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US Comments To UN Convention on Climate Change

U.S. Department of State Office of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs November 7, 2001

Statement by Paula J. Dobriansky Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs To the Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Marrakech, Morocco November 7, 2001

Thank you, Mr. President.

I am delighted to be here in Marrakech, a city known throughout the world for its rich Islamic traditions. First, I would like to share with you that the people of the United States have been deeply moved by the extraordinary gestures of sympathy and support we have received worldwide since the terrorist attack of September 11. The tragedy that day was an attack not only against Americans, it was an attack against the world and on freedom, and resulted in thousands of dead and injured from roughly 80 countries. We are grateful for your friendship, and we are proud to stand together in solidarity against terrorism.

I reaffirm for you today that the Bush Administration will continue to play a leadership role in addressing the long-term challenge of climate change both at home and around the world. While scientific uncertainties remain, global climate change warrants serious attention and real commitment. Climate change respects no borders.

The United States is already moving ahead to develop a science-based approach to climate change, including implementation of several, significant initiatives announced by President Bush earlier this year. These new initiatives build upon the nearly $4 billion that the United States spends annually on climate change-related activities and programs. The President's cabinet, moreover, is continuing to explore a range of environmentally and economically responsible policies.

The United States seeks to ensure that our companies have access to innovative, cost-saving technologies, including opportunities to forge international alliances. We also want to work with our friends, allies and major trading partners to develop climate change partnerships, even though in some cases, we will pursue different paths toward the same destination. We will strengthen our strategic and energy alliances in a way that contributes to efforts to reduce the projected growth in global greenhouse gas emissions. My country will continue to assist developing nations and countries with economies in transition. Their focus on applying new technologies and enhancing their scientific understanding mirrors our own.

The United States believes that economic development and poverty alleviation are key to protecting the global environment. Environmental protection is neither achievable nor sustainable without opportunities for continued development and greater prosperity. Through prosperity nations can sustain greater investments in energy efficiency and environmental technologies.

In sum, our collective, long-term objective must be to create a truly global approach that stitches together actions by all countries into a tapestry of national action and international cooperation. The U.S. delegation and I look forward to continuing to work constructively with all of you at this conference. We proved in Bonn, as we have here, that the United States has no intention of discouraging the work of other nations on the Kyoto Protocol, but we will protect legitimate U.S. interests.

In closing, I would like to extend our appreciation for the hospitality of His Royal Highness King Mohammed VI and the Moroccan people. Morocco, in many ways, is one of the oldest friends of the United States, having recognized our country almost immediately after the Declaration of Independence. In this time of difficulty, we are particularly grateful for our enduring friendships in the Islamic world and elsewhere. Thank you, Mr. President.

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