all sides. I want a simple, understandable and clear text coming out of Copenhagen that is politically binding on all countries while reflecting our common but differentiated responsibilities. We won't get a Treaty, that is clear, but we have to light the pathway to a legal agreement that will respect the 2 degrees limit.

This is not the moment to be optimistic or pessimistic. But we have clear signs that the different communities are fully engaged – NGO's and climate campaigners, of course; but also business leaders who I recently met here who have been urging us to reach an ambitious deal.

World leaders are now fully engaged after being brought into the process in September in New York. Just in the last few weeks, Fredrick Reinfeldt and I have been to Washington, Delhi and Beijing for meetings with President Obama, Prime Minister Singh and both President Hu and Premier Wen. In Stockholm we met with Presidents Medvedev and Lula.

What is my sense of the situation? I'm encouraged by the commitment of around 90 leaders to attend Copenhagen. The growing readiness to put concrete numbers on the table is also encouraging - most recently, China's announcement of carbon intensity target is a significant step, another major developing country coming forward with a clear commitment.

The question is: is this momentum going to be enough to bring the right level of offers to the table? Honestly, only time will tell, but my acid test for Copenhagen is not whether there will be numbers but whether each major player has gone to the outer limits of their capacity, whether we have reached the highest level of ambition possible. I remind everyone that Europe is ready to put 30% in the table but only if there are significant commitments from developed countries and adequate contributions from developing countries.

We can and must negotiate with each other but a negotiating game based on "after you, claude" will not do it. That is why we made the first step, with our 20% unilateral and unconditional target and the offer to go to 30%. We cannot commit now to more if others do not move as well. And we are urging the others to move to the best of their capacity.


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