”I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Indonesian government for its generous invitation to host the thirteenth United Nations Climate Change Conference on the island of Bali 3 – 14 December. I also extend a warm welcome to the international community who will join us at this major event said Yvo de Boer UNFCCC Executive Secretary
Bali, the "island of the Gods," is a prime example of the beauty of our natural environment. At the same time, Indonesia has first-hand experience of the extreme weather events caused by climate change. Bali is therefore a poignant setting for the forthcoming crucial international negotiations on the way forward to save our planet from the devastating effects of global warming. The Bali conference will be the culmination of a momentous twelve months in the climate debate and needs a breakthrough in the form of a roadmap for a future climate change deal. Early in the year, scientific evidence of global warming, as set out in the fourth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), put the reality of human-induced global warming beyond any doubt. What we are facing is not only an environmental problem, but has much wider implications: For economic growth, water and food security, and for people's survival - especially those living in the poorest communities in developing countries. The recent joint award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC for its work in disseminating knowledge on climate change further underlines the implications for overall peace and security." A series of high-profile political events during the year have kept climate change high on the international agenda. However, we urgently need to take increased action, given climate change projections and the corresponding global adaptation needs. Prompt and aggressive mitigation will drive down the costs involved in adaptation. In the context of climate change, projections of economic growth and increases in energy demand over the next 20 years, especially in developing countries, point to the urgent need to green these trends. At the thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the third Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Bali, the focus needs to be on reaching international agreement on concrete steps to be taken in view of a framework to follow the end of the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period in 2012. The spirit of Bali lies in the appreciation of its people for "Ibu Pertiwi" (mother earth) and also in the principle of collectivity. In this spirit, we must take a collective step forward in establishing a roadmap for a post-2012 agreement." The Conference, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, brings together representatives of over 180 countries together with observers from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the media. The two week period includes the sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, its subsidiary bodies as well as the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol. A ministerial segment in the second week will conclude the Conference.