Hillary Clinton: If we fail in Copenhagen, it will be the poor who will suffer

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Today I'd like to announce that, in the context of a strong accord in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation, the United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilising $100 bn a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries.

We expect this funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance. This will include a significant focus on forestry and adaptation, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable.

So there should be no doubt about the commitment of the United States to reaching a successful agreement here in Copenhagen and meeting this great global challenge together.

But ultimately this must be a common effort. We all know there are real challenges that remain in the hours left to these negotiations. And it is no secret that we have lost precious time in these past days. In the time we have left here, it can no longer be about us versus them – this group of nations pitted against that group. We all face the same challenge together.

I have often quoted a Chinese proverb which says that when you are in a common boat, you have to cross the river peacefully together. Well, we are in a common boat. All of the major economies have an obligation to commit to meaningful mitigation actions and stand behind them in a transparent way. And all of us have an obligation to engage constructively and creatively toward a workable solution. We need to avoid negotiating approaches that undermine rather than advance progress toward our objective.

I am deeply concerned about the consequences for developing countries if we cannot secure the kind of strong operational accord I've described today. Without that accord, there won't be the kind of joint global action from all of the major economies we all want to see, and the effects in the developing world could be catastrophic.

This problem is not going away, even when we leave Copenhagen. But neither is our resolve. We must try to overcome the obstacles that remain.

From a speech by the US Secretary of State to the Copenhagen Climate Negotiations

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