Posts tagged ‘paris agreement’

October 12, 2016

Rwanda: Ministers urged To Step on the Gas to Ensure Global Climate Promises Are Kept

Innocent Agonza
October 12, 2016

Floods are becoming more frequent and extreme as the climate warms.

Floods are becoming more frequent and extreme as the climate warms.

As ministers begin to arrive in Kigali, Rwanda, for talks to amend the Montreal Protocol and agree to tackle the use of climate warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Christian Aid urged them to accelerate negotiations of an early phase down date.

Benson Ireri, Christian Aid’s Senior Policy Officer for Africa, said: “It’s fitting that ministers will be arriving here at the summit in the coming days because it is their governments’ credibility that will be on the line if we don’t get a strong outcome.

“In the Paris Agreement, national leaders promised to keep global warming to a level well below 2 degrees centigrade and to try their hardest to limit it to 1.5 degrees. However, those promises will ring hollow if we don’t get an early date for the global phase down of HFCs. These chemicals are thousands of times more potent than CO₂ as a greenhouse gas and are increasing in use by 10-15% a year.

“Vulnerable countries do not have time to wait, the climate is changing fast and phasing down HFCs is something which we absolutely must do if we’re going to honour the pledges of the Paris Agreement. It would be an embarrassing start if the Agreement came into force next month and countries had failed their first test by delivering a feeble deal on HFCs.

“It’s time for ministers to step on the gas and ensure phase down dates in the early 2020s.”

May 26, 2016

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

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.

May 17, 2016

Governments Enter New Era of Collaboration on Climate Change

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
May 17, 2016

The UN’s top climate change official Christiana Figueres has said that following the successful conclusion of the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement in Paris last year, governments are leaving behind the phase of negotiations and entering a new era of collaboration.

She was speaking at the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn yesterday.

Officials, including the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres (second from left) at the opening plenary of the meeting.

Officials, including the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres (second from left) at the opening plenary of the meeting.

The meeting comes weeks after 176 countries and the EU signed the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement clinched last year in France, and is a key planning event for the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Marrakech in November.

Addressing delegates in the opening plenary of the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres said: “The whole world is united in its commitment to the global goals embodied in the Paris Agreement, as well as to the means by which to achieve them.

Most importantly, with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, you have opened the opportunity to meet the climate change challenge to a great extent by fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

In her opening remarks, French Environment Minister and President of COP 21 (the official name of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year), Ségolène Royal said the 12 of December 2015 (the final day of the Paris conference, when the agreement was concluded) had shown the world that the international community is capable of unifying to respond to the global challenge of climate and to embark on the path of sustainable development.

“Since the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, our priority is to build on the ambitious, balanced and fair compromises which were reached last December, in order to reinforce action on the ground. The foundations have been laid, it is now up to us build our common house. I call on you to be builders and facilitators,” she said.

Following the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Ms. Figueres and the present and incoming COP Presidents planted a tree on the premises of the UN, to commemorate the signing of the Paris Agreement and to mark Earth Day 2016.

The present and incoming COP Presidents planting a tree on the premises of the UN in Bonn

The present and incoming COP Presidents planting a tree on the premises of the UN in Bonn

In his remarks, Salaheddine Mezouar, incoming President of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22) and Morocco’s Foreign Minister, outlined the key objectives of the meeting this November.

“Our ambition for COP 22 is to contribute to the adoption of the procedures and mechanisms to allow the Paris Agreement to be operationalized, and the adoption of an action plan for the pre-2020 period, covering mitigation, adaptation and finance, and to step up capacity building, technology transfer and transparency,” he said.

Stressing the importance of climate finance, Mr. Mezouar said COP22 would also be an occasion to draw up a road map for concrete and predictable provision of the USD 100 billion governments have agreed will be mobilized for developing countries to green their economies and adapt to climate change.

To this end, he suggested that governments, along with public and private financial institutions, consider the creation of a “Fast Track Facility” for climate finance.

 

March 30, 2016

Papua New Guinea Sends in First Climate Plan under Paris Agreement

WaterSan Perspective
March 30, 2016

The UN climate change secretariat has created a new page on its website to capture countries’ formal climate action plans under the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the first of these nationally determined contributions (NDCs) has come from Papua New Guinea.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

NDCs set out publicly the climate actions that each country will take under the Paris Agreement to contribute to the global community’s determined effort to secure a sustainable future for all nations by keeping the global temperature rise since pre-industrial times well below two degrees Celsius.

“I congratulate Papua New Guinea on this first NDC. Before the UN climate change conference in Paris, the international community had already envisioned an unprecedented response with almost every nation on Earth setting out their preliminary action plans to address climate change. These provide the foundation upon which the world will over time strengthen their ability to keep a global temperature rise well under 2 degrees C if not 1.5 degrees C, and build resilient societies. Much more remains to be done but NDCs under the Paris Agreement represent one of the next key steps alongside the opening for signature of the Agreement in New York on April 22 en route to it swiftly coming into force,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

The Agreement has also encompassed the ways and means to provide increasingly robust financial, and technology support to developing countries to achieve their nationally determined climate objectives.

A total of 195 countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set a clear path towards this goal at the UN climate change conference in Paris, last December. This means peaking global emissions soon – stopping their current annual rise – and then reversing them very rapidly to a point as soon as possible later this century when remaining greenhouse gas emissions are absorbed back from the atmosphere by nature or technology.

Before Paris, almost all these countries had submitted what were called intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). The Paris Agreement now provides a legal foundation for these previously communicated INDCs, in the form of NDCs.

The impact of the INDCS, fully implemented, would already keep the world within around a 3 degree rise – not yet near enough but a huge advance from the 4 or 5 degrees or more we would otherwise be headed towards, with each extra degree adding exponentially larger losses to life, livelihoods and investments.

The UNFCCC secretariat is preparing to launch a new and formal registry of NDCs in about one month.

December 11, 2015

AfDB Approves 22 Proposals for Climate Finance

Friday Phiri
Paris. Dec. 11, 2015. The African Development Bank approved 22 proposals under its Africa Climate Change Fund in 2014.

Kurt Lonsway, AfDB Manager for Environment and Climate Change, Kurt Lonsway made the disclosure on the eleventh day of the COP 21 in Paris when he featured on a high level discussion panel dubbed: Advancing Africa’s ‘readiness’ for climate resilient, low carbon development and green economy

Lonsway said the Bank recognizes the importance of helping African countries transition to green economic pathways amidst the negative effects of climate that most countries are grappling with.

“In 2014, with the help of the German government, we established the Climate Development Fund aimed at helping countries with adaptation and facilitating a green growth path,” said Lonsway.

He however pointed out that due to the observed high demand for funds, the bank is looking at expanding the portfolio into a trust to open up investments opportunities from international partners—a feat he said would subject countries to more rigorous processes that require readiness to access.

Despite progress to scale up climate finance globally, the amount of climate finance flowing to the African continent remains way below estimated needs—just about 4% of the total available climate financing portfolios.

James Fahn, Executive Director Earth Journalism Network speaking during a press conference organized by his organization at Paris Climate talks. Photo by Fredrick Mugira

James Fahn, Executive Director Earth Journalism Network speaking during a press conference arranged by his organization at Paris Climate talks. Photo by Fredrick Mugira

The question is therefore how to increase Africa’s access to climate finance by addressing some bottlenecks that exist, to help the continent’s transition toward climate resilient, low carbon development and green growth.

Among a few countries in Africa that recently got accredited to Green Climate Fund (GCF), is Rwanda.

Rose Mukankomeje, Director of the Rwandan Environmental Management Authority said perseverance and negotiation were key elements to the processes required for accreditation.

Quoting her former Minister of Education, Mukankomeje said: “In life, you don’t get what you deserve, but what you negotiate for”.

With this, she encouraged other African countries not to fear the processes as perception maybe different from reality, saying “If Rwanda has been accredited by the GCF; it is possible for other countries to get accredited as well.”

She nevertheless pointed out that Africa has to put in place proper measures to hold its representatives on the GCF board accountable.

And in reacting to this position, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) agrees that there has to be more accountability from those representing developing countries on the GCF board.

“Our advice to GCF board members representing developing countries is that they should put Africa’s interest first. They are there not to represent themselves but the continent’s interests”, Sam Ogallah of PACJA said.

Ogallah also advised African countries to apply for climate readiness funds adding that lack of capacity to access the funds is not entirely the fault of the GCF board.

“Why are countries not applying for the climate readiness funds? This money is there waiting to be utilized for capacity building and it is up to country focal points to wake up and do the right thing”, he added.

%d bloggers like this: