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30. 11. 2015 20:43

The Prime Minister attended the climate summit COP 21 in Paris

The Prime Minister attended the climate summit COP 21 in Paris, 30th November 2015.
The Prime Minister attended the climate summit COP 21 in Paris, 30th November 2015.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka attended the meeting of Heads of States and Governments, held in Paris at the opening conference on climate change on Monday 30th November 2015. The main theme of the summit was the issue of climate protection, activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change.

Speech by the Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka at the launch of the climate conference in Paris

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Delegates,

Firstly, let me express my utmost gratitude to the Government and people of France for preparing and hosting such a significant international event. We highly appreciate the enormous commitment and remarkable efforts made by France within the climate negotiations.

In particular, we highly value the fact that the recent unreasonable and brutal terrorist attacks did not discourage France from hosting the conference. We share the grief of all those who were affected by this tragic event. At the same time, we realize that it is all the more important to strive to achieve the desired outcomes of our negotiations as the global climate change may provoke conflicts and escalate tensions. This is what we have to prevent.

In my statement, let me join my previous speakers representing other EU Member States. We have gathered here to tackle one of the most serious threats the world is facing - climate change. It is a fundamental challenge of our time and we all must work together to secure our future and future of our children.

Nowadays, there is no doubt that climate change is no longer only an environmental issue but it also negatively affects many other aspects of our lives. It threatens our national security and economic prosperity, it has negative impacts on food security and the efforts to eradicate poverty and it is one of the causes of migration. In order to protect and save our planet and preserve natural resources for future generations, we must seek the answer to this pressing challenge together right here and now.

Yes - here in Paris, we must reach a comprehensive, legally binding agreement that will hold the increase in global average warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. All economies, both developed and developing countries, as well as major emitters must be part of this agreement. Only such universal participation under the new agreement can bring a real change of the current growing trends in greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.

We also have to focus on effective adaptation measures that may limit the adverse impacts of climate change and at the same time, provide benefits to the environment, society and economy. Therefore, the new agreement must address climate change in a balanced way that will ensure equal political and practical importance of both mitigation and adaptation. It is therefore of utmost importance that we mainstream greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation activities into national development plans. It is the only way to support sustainable and climate-resilient development as well as low carbon economic growth and thus fulfil our world´s vision of 2030 which we adopted on the UN Summit in New York earlier this year in the form of Sustainable Development Goals.

It is obvious that these measures will require substantial financial resources, technological support and capacity strengthening – but we have to bear in mind that it is an investment in our own future.

This is what the Czech Republic is aware of while responsibly fulfilling its commitments under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. Our greenhouse gas emission level was 34 per cent lower in 2013 compared to the 1990 levels.

Together with the EU and its Member States, we have submitted the Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) and made an ambitious commitment to further reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990.

Although the primary responsibility for adopting and implementing climate change adaptation measures lies at the national level, we are aware of the necessity to help those in need of help. We consider The Green Climate Fund an effective tool to direct resources to regions most in need, especially to the least developed countries and most vulnerable states. The Czech Republic has pledged 5.3 million USD to this Fund and contributed another 2 million USD to the German Climate Finance Readiness Programme.

I would like to assure you that the Czech Republic will continue to provide the necessary financial support to developing countries, both bilaterally and multilaterally.At the same time, the Czech Republic will seek options for further increasing this contribution and strengthening the link between climate protection and development assistance provided by the Czech Republic in the developing countries.

 Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The way towards the Paris Climate Change Conference was long and tangled, and today´s meeting was preceded by many hours of tough negotiations. However, our work has not been finished yet. The world, which is closely watching us, urgently needs an ambitious, long-term and legally binding agreement which will apply to all parties of the Convention. It is our duty to turn vision into reality.

Thank you for your attention.


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