OPEC Statement to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18)

Statement by OPEC Secretary General, HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8), Doha, State of Qatar, 7 December 2012

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

OPEC is proud and honoured that the UN Climate Change Conference is hosted by one of its Member Countries, namely the State of Qatar.

This is a great example of the positive and constructive role that OPEC’s Member Countries have played in addressing the issue of climate change.

Climate change is a threat to sustainable development and concerns all of us.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the foundation of global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Its principles and provisions should remain the cornerstone of climate change negotiations, in particular the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and of equity, and with economic development and poverty eradication the overriding priorities of developing countries.

Important progress has been made in the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action negotiations since their establishment at COP13 in Bali. They are now being terminated here in Qatar. However, we need to ensure that all the issues under the Bali Action Plan are completely resolved.

It is also crucial that the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol begins in 2013 in an effective manner, with ambitious limitation or reduction objectives for emissions. Developed countries, given their historical responsibility, should take the lead in mitigation and adaptation efforts. This includes using their extensive financial and technological capabilities to help developing countries with their nationally-appropriate mitigation actions and adaptation activities.

Important negotiations have begun under the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) for Enhanced Action. These negotiations should be transparent, country-led and inclusive, and based upon the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

OPEC Members Countries are developing countries, whose economies are heavily dependent on petroleum export revenue. They contribute to satisfying world energy needs and, thus, to the health of the global economy.

They are doubly vulnerable: to the effects of climate change, and to the adverse impacts of response measures. In this regard, the provisions contained in the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol should be fully implemented – including through the ADP process – to minimize these adverse impacts and to assist OPEC Member Countries to adapt by diversifying their economies through increased investment and technology transfer.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

OPEC Member Countries are making huge efforts to protect the environment, such as through gas flaring reduction, supplying cleaner petroleum products, investing in carbon capture and storage, developing hybrid solar-natural gas power stations and solar desalination units. They also invest in research and development for cleaner energy.

OPEC Member Countries are also very active in alleviating energy poverty. In this regard, the OPEC Fund for International Development committed $1 billion to facilitate access to modern energy services in poor countries.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our Member Countries are committed to reaching a comprehensive, balanced outcome to the negotiations based on a full consensus. This outcome should be ‘win-win’ in nature and recognize the diverse interests of all Parties to the Convention.

Thank you.