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SPEECH/ 09/583

José Manuel Dur ã o Barroso

P resident of the European Commission

S tatement of President Barroso at the UN High Level Segment

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED


COP 15

Copenhagen, 16 December 2009

President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have come a long way in these negotiations. An unprecedented number of world leaders are gathering here in Copenhagen. I remain confident that an ambitious deal - that delivers on the target of limiting temperature increase to two degrees Celsius – is within our grasp. But we still have a lot of work to do if we are to find agreement, and lay the groundwork to safeguard future generations on this planet.

If, as I hope, everybody is now ready to overcome the procedural obstacles, I believe we now have a basis for a real negotiation in the closing days towards a meaningful and ambitious deal, which we must transform into a binding legal agreement next year.

Madam President , as I am speaking on behalf of the European Union, since the passage of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December, please forgive me for a moment of real pride in what the European Union has achieved.

The European Union will achieve its Kyoto target. But we have also demonstrated that it is possible to do so while achieving significant economic growth. Our emissions trading system has been the backbone of the international carbon market.

And at this time last year, the European Union became the first Party to set in place binding legislation to ensure we continue to lead an ambitious downward trend in carbon emissions. The European Union will reduce its emissions by at least 20% below 1990 levels in 2020, whatever is decided here. But – as you know - we are ready to go further, and to move to 30%, if others are also ready to step up their offers in a meaningful and comparable way. In particular, while fully respecting their differential responsibilities and capabilities, I would like to call on our partners in the US and China to contribute further to a successful outcome to the conference.

Here in Copenhagen, on Friday, we must take a significant step forward in our common actions to tackle climate change - and its impact particularly on the poorest and most vulnerable economies. And I stress common action . Our deal must enable us collectively to do much more on mitigation than each of us has been able to achieve individually. It must provide a robust framework for transparency and comparability.

And it must enable us to commit to the necessary financial support. Only last week in the European Council, the EU has agreed to pledge – collectively – a total of 2.4 billion euros a year from 2010 to 2012 for fast start funding, as just the first step to much more extensive finance in support of an ambitious agreement. The European Union has estimated that by 2020, developing countries will need additional finance amounting to 100 billion euros a year. Only a proportion of this will be from public finance, but the European Union is absolutely ready to pay its fair share.

Madam President , here in Copenhagen we must focus our collective determination to tackle climate change. There will be 125 Heads of State and Government here in Copenhagen. It is a real test of our collective credibility to find global solutions at the highest level. We must find that elusive deal that will limit global warming to two degrees Celsius. We are going to have to work extremely hard. But I am convinced that we can seal the deal on Friday.

Thank you for your attention.


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