President His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah welcomed parties to Doha with a frank assessment of how dependent Qatar was on a positive outcome:
"As a coastal dry land nation, Qatar understands the very real threat posed by the impacts of climate change. We are almost 100% dependent on the sea for our freshwater and nearly 95-percent dependent on technology and trade for our food.
Our entire population lives at sea level.
Climate change stands as one of our single largest long-term challenges and no amount of prosperity or social progress can get around this issue.
This is why environmental sustainability is one of the four key pillars of our 2030 National Vision, and hosting COP18/CMP8 is an opportunity to invest directly in helping to move things forward.
It is a challenge we must face together. Never before has there been a greater urgency to act collectively to meet this challenge. We come to this table to do just that."