Al Attiyah: Climate change is Qatar’s biggest long-term challenge

By COP18/CMP8 President His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah

Qatar’s National Vision 2030 ‘sustainability’ agenda is aimed at ensuring the state’s long-term economic survival

The State of Qatar is proud to host the 2012 round of this gathering of nations dedicated to working together to combat climate change.

Since our selection last December, we have been working diligently to prepare for a productive chapter in this ongoing work.

In our capacity as host of COP18/CMP8, we continue to do everything we can to ensure that the Conference is open, inclusive and transparent in our endeavor to reach a balanced, fair and credible outcome.

We are committed to building on the progress made at Durban and Cancun and look forward to welcoming the member states, observer organisations and representatives of the international media to Doha.

As a coastal dry land nation, Qatar understands the very real threat posed by the impacts of climate change. We are almost 100% dependent on the sea for our freshwater and nearly 95-percent dependent on technology and trade for our food.

Our entire population lives at sea level.

Climate change stands as one of our single largest long-term challenges and no amount of prosperity or social progress can get around this issue.

This is why environmental sustainability is one of the four key pillars of our 2030 National Vision, and hosting COP18/CMP8 is an opportunity to invest directly in helping to move things forward.

It is a challenge we must face together. Never before has there been a greater urgency to act collectively to meet this challenge. We come to this table to do just that.

And I believe we can.

Qatar has a well-earned track record for credible and transparent mediation on tough issues, and we will continue to work tirelessly with the parties and observers to produce a meaningful outcome from COP18/CMP8.

We continue to urge all parties to cooperate, in a spirit of flexibility, solidarity, and compromise.

In many ways, COP18/CMP8 is both a “transitional round” and an “implementation round”.  These things never come easily, but they are critical to progress.

For the past few years, this community of nations has been pushing ahead in spite of differences in interests, needs, history and opinion.

That path of progress has brought us now to Doha, and I believe we can continue the tradition of working together to deliver on the challenge, reach agreement on key issues, and forge a meaningful plan of work for the road ahead.

Qatar is committed to working with the Parties to deliver on this challenge.

RTCC VIDEO: UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres says she is confident COP18 talks in Doha will be a success

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres 14/11 from Responding to Climate Change on Vimeo.

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