Speech

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s statement at COP21 in Paris on 30 November 2015

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Your Excellences,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched its report in Copenhagen. The conclusions were clear: the atmosphere is warming, and sea levels are rising.

In the Arctic, temperatures are rising twice as fast as in the rest of the world. And the ice cap is melting at an alarming rate.

The world’s climate is changing. But fortunately the will to act is changing too.

More than 170 countries have submitted contributions to a Paris agreement. Together they represent more than 90 per cent of global emissions. We have gone from action by few to action by all.

This is a huge accomplishment. And a decisive step forward.

Still, what is on the table is not enough to reach our two degree target. We need to do more.

We all feel the impacts of climate change. Some more than others. Those, who are affected the most, are the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

Denmark will continue its support for this group of countries.

In 2016 we have earmarked 38 mio. USD [270 million DKK] to adaption and mitigation activities in developing countries. This includes approximately 22 million USD [156 million DKK] to the Least Developed Countries Fund.

As new technologies develop, so do our opportunities to combat climate change.

Companies, cities and other non-state actors are coming together to address the challenges “on the ground.”

And every single year, clean energy technologies and investments are becoming more cost-effective and attractive.

Clean energy innovation is a crucial part of an effective, long-term global response to our shared climate challenge.

I am proud that Denmark is part of the American initiative “Mission Innovation.” Our objective is to accelerate innovation in public and private global clean energy. The goal is to make sure that clean energy is widely affordable.

Never before have we been this close to actually changing the direction of our world and our climate.

The Paris agreement should be truly global and durable. It should include a global long-term goal for emissions reductions. And it should be flexible, so we can increase ambition over time.

The Paris agreement should send a strong signal that our governments are committed to a low-carbon future. And it should promote the necessary shift in global investments to tackle climate change effectively.

COP21 is our generation’s best opportunity to take real action.

We must seize this opportunity.

Thank you.