Published On: Thu, Nov 9th, 2017

UN Climate Change gets more power to limit global warming

Bonn: Giving a major boost to limit global warming against the backdrop of the US pulling out of the climate pact, UN Climate Change on Thursday announced its new key allies to back its efforts to implement the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The climate will not let us wait until 2020 when the Paris Agreement comes into force

“We are delighted to announce these internationally recognised institutions, NGOs, businesses and media outlets that are backing our work at the annual UN climate conference in Bonn with diverse and important support,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in a statement.

Hoping that many others will support it into the future, she said “more will join as the world moves to implement the Paris Agreement and realize this year’s COP23 motto — Further, Faster, Together”.

Two years after the world united around the Paris Climate Agreement and a year after its entry into force, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 197 parties have been reconvened for the 23rd annual climate change talks (COP 23) in Bonn till November 17.

The Bonn talks, which began on November 6, are expected to take a number of decisions necessary to bring the Paris Agreement to life, including meaningful progress on the agreement implementation guidelines, to achieve a goal of keeping global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius with an aim to cut greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

The UN Climate Change secretariat, headquartered here, said the new allies included Deutsche Post DHL Group, a logistics company in Germany, Iberdrola SA, a multinational power utility company that believes in the decarbonisation of the electricity sector, and KPMG, a Swiss cooperative made of a global network of professional firms operating in 155 countries providing advisory services, including climate change and sustainability services.

Climate Tracker, an NGO that works to make the climate movement global, and empowers young journalists, is also among the new allies.

Britain-based Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead Mohamed Adow, who is monitoring the climate talks, said: “The climate will not let us wait until 2020 when the Paris Agreement comes into force. Climate change is happening now and it’s vital that immediate actions to cut emissions become a feature of this summit.”

“It risks undermining the very foundations of the Paris Agreement and the multilateral process. In Durban in 2011 poor countries agreed to a single negotiation track in return for assurances that pre-2020 actions would be addressed. Likewise, developed countries committed to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in Doha in 2012 and yet five years later it remains unratified – and at this rate may not come into force before its end date in 2020!”

He said when richer countries continued to fail to act on their promises it created a trust deficit and threatened unravelling the progress made since Paris.

At COP 23, attention is turning to whether the US and its allies will continue to advance an agenda focused mainly on mitigation, carbon markets and transparency of action, while neglecting or foot-dragging on other key issues such as adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology transfer, capacity building, transparency of support, compliance, and the global stocktake.

In his inaugural remarks on November 6, Fiji President Frank Bainimarama, who is chairing the meeting, said there was a need to keep the climate action commitments in full and not back away from them.

“That is why Fiji has been so determined to help build a grand coalition of governments at every level — civil society, private sector and faith-based organisations — and to connect this effort to as many of the 7.5 billion citizens of the planet as possible,” he said.


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