OPEC Statement to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP19)

Delivered by OPEC Secretary General, HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP19/CMP9), Warsaw, Poland, 22 November 2013

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning,

On behalf of OPEC and its Member Countries, I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to the people and Government of Poland for hosting this conference, and for their excellent arrangements and warm hospitality.

Climate change is a concern for us all. Thus, negotiations to develop an agreement by 2015 and raise the level of ambitions for the pre-2020 period are extremely important.

We have made some progress. But there is much left to be done.

Our common objective is the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its success, however, requires transparent, inclusive, comprehensive and country-driven negotiations that take into account the interests of all Parties.

It is important that already agreed commitments are met. And it is crucial that Parties that have agreed to Kyoto’s second commitment period proceed quickly with ratification, while other developed country Parties should make comparable commitments too.

Another key building block towards success is raising the level of ambitions for all Parties for the period up to 2020 — in mitigation and adaptation, as well as in the means of implementation.

During the last two years, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (or ADP) contributed to a fruitful exchange of views on the scope, structure and design of the 2015 agreement. As it now enters a crucial phase leading to a negotiating draft, it is important to recall that the ADP’s work and its outcome should both be “under the Convention”.

It means it should be consistent with — and adhere to — all the principles and provisions of the Convention, including the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’. And it should be comprehensive, in particular, with regard to mitigation, adaptation, financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building.

In addition, social and economic development and poverty eradication remain overriding priorities for developing countries, the fundamental differentiation that exists in the Convention between developed and developing countries should not be blurred. This must be reflected in the 2015 agreement. Furthermore, the work of the ADP should address the potential adverse economic and social impacts of response measures on developing countries.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is imperative that the provisions contained in the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol should be fully implemented — and included throughout the ADP process.

This is needed to minimize any adverse impacts and assist OPEC Member Countries and other developing countries to adapt — by diversifying their economies, strengthening their resilience, and enhancing increased investment and technology transfer.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Environmental protection and sustainable development continue to be of great importance to our Member Countries. Voluntary initiatives in these areas are being carried out every day. These include investing in carbon capture and storage, reducing gas flaring, developing hybrid solar-gas power stations and solar-powered desalination units, and producing cleaner petroleum products.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that OPEC’s Member Countries are committed to achieving an effective and comprehensive outcome based on full consensus — and that is in full compliance with the UNFCCC.

Thank you.