STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMBASSADOR MR. ALBERTO PEDRO D’ALOTTO, VICE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ARGENTINA, AT THE JOINT HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT OF THE SEVENTEENTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE CONVENTION AND THE SEVENTEENTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES SERVING AS THE MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL (COP 17/CMP 7)
(Durban, South Africa, 6 December 2011)
His Excellency the President of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, Her Excellency the President of the COP/CMP, Madam Maite Mashabane,
His Excellency the Secretary General of UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, The Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Madam Christiana Figueres, Ladies and Gentlemen, 1. At the outset, I would like to express our full confidence in your leadership, and we commend you in the conduction of this meeting through an open, transparent and inclusive process, based on the very roots of the spirit of the INDABA, an essential element of South African participatory democracy. Madam President,
2. We would like to emphasize once more the urgent need to address this issue that for countries within the G77 and China is a matter of survival. At the same time, we could not emphasize more that, although developing countries have not contributed to the creation of the problem, we continue to suffer most from the adverse impacts of climate change, and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
3. We are also facing the challenges arising from the impact of response measures. Madam President,
4. Developing countries are now more than ever experiencing the very real impacts of climate change, which are undermining our development prospects and aggravating preexisting vulnerabilities.
5. This has been confirmed a few days ago by the Summary for Policy Makers from the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) that was adopted by IPCC member governments, highlighting that fatality rates and economic losses expressed as a proportion of GDP are higher in developing countries.
6. That points to the fact that a higher ambition in emission reductions of Green House Gasses (GHG) is urgently needed. In this regard, and as you are aware, Madam President, raising the level of ambition of emission reductions is a twofold path, since Parties agreed to a two- track negotiation process in 2007, the Bali Roadmap. Madam President,
7. We are here in Durban already in 2011, and we believe this process has to deliver.
8. As we stated in the opening plenary of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol, the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol is the cornerstone of our efforts in addressing climate change. However, Madam President, significant and ambitious efforts are still needed to raise the level of ambition of developed countries pledges, in line with what is required by science, equity and historical responsibilities.
9. We urge developed countries Parties to show they are taking the lead, and recommitting themselves to comply with what the Convention states, namely, modifying longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions.
10. Modifying the patterns of production and consumption should lead us to achieve to achieve the objective of the Convention, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
11. This leadership has to be demonstrated by undertaking a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, fully legally binding and ratified. Non Kyoto Protocol Annex I Parties, have to also join these efforts, with comparable commitments. Madam President,
12. On our part, developing country Parties are still struggling to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. These are our first and overriding priorities. However, we are already undertaking bold action in mitigation and adaptation activities, including with our own resources, in a scenario where the provisions of the Convention regarding the support of finance, technology transfer and capacity building by developed countries parties in addition to the ODA are far from being met.
13. We are willing to do more, but the available international cooperation for national mitigation and adaptation actions clearly needs to be scaled up. We are concerned about the slow progress of the negotiations on financing, since we believe that resolve and progress in this front could be the key to a leap forward in mitigation actions by developing countries. Madame President, putting in motion the Green Climate Fund created in Cancun must include its initial capitalization, from public financial resources as soon as possible, to appease the fears of an «empty shell» structure.
14. In looking at the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol regarding finance so far, pledges under the Adaptation Fund have been left unfulfilled and there has been no voluntary contributions to the Fund yet, meaning that urgent concrete adaptation projects have remained underfunded or unfunded. This comes at a time when both the Least-Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), also face a serious lack of resources. Madam President,
15. Adaptation is a key priority for developing countries. The historical imbalance in finance of mitigation in detriment of adaptation must be redressed. We believe that the Cancun Adaptation Framework was one of the main achievements of COP16 in pursuing this objective and in bringing the so much needed coherent approach to adaptation under the Convention. We look forward to making the Adaptation Committee operational in this African Climate Change Summit, keeping in mind the importance of creating the proper linkages to other institutional arrangements, in particular to the operating entities of the financial mechanism, as well as to other adaptation related arrangements.
16. In such line, setting in motion the Technology Mechanism, as one of the key deliverables of this Conference has to address also its interaction with other institutional arrangements under the Convention, including the Climate Technology Center Network, the Financial Mechanism and the Adaptation Committee. Madam President,
17. We are gathered here, hopefully infused with wisdom and Ubuntu, to achieve an outcome that is comprehensive and balanced, enabling the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now, up to and beyond 2012, pursuant to the results of the thirteenth and sixteenth sessions of the Conference of the Parties, addressing both implementation tasks and issues that are still to be concluded as per the agreed agenda.
18. The outcome, on the basis of equity and taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, demands a decision on establishing the commitments of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol here in Durban. That was recognized by our Ministers in the G77 Declaration in September, and we reiterate it today.
19. The Kyoto Protocol, its mechanisms, its rules and its compliance system must be preserved and strengthened, as an essential part of the current legally-binding international multilateral rules-based system created by the UNFCCC. Any decision other than the adoption of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol would cast a doubt on our shared commitment to multilateralism and to the so needed decisive action if we are to maintain a viable chance of limiting the increase in global mean temperature.
20. The Group of 77 and China reiterates the necessity of Palestine effective participation in the UNFCCC process, and to have the right of access to funding from different climate change sources. Finally, Madam President, 21. Once again, let me reassure you that the G77 and China will support you in a sustainably and tireless manner. We are fully committed with you in «SAVING TOMORROW, TODAY.»