OPEC Statement to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP17)

Delivered by OPEC Secretary General, HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP17/CMP7), Durban, South Africa, 9 December 2011

Climate change is a concern for us all. The historical responsibility of developed countries in regard to the state of the Earth’s atmosphere cannot be ignored. Socio-economic development and poverty eradication are the overriding priorities of developing countries.

These are the basic facts that guide OPEC Member Countries in the UNFCCC-related negotiations. Such countries have played a positive and constructive role, aiming at win-win solutions that take into consideration the interests of all Parties. They remain committed to this, and to the objective of engaging with all Parties for a comprehensive, balanced and consensus-based outcome that is satisfactory to all.

The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol should remain at the centre of all actions. The overriding priority is an agreement on a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol, without delay. Commitments should be meaningful, ambitious and unconditional. The Kyoto Protocol should not be abandoned. 

Another priority is that the outcome of the work under the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action should be comprehensive and cover all the building blocks of the Bali Action Plan. It must be balanced and consistent with all the provisions and principles of the Convention; especially the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. It must satisfy the interests of all Parties. This is a fundamental requirement of UN multilateral negotiations.  Issues related to adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building are particularly important.

OPEC Member Countries have an important responsibility: to ensure the adequate supply of a non-renewable, exhaustible commodity that is essential to world energy needs and to the world economy.

OPEC Member Countries are developing countries, whose economies rely heavily on petroleum export revenues. They are vulnerable to climate change, as well as to the adverse impacts of response measures. This is recognized in the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. Any outcome in Durban should address such vulnerabilities in relation to adaptation, finance, capacity building and technology transfer. This should include the eligibility of carbon capture and storage under the clean development mechanism.

In conclusion, OPEC Member Countries hope for successful negotiations in Durban and an outcome that is effective, sustained and satisfactory to all.

Thank you.