Bonn, Germany
April 8, 2009

Intervention by the United States of America
Jonathan Pershing, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change

Thank you very much. We appreciated the opportunity to engage with other delegates on these important issues. We also appreciate the very warm welcome our new team has been given here.

We have received many creative and constructive ideas from a wide range of delegations these past two weeks, and we appreciate the extensive interaction that we have had with Parties and groups over the last two weeks.

As the news of the imminent disintegration of the Wilkins Ice Sheet this week underscores, the issue demands that we act urgently and effectively. The UN process is central to our effort – this process is incredibly important.

We will go back to our capital with much new information and many insights to inform our own thinking as we more fully develop the United States position.

I have been impressed by the energy and depth of thinking that delegates have brought to developing and articulating their positions.

I have also been impressed by the sheer number of significant issues on the table. This is as it should be – since we aim at no less than a transformation in the way we manage our energy and land.

We have a responsibility – collectively and individually as Parties – to be pragmatic both in the substantive positions we take in and the way we organize ourselves going forward.

There is a wide range of views among Parties on basic issues, and it is our hope that June will be a time when views start to converge.

But time is short, and we must reach agreement in Copenhagen. We must be pragmatic, because it does not seem clear that we will be able to manage these issues if we wait until Copenhagen to find areas of commonality.

Being pragmatic does not mean we should take a lowest common denominator approach.

Quite the contrary: a Copenhagen outcome should stimulate all countries to aspire to do everything they are able to now and in the future – to take the actions that are compatible with their national circumstances and levels of development.

And, happily, countries are acting. We should seek to narrow what our Mexican colleague termed the other day the differences between de facto actions on the ground and de jure approaches in these halls.

In addition, we should work to achieve agreement in Copenhagen that sets into place a regime that inspires action rather than caution. The issue demands it.

The United States will be working intensively at home to develop our positions so that we can participate fully and constructively in June and later meetings, and we look forward to engaging with Parties to achieve an outcome that does what the science and our publics demand.

We see this effort as essential for both developed and developing countries.

We heard many useful suggestions about how to characterize commitments for us and other developed countries.

As our presentation in the mitigation workshop noted, the United States will be taking a whole range of actions to further the climate effort; at the core of our effort we seek an economy-wide cap-and-trade system that will establish a mandatory target through the year 2050, when emissions will be reduced by 80%.

We also heard a number of interesting ideas about the financial architecture. It is clear that the financial architecture must reflect the needs and views of our developing country partners.

Given the scale of the challenge, it is clear that private sources of investment will have to play a huge role alongside public finance. Carbon markets will be an important part of that.

Adaptation too must address immediate and urgent needs while putting in place a framework and structures to facilitate a coherent approach to adaptation by a wide range of actors. We do see convergence on some important issues.

Mr. Chair, my colleagues, there will certainly be disagreements along the way, but we must find the common ground. This must be the year that we create history; where all nations come together to safeguard the planet for future generations.

The U.S. is fully committed to reaching an agreement in Copenhagen, and the U.S. delegation is looking forward to spending the rest of this year working with you all to achieve that goal.