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Estonian minister delivers EU statement at UN climate change conference

Participants at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Fiji. November 2017.
Participants at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Fiji. November 2017. Source: (UN Climate Change)

This week, Minister of the Environment Siim Kiisler (IRL) delivered a joint statement of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission on behalf of the EU at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23). ERR News has reproduced the statement in full.

Two years ago in Paris, we made a promise to the world: to protect the planet from climate change. This promise cannot be taken back; it is irreversible and non-negotiable. 

The days of doubting are over; we are witnessing the impacts of climate change with our own eyes. It is abundantly clear that we need to act. We have agreed on our goals, and it's now about making sure we deliver — people's lives and livelihoods depend on it. 

The negotiations at this COP may not make the same headlines as those in Paris, but they are no less important. Every agreement is only as good as its implementation, and what we promised only has value if it translates into real action. 

The Paris work program has to be adopted next year in Katowice. But to get there, we need to leave this COP with real results. 

We must also agree here how we will continue the conversation with all our partners — how to build trust and to learn. The Talanoa Dialogue beautifully captures the essence of what we need to do. When we inspire and encourage each other, we can go further, faster, together. 

At the same time, pre-2020 action is of utmost importance for all of us. We walk the walk on acting at home. In the EU, we take our commitments seriously. We are exceeding our 2020 target to reduce emissions by 20 percent from 1990 [levels]. By last year, we had already cut them by 23 percent, and we are on course for a 26-percent reduction. 

Let me now turn to the Doha Amendment: I am pleased to announce that the EU and its member states intend to deposit their ratification instruments of the Doha Amendment [establishing the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol] at latest by the end of this year.


This text originally appeared on the website of the Council of the EU.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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