U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky says the United States knows “that the challenges related to climate change are among the greatest we face in this century” and “remains firmly committed to taking a leadership role in developing a new global response to climate change.”
Under Secretary Dobrianksy made the remarks at a conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Newseum, an interactive museum of news and journalism. Also taking part in the conference were the embassies of France, Poland, and Denmark.
“This is certainly a critical year for international climate negotiations,” said Under Secretary Dobrianksy. This December’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland marks the mid-way point of the 2-year Bali Action Plan that was launched last December and is a key step toward the shared goal of developing a new global climate architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009.
Dr. Dobrianksy also noted that the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush is working hard to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to the administration of President-elect Barak Obama, when he takes office January 20.
The U.S. hopes the conference in Poznan will produce a deeper understanding of the priorities and expectations of the parties to the conference. “In particular,” said Dr. Dobrianksy, “we hope to agree to a robust work plan that transitions into an intensive negotiating phase by next spring, after we conclude our review of key issues in the Bali Action Plan.”
Under Secretary Dobrianksy noted that all of the elements in Bali Action Plan – a shared vision, mitigation, adaptation, technology, and finance – are linked. “We do not expect to be able to move forward in Poznan with partial or premature decisions,” she said. “It is also important,” she added, “that we avoid foreclosing options for the new U.S. Administration.”
The Poznan conference will highlight the importance of research and development of clean energy technologies. Also to be discussed is the collective effort needed to address climate change. The U.S. will do its part. Other nations must do theirs.
“In Poznan,” said Under Secretary Dobriansky, “our highest priority will be to set the stage for an effective outcome in 2009.”