Paris Agreement to build climate resilient economies

15 Dec 2015 15:20pm


The whole world is proud of the Paris Agreement and Namibia will be happy to associate itself with this agreement, says Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta.

"We can now happily look in our children's eyes and tell them that 'you will be safe'. COP 21 is indeed a resounding success for multilateralism," he said on Tuesday during a media conference about the outcome of the recent climate change conference.

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place in Paris, France from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

The Paris Agreement or deal was adopted by more than 196 countries and is legally binding for those countries that are parties to the UNFCCC.

In short, the Paris Agreement will fight climate change and pave the way for investment towards low carbon development pathways and build climate resilient economies.

The countries that met in Paris agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius (2°C) - above pre-industrial levels - and also make efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. For this, the key is reducing humanity's dependence on fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fossil fuel is combustible geologic deposits of organic materials formed from decomposed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, heavy oils, natural gas or coal, under conditions of extreme heat and pressure in the earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. Burning the fossil fuels have a by-product of greenhouse gases that when in the atmosphere, traps heat or radiation.

This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. Shifeta explained that the agreement puts in place a robust financial mechanism to provide adequate and predictable financial resources to developing countries in order to meet their mitigation obligations and implement the adaptation actions of their economy actively.

"For the first time in climate change history, the agreement included the human rights issues with special emphasis on the right to health; the rights of indigenous people, local communities, migrants, children, persons living with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations; the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and inter-generational equity," said Shifeta.

He stated that as a country, Namibia will develop a country-driven comprehensive roadmap to tackle climate change in line with its National Climate Change Policy and National Climate Change Implementation Strategy and Action Plan, launched in late 2011. Namibia's Action Plan will be guided by the country's national vision, particularly that of eradicating poverty and inclusivity.

Namibia is currently developing high impact strategy project proposals on mitigation and adaptation actions to deeply tap from the US dollars 100 billion (about N.dollars 1.5 trillion) Green Climate Fund and other multilateral funding windows under the Rio Conventions.

The Rio Convention relates to the following three conventions, which are results of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. These conventions are: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The Paris Agreement will be deposited at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York and will be opened for one year for signature on 22 April 2016, on Mother Earth Day.

The agreement will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55 per cent of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification.

The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC is expected to take place from 07 to 18 November 2016. Morocco has offered to host this COP. (NAMPA) PC/ND/LI