A Parting Shot to the Ministers in Bonn: Yvo de Boer’s Address Before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

A Parting Shot to the Ministers in Bonn: Yvo de Boer’s Address Before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

   By Malcolm Dowden

Germany and Mexico are co-hosting a high-level conference this week in Bonn, Germany on the way towards COP16. More than 40 countries are represented at the Ministerial level.

Yvo de Boer, the outgoing UNFCCC Executive Secretary, delivered a very critical speech at the conference.  His key messages are:

  • In some cases, negotiators and their Ministers have been negotiating different positions
  • For COP16 it would be better not to limit ministerial involvement to a 'pre-COP' or the last two days in Mexico at the end of this year
  • The lack of trust within the UNFCCC process pre-dates Copenhagen, but Copenhagen made it worse
  • Industrialized country pledges under the Copenhagen Accord are not ambitious enough to limit the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius
  • In many cases, significant finance promised at Copenhagen has not come forward. 


De Boer concluded:  "The question that's on everybody's mind, but, unfortunately, on no-one's lips, is: "What, in all honesty, is the future of the Kyoto Protocol? How would one explain to voters in some industrialized countries, for example, that they have an international legally binding commitment when others do not? The fundamental question then is what will be the benchmark for industrialized country commitments - the commitments other developed nations are willing to make, or the actions of the developing world?"

This is Yvo de Boer's parting shot.  He steps down as UNFCCC Executive Secretary immediately after the Bonn talks in June.

Download the complete Petersberg Climate Dialogue Address by Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.