The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, addressed participants at the opening of the High Level Segment of the COP18/CMP8 sessions. The Emir told the session that climate change had repercussions for all human beings, rich and poor, and agreed with Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, that the resolutions from the Doha conference would “determine what we bequeath to future generations”. He said that climate change was having a “hazardous impact” on all aspects of life.
“No country can find a haven in isolation,” he said, in a clear message to developed nations to play their part in finding solutions and reducing emissions. “We have to be far sighted,” he said. He called on developed countries to “fulfill their obligations” to help developing countries.
“There should be a unity of purpose and a common sense of destiny,” he added. "The causes of environmental damage and the failure to address them collectively and seriously will expose all peoples to danger."
The Emir went on to describe the measures that Qatar was taking to reduce the impact of its economy on the environment. He said that carbon dioxide emissions were being cut and gas flaring reduced. “Qatar has paid great attention to sustainability and long-term environmental goals.”
He said that the country was expanding its solar energy capacity and was constantly working to improve its water supply and air quality, and to reduce waste and increase recycling to safeguard the nation’s biodiversity.
All speakers at the opening session emphasized the scale of the challenge of climate change and the need for efforts by all nations to work together to cut emissions and find solutions. They included Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the President of COP18/CMP8 Doha, and H.H. Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait.