Special Envoy for Climate Change
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
SPECIAL ENVOY STERN: Hi everybody and welcome. I’m just going to make a few quick opening remarks. And we are obviously still in the middle of this overall process. We did finish today on a so-called ad ref basis, an agreement among this level, the negotiating level of the conference on the text that has been under discussion for quite some time now.
First of all, I would like to thank the Brazilians for hosting this conference and for the enormous amount of work that they have done. I said in the plenary today, and I mean it, the Brazilian diplomatic team is an extraordinarily talented group. I figured that out in 1997 at my first international conference. They were good then, and they are even better now. And I’ve had the pleasure to work and privilege of working with them in a lot of contexts now over the last several years. And even when it is tough, they are great people to work with.
And just one other preliminary point, which is that sustainable development means a lot to the United States. The President and Secretary Clinton elevated development to one of the three pillars of U.S. national security policy, along with diplomacy and defense. It has been an important issue. We’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into it. And we care a lot about getting sustainable development right. And we do believe that sustainable development is really nothing more than development itself in the 21st century at a time when the pressure on resources, on food and water, and oceans, and many other things just becomes greater and greater with growing economies and growing population. MORE.