‘Spirit of Paris’ Continues as Governments Get Down to Implementing their New Landmark Climate Change Agreement

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Water Journalists Africa
May 26, 2016

The first UN climate change meeting since governments adopted the landmark Paris Agreement closed today amid a suite of positive outcomes that will support the treaty’s widely anticipated early entry into force and stronger, sustained action world-wide into the future.

One of the placards at COP21 in Paris creating awareness about the need for everybody to get on board and fight climate change
One of the placards at COP21 in Paris creating awareness about the need for everybody to get on board and fight climate change

The nearly two week meeting saw countries push ahead with implementing stronger climate action and constructing the global climate regime “rule book” in order to guarantee the treaty’s fairness, transparency and balance between nations.

While work towards the agreed flows of USD 100 billion per annum by 2020 continues, two of the key international funding arms—the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)—underlined how they are supporting the Agreement.

The GCF told delegates that its board had set an aspirational goal of 2.5 billion USD in 2016 for both adaptation and mitigation programmes and projects. The GCF urged countries to submit ambitious proposals for funding as soon as possible.

The GEF announced that it had put together forward-looking work programmes for the funding of both mitigation and adaptation projects. On mitigation, 450 million USD is available for new projects while current projects to the value of 106 million USD are already being implemented. On adaptation, some 250 million USD is available for projects. The GEF will also assist the Moroccan Government to green COP22.

The session featured several events on ensuring early and adequate support for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and their integration into national economic plans while ggovernments also began exploring how to directly link climate-friendly technology cooperation to the funding arrangements of both the GCF and the GEF.

Segolene Royal, President of the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference and French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, praised the ‘Esprit de Paris’ evident throughout the nearly two weeks of the ‘Bonn session’.

“Countries with different levels of development and from different regions and often differing views on many issues, found a common vision in Paris. That work and that vision has continued, and continued positively here in Bonn, as countries look towards the next major milestone event in Marrakesh in November,” she said.

The substantive work across three technical bodies, as well as the constituted bodies under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), includes developing rules for accounting financial resources, overall reporting and transparency arrangements and how science should inform the implementation of the agreement.

Climate change as a result of global warming continues to cause havoc in various parts of the world, drying up farmlands that livestock used to depend on.
Climate change as a result of global warming continues to cause havoc in various parts of the world, drying up farmlands that livestock used to depend on.

It also includes technical work to improve the delivery of capacity building and technology cooperation and to evolve a credible regime covering loss and damage from climate change.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to limit an average global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius with a preference for holding this to a safer 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. Scientific data shows that around one degree of this rise has already occurred.

The agreement’s goals therefore require an early peak in global emissions followed by a very rapid reduction, which must go hand in hand with a significant strengthening of social and economic resilience to climate change.

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