Secretary-General's press encounter on Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing [Secretary-General's remarks only; unofficial transcript]
New York, 13 July 2010SG: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
I am very pleased to be here with you together with the distinguished co-Chairmen of the High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, who have been presiding over the second meeting in New York since yesterday and today. In just a few minutes, I will invite the Prime Ministers of Ethiopia and Norway to brief on what they have discussed among the 21 principal members of the Advisory Group on Financing.
As you may remember very well, in Copenhagen last year, the leaders of the world agreed and decided to deliver sizeable financial support to developing countries in their efforts in mitigating and adapting to climate change. And they also agreed on the goal of scaling up support to reach 100 billion dollars per year by 2020, in addition to 30 billion dollars until 2012.
The Advisory Group is seeking to identify the sources of this longer-term financing. These sources must be economically sound, and politically viable.
I have insisted that the Group's work be transparent, inclusive and ambitious. Yesterday, several Group members met with Member States, civil society and private sector representatives. They had a fruitful exchange, and yesterday evening I also participated myself, from 6 to 10pm. We had very intensive, very stimulating discussions among the principal members.
I expect that in October, this High-level Advisory Group will provide me with their final recommendations. Their report will feed into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process in time for the next UN climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico.
Climate financing is an investment in a safer, cleaner, more prosperous future for all of us.
Delivering on these pledges is essential. It will strengthen trust between developing and developed countries. And it will be very helpful politically in making this negotiation process go smoothly. It is crucial for building positive momentum in the global negotiations.
Climate change is not going away. The risks – and costs – of inaction grow each year. The more we delay, the more we will have to pay – in lost opportunities, resources and lives.
That is why this High-level Advisory Group is so important. And I really count on the leadership and political wisdom of all the principal members of this Advisory Group, and particularly I am very grateful to Prime Ministers Meles and Stoltenberg for their strong commitment and leadership in leading this very important process as a part of reaching our common goal to address climate change.
Thank you very much, and I would like to first invite His Excellency Meles [Zenawi] of Ethiopia, to be followed by His Excellency Prime Minister [Jens] Stoltenberg of Norway.
[questions for Secretary-General follow:]
Q: To the Secretary-General, Ms. [Christiana] Figueres, your new envoy [Executive Secretary of UNFCCC], had said that she doesn't expect a climate change agreement in her lifetime. This is something which she is quoted as saying. I want to know if you agree with that, and what you think of that comment?
SG: I speak on my behalf. I do not normally speak for a person whom I have nominated. I have not read exactly what she said, but I think that she might have been trying to explain that the process would be quite a difficult one. But just the reason that it is a difficult one does not give us any reason to be disappointed or deterred. We have a strong commitment to reach a globally binding agreement as soon as possible and I am sure that we can achieve that goal. As I said, the more we delay, the cost of inaction will be far, far greater than the cost of action today. That is what I have been repeatedly saying and emphasizing. Therefore this High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing is a very good start and a very good initiative to make the comprehensive process of negotiation move. This is a very important element, aspect of complementing, reinforcing the negotiation process. And you have our commitment. You see the commitment of these distinguished Prime Ministers and world leaders. Thank you.
Q: How would you describe the challenge for these Prime Ministers to reach their goal?
SG: The challenges will be great. As Prime Minister Stoltenberg has said, they have to first of all identify the sources of resource -- whether it comes from public funding or private funding. I suspect that to generate $100 billion, both private and public funds would be necessary.
As he said, there are many sources of resource - how to package, how to generate in a politically viable, economically sound way - will be their challenge. There is still some gap of trust between developed and developing countries, and this is a very good way, a shortcut in bridging the gap of trust between developing and developed countries. This is one of their challenges, and how to identify these resources, and make them in a bundle, a package, that is another challenge. And how to bring this matter into normal formal negotiation process, into the UNFCCC, that will be my challenge. When they present to me their final recommendation, I will have to bring this to UNFCCC for negotiation purposes. Thank you.