Explanation of Position on a Resolution on the Protection of Global Climate for Present and Future Generations of Humankind

Courtney R. Nemroff
Acting U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 24, 2020


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I would also like to thank Australia for their exceptional leadership on this important, but at times contentious, resolution.

The United States is disappointed by some Member States’ unwillingness to amend the non-consensus language in operative paragraph 10, which promotes the domestic political priorities of a single Member State. We would have preferred consensus language from the 2030 Agenda that reflects our shared position on sustainable development. As a result, that this has not been included, we must disassociate from OP10. But despite this flaw, we have joined consensus on this resolution, given the importance of the issue.

We expect that future iterations of this resolution will advance the interests of all Member States and eschew narrow political messaging that undermines consensus, the work of this committee, and our ability to work together in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The United States further affirms our support for promoting economic growth and improving energy security while protecting the environment.

The United States must dissociate from OP2 as well. With regards to both OP2 and PP4, we support an “all of the above” approach to energy technologies and remain committed to energy access worldwide with the deployment of reliable and affordable clean energy technologies to power economic recovery and achieve environmental goals. Attracting and leveraging private investment to this end will be critical.

Further, we note that references to provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or other instruments and decisions taken by other bodies do not change or interpret the meaning or applicability of such instruments and decisions.

Regarding language on COVID-19 recovery, we underscore that each country will chart its own unique path to recovery, specific to its own national context. Nothing in this resolution should be understood as implying a one-size-fits all approach to recovery and economic growth efforts.

Finally, Mr. Chair, with regard to this resolution’s references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework, the United States addressed our concerns in our General Statement delivered on November 18.