The office of the President of Mongolia, Public relations & Communications Division

www.president.mn

2009-12-18




Statement by his Excellency Mr. Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia, at the High-Level Plenary Session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference



Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,

I thank the Government of Denmark for the excellent arrangements and hosting of the Conference in this beautiful city of Copenhagen.

I have come from Mongolia with a legacy. A legacy of a country, fallen victim of climate change. And also of a country, with a solution to offer for our common mischief.
We hear of melting icebergs and rising waters, threatening the lowlands and islands.

Sands and dust rise, on another extreme of the climate change. This is happening in my country. 70 per cent of our lands is baring under ruthless sunburn.

Mongolia is a real-case and real-time example of climate change effects on landmasses. Boundaries of our 4 seasons are blurring. My country is experiencing an unusual pattern of temperature fluctuations: their range is a hundred degrees of Celsius. One out of every three springs, rivers and wetlands have dried up.

Climate change has stepped beyond the natural environment in Mongolia. Climate change threatens our lifestyle. It threatens our millennia-old harmony with nature.

Our herdsmen loose not only the lasting source of income, but eventually their lives. To most of our people the climate change became a climate genocide.

In the past, when a climate disaster would hit us, we used to simply move and settle in another area. Now we cannot. We have to solve the problem together.

Mr. President,

On one hand, Mongolia is becoming the most extreme example of injustice of climate change. But on the other hand, Mongolia has great potentials to reverse the effects of this calamity world-wide.

- We are a people which homes the world’s largest intact habitat of grasslands. Mongolia is the world’s least densely population country, which has staggering 1.5 million square kilometers of land.

- Mongolia can also hub the world’s renewable energy production. With 300 sunny days a year Mongolia perfectly fits to be the producer of clean energy. For Asia, and for the world.

- Mongolia has enacted to make 30% of our territories specially protected areas. And we will pursue this goal.

- Mongolia emerges as a rising star in the world’s minerals and mining industry. We will commit 10-15 per cent of our mining revenues to conservation of nature.

In June next year we will hold our Government meeting in sand dunes. Come to Mongolia.

The world sees its political leaders argue about climate change. The world scientists are arguing as well. Then come to Mongolia. Ask our herders. They will state the truth.

These are our responses to climate change. Then, what commitments do you make? We appeal to you to reach a legally binding agreement to combat climate change.

Two things for us are clear:

- emissions must be cut
- and we need funds. Money. Criteria for funding must be transparent, purposes – clear and the mechanisms - understandable.

Mr. President,

Our predecessors - the world’s leaders of past times did resolve the pressing issues of their times. They did away with the divide once existed among them. They established a new order. By establishing the United Nations. Now we need to enrich the meaning of the United Nations, a new mission to combat climate change. Mr. Secretary General, please don’t give up. We stand altogether. It’s just us. Just us to find the solution.

I came from over 7000 miles not to talk, but to act. Not to complain, but to contribute.

Copenhagen is an achievement as it brings together some 110 leaders from around the world. Perhaps, it is the largest congregation in more than a millennium-old history of Copenhagen. Thank you, Copenhagen, for your efforts to save the world.

Thank you.