Thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) and the third session of the Conference  of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol

Bali, 12 Desember 2007

Statement at the high-level segment by Yvo de Boer

Executive Secretary UNFCCC

Mister President

Mister Secretary-General


Distinguished Delegates,


Ladies and Gentlemen,


We have come together at this conference at the cusp of an incredible year for climate change. The heyday of the climate skeptic has been put to rest once and for  all, and political momentum and global public  awareness for climate change have never been higher.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has come with a message that no one can fail to understand:

1.      First, the science is clear: climate change is happening because of human activities.

2.      Second, the impacts are serious and will be felt by everyone in one way or another. The poor  will bear the largest burden.

3.      And third, there  are affordable ways to deal with the problem. Concerted action NOW can avoid some of the catastrophic projections.

What does that second message really mean ?

In terms of water stress, it means that :

·        By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people in Africa are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change.

By the 2050s, freshwater availability for millions in Asia will be threatened, because glaciers that provide dinking water are melting.

In terms of sea-level rise, it means that:

·        One tenth of the global population lives in coastal areas that lie within just 10  metres above sea level and are exposed to seaward hazards such as flooding, storms and cyclones.

·        Sea-level rise will threaten major cities around the globe, from Alexandria to Hamburg, Lagos, Los Angeles, Jakarta, Shanghai and other. Sixteen of the world’s nineteen largest cities with populations above 10 millions, are located on coastlines.

·        Sea-level rise will wipe Small Island Developing States off the map.



So where does this leave human kind? What does this mean for people’s lives and survival? How many millions of people and how much capital will be condemned to follow Atlantis? The beginning of the answer to these questions lies in the award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

If you fail to act, the consequences of climate change can plunge the world into conflict. In 2010, there could already be as many as 50 million Environmentally Displaced Persons due to climate change, desertification and deforestation. Competing for water, energy and food can lead to ethnic rivalry and regional conflicts.

There have been studies on the link between climate change and security, including for military planning purposes.

So, how can it be, that Defence Ministries are actively planning for climate change impact, while preventive action, is not taken?

How can it be, that security is being considered ahead of establishing policy certainty for economic  actors provide the solution?

I am shocked that some people are saying that delivering on what the IPCC tells us is needed is skin to science fiction!

To meet the drastic increase in the world’s hunger for energy, a massive investment of 20 trillion USD is needed up to 2030. More that half of these investments are required in developing countries, where energy is needed for economic growth. Up to 86% of these investments will come from the private sector.

If we do not succeed in changing the course of this investment super tanker into a low-emissions direction, global emissions will increase by 50% in 2050 – instead of decreasing by 50%, which is what science tells us is needed.

So, sound science must be translated into clear policy. Clear policy must be translated into sound practice. Business is ready to move into the low-emissions era, but needs the appropriate policy frameworks from governments to do so.

To go back to science fiction, we must make the leap forward , or  be condemned to the “Planet of the Apes