Secretary-General's press conference with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen
Denmark, Copenhagen, 15 December 2009SG: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, of the media. It is a great pleasure to have this opportunity to share some thoughts of our assessment, with you, today after the opening of this high level meeting.
This is my third visit to Copenhagen in just six months. That means I have a very urgent and important mission to accomplish. I would like to thank Prime Minister [Lars Lokke] Rasmussen for his leadership and commitment as leader of this country, as we have been working very closely together. Every month, particularly the last three months, we have been meeting through video every week. It has been quite instrumental for us to work together [on] the current status of the negotiations up to now.
Of course there are many issues to be resolved, but I am reasonably optimistic that Copenhagen will be a success; that we will have a deal that is fair, comprehensive and equitable, and immediately operational.
One of the places where we have been travelling together is Trinidad and Tobago where we attended a Commonwealth summit meeting, where the leaders of 53 Commonwealth states have laid down a very good foundation. I would particularly recognize the presence of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. [Patrick] Manning, and he is sitting over there, and I really appreciate his leadership, which has really made this joint declaration possible.
You heard my speech during the high-level opening session. I told world leaders and ministers that we have come a long way. Now we have to finish the job. A new era is within our grasp. A new era of hope, sustainable growth and security.
Copenhagen is the key to opening the door of opportunity. We have three days left to seal a deal. The time for delay and blame is over.
I told the leaders that it is time to stop pointing fingers, it is time to stop looking in the mirror and start authorizing what the Member States could do. Now is the time for common sense, compromise and courage. Common sense, compromise and courage should prevail the next three days.
Several issues require urgent resolution. We still need stronger mitigation targets that keep us within two degrees global temperature rise. I call on developed countries to raise their targets.
I also call on developing nations to take greater measures to curb the growth in their emissions. Higher ambition by each is in the interest of all.
We also need concrete commitments to the Copenhagen Launch Fund for the next three years. And we need agreement on how to scale up longer-term financing that meets needs.
No one thinks this will be easy or cheap. But this is an essential investment. The impacts will be immediate, and the dividends will last for generations.
Millions of families are suffering right now. They are on the climate front lines. They expect Copenhagen to deliver results. So do I.
Finally, we need to set a firm date for completing a new legally binding agreement as soon as possible in 2010. As soon as we agree on a politically binding agreement in Copenhagen, this agreement should be translated into legally binding treat as soon as possible. We need to set a date, a deadline. This deadline cannot be left hanging.
Climate change is accelerating. Delays by any will, over time, mean crisis for all.
Instead of pointing fingers, I call on each country to look at each other's positions and come out with more ambitious targets. Each country can and should do more. Each country, each leader must consider what more we can do to make Copenhagen a success.
I have been talking and meeting with Heads of State on this issue since I became Secretary-General. More than 80 came to a Summit I convened in 2007. More than 100 came to the UN Summit on climate change this September. More than 120 have committed to come for this meeting. Everyone wants to seal a deal here in Copenhagen. That is why I remain positive.
I am here to help bring parties together for a final agreement. My goal is for governments to forge a global deal for the common good ? to achieve the strongest deal possible in the best interests of all. That is why we are here.
We have an opportunity to enter a new era. Let us seize it, and I need your support and cooperation. Thank you very much.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, we heard from the President of the COP [Conference of Parties] today that there is a real risk of this conference ending in failure. If this conference ended in deadlock, what would that imply for the UN system itself? And what would be the cost for the political leaders who have come here to attend it?
SG: We are here to succeed; we are not here for any deadlock or failure. Therefore we are firm and we are committed to succeed. The overwhelming reaction of the leaders who have accepted our joint invitation to this summit meeting is unprecedented. That signals there is a political will, there is a commitment by the leaders. I count on their leadership. At the same time I would urge negotiators to expedite, to accelerate the negotiations. I am afraid that the negotiation has been too slow. If they want to leave all these issues to the leaders, it may be much difficult for them to agree in only one or two days. We must leave this conference in Copenhagen with a strong, robust and substantive outcome. That is the political and moral imperative.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, in the past few days here in Copenhagen, developed nations, particularly the US, are keen to stress that there can be no solution until developing countries such as China and India take stronger steps. So how now will this affect the outcome of a strong bill?
SG: We know the concerns of many countries, particularly developing countries, from Africa, small island states, the least developed states. These are the concerns that we pay the most attention and focus how we can help them to mitigate and adapt to the changing situation and the negative impact coming from climate change. That is why we have been urging the developed countries that they should provide necessary, sufficient financial and technological support to the developing countries, so that they can get on board.
Of course, at the same time, developing countries should do their own nationally appropriate mitigation actions and limit the growth of their emissions. All the countries should do what they can do, as this is not the time when you are blaming all this on other groups. I would again urge that, at this time, we would need to see beyond the national geographical boundaries. We go beyond when we go for global solutions. This is a global challenge.
Q: I am from CCTV, China, Central TV. My question is: over the past week we have seen the efforts made by the developing world. How would you like to comment on the efforts of the developing countries because they are still very poor?
SG: This is again same?.I have already answered. Since you come from China -- China has also taken quite important measures by [pledging to cut] 40 to 45 percent of energy intensity by 2020. There is no single country in the world which has no domestic problems. There is no single country in the world which is not pressured by its own economic and social problems. Therefore we have to overcome national interest or the interest of any particular groups. We are fully aware of particular challenges and plights of many developing countries and groups of developing countries. Those concerns have already being taken care of, and they are being considered as part of our measures in addressing climate change. That is why the developed countries are discussing how much they can provide in financial support.
One idea which is gaining a convergence of opinion is $10 billion annually until 2012, which would need to be scaled down according to the needs, up to 2020 and beyond. Therefore I have been urging, even through my opening statement today, that developed countries should be discussing the medium- and long-term financial support package. This will be one of the key issues in building bridges between developed and developing countries.