Danish Prime Minister’s address at the G20 Finance Minister Meeting in St. Andrews, 7 November 2009

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Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak.

Less than a year ago I was also a Finance Minister. I have great respect for the economic challenges you are struggling with. Now, I look to Finance Ministers for solutions.

But in spite of the economic crisis and financial trouble, it is important that you also devote time to deal with climate change.

The main reason for doing this is to avoid the dangerous effects of climate change to our planet. But it is also about global resource management. Notwithstanding climate change we have a mutual interest in creating a growth path, which will not ultimately be blocked by struggles for still more scarce natural resources. We also have a joint interest in avoiding a waste of resources which both deduct from living standards and harm the environment.

You have been asked by your leaders in Pittsburgh to present options for climate financing as a resource for the UN negotiations.

You are the main actors when it comes to both delivering the money and to their most effective use. And no financing system will be politically sustainable without effective delivery of results.


* * *

With exactly one month to COP15 in Copenhagen the question on everybody’s lips is: “can we make it”?

Over the last weeks and months I have engaged in intensive consultations with leaders from around the world, and my impression is this: There is a strong political momentum towards Copenhagen, and a real dedication among leaders that we need an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen. It will be a failure if we miss this deadline.

That said, it’s also obvious, that there is still many difficult issues unresolved. But if we manage to channel the political momentum and dedication into the right mix of efforts, will and constructiveness at the negotiating table, then this deal is possible.

Our objective as host for this conference is to achieve one agreement with two purposes.

The first is to provide political guidance for the UNFCCC negotiations on the new legal framework. Negotiations that will stretch beyond COP 15 itself;

The second is to adopt a binding political agreement that would enter into force immediately and hence provide for immediate action to combat global warming.

The substance in this “one agreement with two purposes” will give solid direction to negotiations on a legal framework, and at the same time serve as a basis for immediate action.


* * *

We need an agreement which is ambitious in its objectives and practical and result oriented in its function. The agreement has to address four main political questions at the same time:

1) Reduction targets for industrialized countries
2) The commitments to actions for developing countries
3) Finance for adaptation and mitigation in developing countries
4) Transparency and Measurement, Reporting and Verification

* * *

Climate finance is maybe the most complex issue, but it could also be key to unlocking positions in other areas. It is my belief that concrete results in the following three areas will significantly increase the odds of overall success in Copenhagen.

The first issue concerns a new multilateral fund and its governance. I think there could be a role for such a fund, either new or through a reformed existing fund. In case, my advice would be that it should be ready to work immediately.

Let us avoid spending years discussing details, but entrust it to an institution that can credibly promise to offer most value. And let us use existing institutions to implement support from such a fund in line with the principles and purposes we agree.

The second issue is how we coordinate the broader system of funding through multilateral, regional and bilateral channels. We need forward looking plans, MRV of financing as well as action, transparency, mutual inspiration and matching opportunities.

I know that the balance between having international trust and national ownership has triggered long discussion. But I also sense we are close to consensus.

The third issue is the scale and fair distribution of contributions for climate financing. This is hardly the easiest topic, and we all know the difficult fiscal situation. I do not suffer from an illusion of having a solution for that today. I will just make a plea for open minds towards multiple sources, including criteria for fairness, reviews over time and specific revenues from regulation of the truly international aviation and maritime activities.

As important private financing will be, I have limited my remarks to public finance.

To conclude there are still complex questions related to finance. But there is also a strong political momentum to address these questions ahead of December’s meeting. I really encourage you to stay engaged all the way to Copenhagen.

I hope you will insist in paving the domestic ground for both national action and international cooperation. Thank you.

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