Readout Following Secretary-General’s Climate Change Summit Dinner

22 September 2009

Readout Following Secretary-General’s Climate Change Summit Dinner

22 September 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Readout Following Secretary-General’s Climate Change Summit Dinner


The following readout was issued after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Change dinner, in New York, 22 September:

Tonight the Secretary-General hosted a dinner for 23 leaders to discuss how to translate the political momentum from today’s historic summit into concrete progress that will lead to success at Copenhagen in December.

The group was composed of leaders of the world’s largest economies -- both industrialized and emerging -- as well as leaders of the most affected and vulnerable countries.  (See list of participants)

The conversation focused on five principal areas:  1) financing; 2) adaptation; 3) mitigation; 4) governance; and 5) possible ways to keep the process moving forward.


Financing drew extensive attention at the dinner.  Indeed, it is clear that at long last leaders are focusing on the centrality of the financing issue.  Financing is the key to make an agreement work.  Leaders discussed the overall needs for financing mitigation and adaptation.  Multiple leaders welcomed the proposal made earlier today to pursue an initial target of at least $100 billion per year, from both public and private sources, for both adaptation and mitigation, during the next decade.  Leaders agreed that both public and private financing will be needed.  Many noted that the public financing will need to be new and additional to existing official development assistance (ODA) commitments.  The role of private sector finance is of central importance and must be driven by expanding the global carbon market, including through linking trading schemes.  In this regard, many leaders welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s proposal to create a national carbon market and to link it into a global market.  Leaders also discussed the need for mechanisms to deliver the requisite financing, and that such mechanisms need to include equitable representation of both developed and developing countries.


The need for increased attention to adaptation was recognized by all at the dinner as essential for a successful outcome in Copenhagen.  The proposal for a “fast-track funding” mechanism for adaptation to address the period 2010-2012 were discussed, and many welcomed the European Union’s concrete proposals to contribute €5 billion to €7 billion to such a fund.  The importance of disaster risk reduction was highlighted.


A number of participants in the dinner confirmed that they are prepared to go for ambitious domestic emissions reduction targets.

All agreed that developed countries must take the lead on mitigation.  Today, and again tonight, many developing countries expressed their willingness to do more than what they are currently doing on mitigation.  Some are prepared to agree to binding targets, provided that sufficient financial and technology support is provided by developed countries.


Various important ideas were tabled about improving governance through better using existing institutions and/or creating new ones.

We now need to focus on specific governance issues required for a successful Copenhagen deal -- such as ensuring balanced, equitable representation for countries in the institutions that provide resources for climate change.

The importance of agreeing on a system of monitoring, reporting and verifying was highlighted by multiple leaders.  There were calls for a United Nations institution to ensure comparability and integrity of the figures and data from all countries.

It was also proposed that the United Nations establish a registry of national appropriate mitigation actions by countries not included in annex I to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Way Forward

We gained some important clarity during the day and tonight at the dinner on the way forward.  Leaders agreed that they are pursuing an agreement in Copenhagen.  As some said pointedly: “There is no Plan B.”

Many leaders recognized that we are talking about a political deal that will require leaders’ direct involvement.

Today Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said he was prepared to invite Heads of State and Government to Copenhagen.  Tonight many Heads of State and Government expressed their willingness to attend if invited.

Prime Minister Rasmussen also offered to be in touch with Heads of State and Government on the major political elements discussed in the course of the day.

In addition, the proposal for an intermediate meeting at the political level was tabled and supported by various leaders.  The Secretary-General will consult on this proposal and would be prepared to convene such a meeting in cooperation with the Danish Prime Minister before Copenhagen if desired.

Lastly, the Secretary-General expressed his intent to accept the proposal of the Commission on Climate Change and Development, supported by many leaders today, to appoint a high-level task force following Copenhagen to help us concretely develop a way forward on climate change and development after the framework is established in Copenhagen.

In conclusion, as multiple leaders noted tonight, there is a political consensus among the leaders.  We know what must be done, and all leaders expressed their intent to get it done in Copenhagen.  Leaders expressed their willingness to break the deadlock of trust among them, and noted that this would allow them to break the deadlock over specific issues.  It was noted that many have been willing to do more than they have been willing to agree to.  This means a deal is possible that could be implemented, to the benefit of all the peoples of the world.

List of Participants

The Secretary-General

The President of the General Assembly

Ali Abdussalam Treki


President Abdelaziz Bouteflika


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina


President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva


Prime Minister Stephen Harper


President Michelle Bachelet Jeria


President Hu Jintao

Costa Rica

President Óscar Arias Sánchez


Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen

European Commission

President José Manuel Barroso


President Nicolas Sarkozy


President Bharrat Jagdeo


Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi


Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama


President Anote Tong


Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

Republic of Korea

President Lee Myung-bak

Russian Federation

President Dmitry A. Medvedev

South Africa

President Jacob Zuma


Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero


Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt

United Kingdom

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

United States of America

President Barack Obama

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.