The 20th Meeting of the Leaders' Representatives of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change (MEF), held on 21 September in New York, US, marked the Forum's first-ever foreign minister's meeting.
The meeting was hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, together with Foreign Minister of Peru Gonzalo Gutierrez and Foreign Minister of France Laurent Fabius.
21 September 2014: The 20th Meeting of the Leaders’ Representatives of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change (MEF) convened on the side lines of the 2014 Climate Summit in New York, US, and marked the Forum’s first-ever foreign minister’s meeting. The meeting was hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, together with Foreign Minister of Peru Gonzalo Gutierrez and Foreign Minister of France Laurent Fabius.
The aim of the 21 September MEF event was to build political will and a sense of a common cause for addressing climate change as a priority in foreign policy. During the meeting, Secretary Kerry also encouraged participating ministers to come forward with robust climate targets for an ambitious international climate agreement in 2015, and to explore how to capture related co-benefits.
Reminding participants that the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, was only 16 months away, Secretary Kerry stressed the key role of foreign ministers in raising the importance of the issue and helping all countries to focus on the targets needed in order to deal with climate change. He also reminded that, “unlike many of the challenges that we face, when it comes to climate change we know exactly what it takes to get the job done,” and said “the solution to climate change is energy policy.”
Welcoming the initiative to convene a foreign ministers’ meeting, Minister Gutierrez noted that many countries are already experiencing unprecedented weather events, and emphasized the need for “vast mobilization of cooperation, resources and human qualification” for adaptation to climate change. He said he expected the following week to result in significant announcements from major economies that would boost confidence and ambition leading to a substantial outcome in the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima. Gutierrez further stressed “a concrete basis for agreement in the Lima COP” as a precondition for “a solid basis for a comprehensive understanding in Paris.”
On the issue of climate change, Minister Fabius underscored: solving it as a question of political will; and the need for framing it as “a question for right now” and around positive results, including growth and job creation. He also stressed the need to prepare for Paris “in a way that is both ambitious and humble, ahead of time.”
Countries participating in the MEF are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the UK and the US. [US State Department Press Release] [US State Department Media Note] [MEF Website] [IISD RS Stories on the MEF]