OPEC Statement to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15)

Delivered by OPEC Secretary General, HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15/CMP5), Copenhagen, Denmark, 18 December 2009

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

In Bali in 2007 we all agreed to enhance the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to continue negotiating further commitments for Annex-I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol.

Now, in Copenhagen, it is time to reach a fair, comprehensive and equitable agreement under each of the negotiating tracks.

We should recall the distinctions between the responsibilities set out for developed Annex-I countries and those for developing nations.

This means evoking the historical responsibilities of developed countries, the principles of equity and of common but differentiated responsibilities, and fully taking into account the overriding priority of economic and social development and the eradication of poverty.

Developed countries have ‘commitments’ to reduce their overall emissions levels, and they should not pass on the responsibility of these emission reductions to developing countries.

In 2006, Annex I countries accounted for almost 80 per cent of cumulative CO2 emissions since 1900, and by 2030 they will still have contributed two-thirds.

Developing countries can assist – on a voluntary basis – by undertaking nationally appropriate mitigation actions that are enabled and supported by developed countries.

This should be through the provision of new, adequate, additional, predictable, and sustainable financial resources, as well as the transfer of technology and capacity-building.

Developed countries must also assume leadership in supporting developing countries to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and the adverse effects of response measures.

All of OPEC’s Member Countries are developing countries, all are Parties to the Convention, and all play a vital role in supplying energy that helps satisfy the world’s needs. This energy source provides export revenues that these countries are highly dependent on. This interdependence makes it essential that we take into account the interests of everyone.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We need to remember the spirit in which we agreed the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. It was a spirit that allowed for everyone’s issues to be taken aboard. And we must continue this process of inclusivity.

We need win-win solutions that do not discriminate against one Party or another.

It is essential that any agreement reached here is comprehensive, balanced, fair and equitable. It needs to take into account the past, present and future; the fulfilling of current commitments and obligations; and address the net emissions of all greenhouse gases.

It also needs to rely on all available cost effective abatement technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, and remain focused on the priority of sustainable development, particularly in regard to those least able to help themselves.

Thank you.