UN: EU Statement on Protection of Global Climate for present and future generations of mankind

UN 61st Session; II Committee, Protection of Global Climate for present and future generations of mankind

Statement by H.E. Ms. Kirsti Lintonen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN, on behalf of the European Union

New York, 8 December 2006

Madam Chairperson,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

The European Union regrets that we were unable to reach consensus on this resolution A/C.2/61/L.24 Rev.1 as further amended. The resolution before us is not an adequate response by the General Assembly to the serious threat posed by climate change, nor  does it reflect the actions that we must all take to tackle it. Therefore, the European Union will abstain on this vote.

The European Union is deeply concerned about the regional and global consequences of climate change. We are determined to continue demonstrating strong leadership by strengthening our commitments, but it is clear that action by the European Union alone will not be sufficient. The fourth Assessment Report of IPCC is likely to reinforce that the scientific evidence is no longer in doubt: climate change is a manmade challenge requiring an urgent global response. As Kofi Annan said on 15 November, “Climate change is not just an environmental issue…it is an all-encompassing threat”.  Climate change threatens peace, development and economic prosperity, not in the future, but now.  The UN must be at the centre of our efforts to tackle climate change.

The entry into force and timely implementation of the Kyoto Protocol is a key priority of the European Union, and the EU is determined to demonstrate progress in its climate change policies. The EU stresses the importance of preparing negotiations on a multilateral framework post 2012 with a view to avoiding any gap, and which will involve all countries in line with their responsibilities and capabilities.

In addition to mitigation, adaptation will continue to be important, since it will be impossible to prevent some of the impacts of climate change. The EU is actively supporting developing countries in their efforts to counter adverse effects of climate change, and in this regard we welcome the decision of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, on the principles guiding and on the modalities operating the Adaptation Fund and on the governance structure of the Fund.

*) Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabiliation and Association Process.