OPEC Statement to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16)

Delivered by OPEC Secretary General, HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP16/CMP6), Cancun, Mexico, 10 December 2010

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

In Bali in 2007, we all agreed to urgently enhance and enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. And equally important is the objective of agreeing on further commitments for Annex-I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol.

Last year in Copenhagen, little progress was achieved; a clear demonstration that a successful outcome can only be achieved through an open, inclusive, transparent and country-driven process.

I would like to thank the Mexican Presidency for its untiring efforts to ensure such transparency and openness.

OPEC Member Countries have positively and constructively engaged in these climate change negotiations, cognizant that the protection of the environment is an important pillar of sustainable development, along with economic growth and social progress.

Here in Cancun, they are actively engaged in efforts to reach a fair, comprehensive and equitable agreement under each of the negotiation tracks. We believe that collective efforts could lead to a successful outcome, provided that the principles and the provisions of the Convention are fully taken into account and respected. In particular, the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, as well as the overriding priority of economic and social development and the eradication of poverty.

In this regard, it is important to underline the role of developed countries. They should take the lead in combating climate change given their historical responsibility and in providing new, adequate and predictable financial resources and technology transfer to support developing country mitigation actions, as well as adaptation to both climate change and the adverse effects of response measures.

All of OPEC’s Members 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. They invest huge financial resources to ensure security of supply to consumers, including investing in spare capacity. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. 

However, OPEC Member Countries are also heavily dependent on the production and export of an exhaustible, non-renewable natural resource. They are highly vulnerable not only to climate change, but also to the adverse impacts of response measures on their economies and on their citizens.

OPEC Member Countries interests need to be safeguarded.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

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

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

We need to rely on all available cost effective abatement technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies, such as carbon capture and storage.

We need to give more prominence to those means that allow for a satisfactory balance between mitigation and development, such as the Clean Development Mechanism.

We need to satisfactorily address, including through funding, the issue of adaptation to climate change, as well as to the adverse impacts of response measures. 

This is all possible. And we all know how it can be achieved.

It is through a collective and cooperative process that allows us to reach a fair and equitable outcome for all. If this is the way forward, then I feel we can together reach a balanced outcome here in Cancun and we can continue working constructively in the future to meet the challenge of climate change. And let us be assured that OPEC Member Countries will spare no effort in this regard.

Thank you.