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0001192 - A New Chapter in Climate Diplomacy The United...

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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 13 A New Chapter in Climate Diplomacy: The United States and the Bali Action Plan Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said, climate change has truly global implications for each and every nation. Armed with the recent findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, leaders around the world are increasingly addressing the growing challenge of climate change head on. As a result, we and our partners in the international community have never been in a better position to create a comprehensive, effective new path for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing for energy security, and supporting economic prosperity. Last December’s UN Climate Conference in Bali opened a critical new chapter in climate diplomacy. In Bali, the United States joined the other 191 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in forging consensus on the “Bali Action Plan,” an achievable roadmap toward a new multilateral arrangement on climate change. Developing an Environmentally Effective and Economically Sustainable Approach The Bali Action Plan endorses two key concepts that are essential to the success of a future global climate regime. First, a post-2012 arrangement must be environmentally effective, and that means it must include the developing economies as well as developed economies. Even if the United States and other developed countries cut emissions to zero, greenhouse gas emissions would continue to rise rapidly over the next 50 years if developing countries do not achieve reductions as well. Bali recognized that fact and, for the first time in such negotiations, the developing world joined developed countries in agreeing to consider, in the words of the Bali Action Plan, “measurable, reportable and verifiable” actions to mitigate climate change. Second, a post-2012 arrangement must be economically sustainable. A future arrangement must recognize the diversity of national circumstances and allow nations to develop and achieve higher standards of living for their citizens. We firmly believe that economic development and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are not incompatible. The Bali Action Plan reaffirms our shared commitment to economic and social develop- ment and poverty eradication. Overall, the results in Bali were a win, not just for the United States, but for all participants committed to addressing seriously the challenge of climate change. A
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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 14 The Major Economies Process: Advancing the Bali Roadmap The Bali Action Plan lays out an ambitious roadmap aimed at reaching an international consensus by December 2009. To help invigorate that process, President Bush announced last May that the United States would work closely with the world’s major economies to develop a detailed contribution to the negotiations that are taking place under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The effort was launched in
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