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José Manuel Dur ã o Barroso
P resident of the European Commission
Statement of President Barroso on the Copenhagen Climate Accord
Copenhagen, 19 December 2009
Thank you Frederik, let me just add the following: this a ccord is better than no accord.
This was a positive step but clearly below our ambition. We have to be honest when we analyse this result, there are good things and not so good things.
I will not hide my disappointment regarding the ambition in terms of the binding nature or non-binding nature of the future agreement. On this particular point, the text agreed today falls far short of our expectations.
Quite simply, our level of ambition has not been matched, especially as there was not an agreement on the need to have a legally binding agreement. And this is of course is a matter of concern for us because we believe it is important that we commit globally to the actions that we need to develop to fight climate change.
At the same time, it's also fair to say that this was the first time we could put, in an agreement at this level, the actions that have been now pledged by many other parties, parties that so far had not committed to these kinds of actions.
And we believe that the fact that European Union has committed, and already has in its legislation, these kinds of actions was, in fact, a very important trigger for announcements that have been made on development and from developing countries.
So we have three pillars in this text on which we can build progress: emission reductions, finance, and transparency. But the fight to achieve a higher level of ambition goes on, and this fight is one we cannot afford to lose.
So Copenhagen was, I think, a first step but we need many more steps in the future. And we, as the European Union, will pursue with our ambition. The European Union's commitments will be delivered - that will not change - our commitments are not just words in press releases, they are binding for all European Union Member States and we reiterated during the conference that we are even ready to go further if we see some more movement from other partners.
Especially important was the fact that we kept our commitment regarding the support to developing countries. Our African partners and others very specifically thanked us for that, because not all have contributed to what we believe is a very important obligation, which is the need to support the poorest, the most vulnerable in their fight against climate change.
We now need to take this process into a new phase and learn the lessons from this experience. My conclusion is that this is global challenge that we cannot avoid.
World leaders have no alternative but to keep working together to meet their responsibilities to future generations.
This was the first experiment in working together, there are important points that have been agreed - after all it is an agreement. But the level of agreement is honestly not what we have been hoping for.