Marcin Korolec, President of COP19/CMP9 opened High-Level Segment of the Conference
On November 19th during the plenary session, President of COP19/CMP9 opened the High-Level Segment of COP19/CMP9, which will last until November 22nd. The opening ceremony was attended by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and John Ashe, President of the United Nations General Assembly at its 68th session, who gave their speeches to the gathered distinguished guests.
Taking the floor by the Prime Minister of Poland was preceded by short artistic performance puting emphasis on a need to care for the Planet Earth.
Polish Prime Minister welcomed all gathered guests and expressed his gladness that COP/CMP is held in Poland for the second time. He stressed, that since the COP14 Climate Change Conference held in Poznań in 2008, the world went through lots of difficulties, such as economy crisis which caused job losses and hindered fight with poverty and social exclusion. Head of Polish Government also named two factors which disturbed energy markets all over the world: tragedy in Fukushima which slowed down nuclear energy development and shale gas revolution in USA which enabled radical and cost effective GHG reductions.
Polish Prime Minister also presented Polish efforts in fighting climate change and GHG emissions: Polish economic growth was accompanied by CO2 reductions. Since 1988 which was appointed the base year for CO2 reductions in Kyoto Protocol, our economy has grown by more than 200%, while we have decreased emission by 33%. We also constantly improve our unique system of financing the environmental protection.
While referring to the Warsaw's summit Donald Tusk said: We are aware that without progress in negotiations in Poland, the summit in Lima may not be able to work out further steps, posing a threat to reaching an agreement in 2015.
Ending his speech Polish Prime Minister used a football metaphor: Every football player competes with his teammates on his place on the pitch, but the game is won by the whole team. Football teaches us about the connection between competition and cooperation. Climate negotiations are a competition. It is obvious that everyone wants the best conditions for themselves, but we are in one team and only cooperation will allow us to face the challenges climate changes bring.
The next speaker, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, welcomed all gathered guests and admitted feeling honored being in Warsaw. He also thanked for the Polish hospitality. Speaking about expected outcomes of the conference, he stressed: Everyone in this room is responsible for that. He also offered his deep condolences to the Filipinos who suffered from Haiyan typhoon which destroyed their country. In this context UN Secretary General also commented on climate change agreements at the UNFCCC level saying that ...our actions are still insufficient, but I see the progress.
John Ashe, President of the United Nations General Assembly at its 68th session also admitted being honored to be in Warsaw and stressed, that Convention’s future is in our hands and reminded the audience, that all of us in this room, who are a UN family must reach an agreement by the end of 2015.
The High Level Segment opening ceremony has been closed by the speech of UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres who once again repeated, that COP19/CMP9 is the place where we are responsible for actions to protect climate.