INTERNASIONAL NASIONAL

Kamis, 29 Mei 2008

Moving on the Low Carbon Road

By Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Donald Tusk and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Monday, March 31, 2008.

A meeting of United Nations member states in Bangkok on Monday to discuss climate change is the first in a series this year at which the action plan adopted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007, will be translated into concrete steps on the road to a new global climate change agreement.
We, the president of Indonesia and the prime ministers of Poland and Denmark, have decided to join forces in a coordination group at the highest political level. Our goal is to facilitate an ambitious climate change agreement in Copenhagen in 2009.

We intend to push for action, keep up momentum, maintain strategic guidance and provide a channel for the engagement of the top political level in support of the negotiations. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted in 1992, enjoys almost universal membership. It stands as the only global negotiation framework.

Now, the time has come to implement the ultimate objective of this treaty - the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous climate change. It is the obvious case for a global solution agreed within the United Nations. No country can effectively address the problem by itself, yet no agreement will serve its purpose unless every country signs up.

The negative impact of climate change affects all aspects of life and all parts of our societies. Recognizing that access to energy is the key to economic growth and welfare, the challenge is to find a solution that responds adequately to the climate issue in a cost-effective way, not hampering but promoting sustainable economic growth and paving the way for a future low-carbon society.

Indeed a new agreement, introducing deep cuts in global emissions, should lend fresh impetus to the global push towards low-carbon economies and sustainable development. This implies a multifaceted approach engaging not only traditional environment and energy policies, but also a variety of other crucial policy areas. Indonesia acknowledged this fact at the Bali Conference by engaging environment ministers as well as ministers of finance and trade.

The agenda is so broad and challenging that engagement at the highest political level is crucial for achieving progress and timely completion of negotiations on a new global agreement. The high-level event in New York in September 2007, convened by the UN secretary general, proved that leaders around the world are ready to engage and live up to the challenge. Bali gave us the Action Plan with a clear timeline. From Bali, the torch goes to Poznan, Poland, the host of the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2008. Poznan will set out the main architecture of a new agreement. And from Poznan the torch goes to Copenhagen, where the agreement must be finalized in 2009.

Time is short, but the timeline is clear. If leaders around the world continue to recognize the urgency and the need for global action, success is in our reach. We may not all live to see the positive effects, but future generations will benefit from what we accomplish within the next two years.

Although Indonesia, Poland and Denmark represent different approaches due to different levels of development, they pursue to transpose a shared goal of tackling climate change into global and concerted actions.
In the Convention, we have all acknowledged that an effective and appropriate international response to climate change provides for all countries to participate in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions.

This is the basis for the Bali Action Plan and for our work towards 2009. It has been recognized that a new agreement should contribute to and never be a barrier to sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
On the contrary, an agreement should encourage all countries to pursue a low-carbon development path, respecting their different levels of development.

The transition to low-carbon economies with the use of market-based financial mechanisms offers prosperous opportunities for all parties and for the global cooperation to halt climate change. Climate change is a defining issue of our era. Today's leaders will be remembered by their actions on this issue.

We encourage all segments of society to engage in finding the solutions that will work. We need the business and industry communities to apply all their dynamics in the effort to develop and apply low carbon and energy efficiency technologies. We need intensified research and development work to introduce new promising technologies into the market and science to help us better understand and address the problem.

And we need the support and engagement of citizens throughout the world in the endeavor to turn this colossal challenge into an opportunity for prosperity of present and future generations. In short, we encourage every country and every citizen to start the low-carbon future now. This is what it will take to reach our common goal in 2009.
We call on all world leaders to join our cause and help us achieve our common goal. (Source: International Herald Tribune, 31 March 2008)


Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the president of Indonesia; Donald Tusk is the prime minister of Poland, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the prime minister of Denmark

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