Climate and Development Agendas Are Inherently Linked
Mar26

Climate and Development Agendas Are Inherently Linked

Speaking at the opening of the President of the General Assembly High-Level Event Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda in New York on 23 March, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said that the sustainable development and climate change agendas are inherently linked. “By looking at climate and sustainability holistically, we maximize the potential for positive outcomes of every action we take. And when international commitments are turned into country-level action, tangible benefits are delivered to communities and the people who live there,” she said. Here is her full address: H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, Let me first recognize the President of the General Assembly and the Government of Fiji for your climate leadership. Today’s special event is the latest in a long list that is your lasting legacy of leadership on this critical issue. Thank you for shining a light on vulnerability through your work in the Pacific Islands Forum and Climate Vulnerable Forum. Thank you for your bold Paris Agreement contribution of 100 per cent renewable power by 2030. Thank you for being the first to ratify the Paris Agreement. And thank you for your excellent partnership as COP 23 President in preparation of this year’s UN climate change conference. I must also express my sincere gratitude to the Secretary-General for making the connection between climate change and the sustainable development agenda and calling for an integrated approach to our challenges. Your vision of preventing future risk through stronger institutions, more resilient societies and bold action must guide every nation forward through the sometimes turbulent waters of transformative change. How far is the Paris Agreement ? One hundred and thirty-seven Member States are working towards that vision by ratifying the Paris Climate Change Agreement. This is both a crucial step towards concerted action on climate change and a step towards truly sustainable development. As the international community takes these important initial steps in this new era of implementation, we must do so with the full knowledge that the sustainable development agenda and climate change agenda are inherently linked. These challenges must be addressed in an integrated manner because there is only one on-the-ground reality. By looking at climate and sustainability holistically, we maximize the potential for positive outcomes of every action we take. And when international commitments are turned into country-level action, tangible benefits are delivered to communities and the people who live there. Implementation is the policy that meets these commitments. And we must move quickly to put this policy in place. We must bend...

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To Bonn and Beyond
Fév14

To Bonn and Beyond

To Bonn and Beyond Message from the Incoming COP 23 President Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama   Maintaining  the momentum of the Paris Agreement Bula vinaka! Wherever you are the world, I convey my warmest greetings, along with the greetings of the Fijian people. Fiji assumes the Presidency of COP 23 determined to maintain the momentum of the 2015 Paris Agreement and the concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions and lower the global temperature, which was reinforced at COP 22 in Marrakesh. To use a sporting analogy so beloved in our islands, the global community cannot afford to drop the ball on the decisive response agreed to in Paris to address the crisis of global warming that we all face, wherever we live on the planet. That ball is being passed to Fiji and I intend, as the first incoming COP president from a Small Island Developing State, to run with it as hard as I can. We must again approach this year’s deliberations in Bonn as a team – every nation playing its part to combat the rising sea levels, extreme weather events and changing weather patterns associated with climate change. And I will be doing everything possible to keep the team that was assembled in Paris together and totally focused on the best possible outcome. “Our concerns are the concerns of the entire world” I intend to act as COP President on behalf of all 7.5 billion people on the planet. But I bring a particular perspective to these negotiations on behalf of some of those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – Pacific Islanders and the residents of other SIDS countries and low-lying areas of the world. Our concerns are the concerns of the entire world, given the scale of this crisis. We must work together as a global community to increase the proportion of finance available for climate adaptation and resilience building. We need a greater effort to develop products and models to attract private sector participation in the area of adaptation finance. To this end, I will be engaging closely with governments, NGOs, charitable foundations, civil society and the business community. I appeal to the entire world to support Fiji’s effort to continue building the global consensus to confront the greatest challenge of our age. We owe it not only to ourselves but to future generations to tackle this issue head on before it is too late. And I will be counting on that support all the way to Bonn and beyond....

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Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration
Déc29

Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration

  Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration By Aya Kathir and Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache All around the world, people, politicians and leaders are talking about the “changing American political landscape”. Donald Trump the president elect has yet  to decide his environmental agenda regarding the climate change and the fossil fuel which could cripple a decade of climate diplomacy. Barack Obama’s Clean Power Strategy could fail after Donald Trump’s decision to remove the US from the Framework Convention on Climate Change and remove his Nation from the Paris Agreement. How Climate Change is affecting the US? There are public health threats associated with the extreme weather including the heat stress, air pollution and diseases carried by food, water and insects. Climate Change has come at a cost to the US. Disasters in 2012 cost the American Economy more than $100 billion with drought, heatwave, western wildfires, super storm Sandy and hurricane ISAAC. What is the Clean Power Plan about? The Clean Power Plan aims to  reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. It should prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays. According to the current US administration, the Clean Power Plan should boost the US economy by leading to 30 percent more renewable energy generation in  2030, creating tens of thousands of jobs and continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy. President Obama renewable energy policy calls to keep global warming below 2 degree Celsius. On August 3, 2015, Mr Obama announced “the clean power plan”,  a turning point and an important step in reducing carbon pollution. By announcing a clean power plan, the US is committed to lead global efforts to address Climate Change. The Clean Power Plan was first proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in June 2014, under the administration of the President Obama. Its final version set a national limit on Carbon pollution.  US Investment From 2010-2015, the US has invested more than $11 billion in International clean energy finance, while in 2016,  Mr Trump as a candidate  announced that investing in  Climate Change wasn’t worth it:  it was waste of money he said. But on November 17, 2016, “more than 360 businesses and investors sent a strong message to the US headers; reaffirming their support for the historic Paris Climate Agreement. They were calling the US administration to strongly support the continuation of low-carbon policies and the commitment of the US in the Paris Agreement. Financing developing countries: a priority While the current US administration announced statistics and numbers to continue the global transition to zero- and-low...

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Comment l’Initiative Africaine d’Adaptation s’intègre dans le triple A ?
Nov27

Comment l’Initiative Africaine d’Adaptation s’intègre dans le triple A ?

Comment l’Initiative Africaine d’Adaptation s’intègre dans le triple A ?    Annoncée lors de la COP 21, l’Initiative Africaine d’Adaptation a été récemment “mise en selle”  à Marrakech en se positionnant comme la sœur du Triple A. Description. Par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache   Fraternité pour l’Adaptation Six mois après le lancement du Triple A, l’initiative marocaine d’Adaptation de l’agriculture africaine, l’Afrique a présenté  à Marrakech  « sa sœur » :  l’Initiative africaine d’adaptation  ( IAA) aux changements climatique, en marge des négociations durant la COP 22 . Née  lors du Sommet des Chefs d’Etat de l’Union Africaine, en juin 2015, cette initiative a été annoncée lors de la COP 21. Ses initiateurs : la conférence ministérielle africaine de l’environnement  ( CMAE) et le Groupe Africain des négociateurs. Ses objectifs : améliorer  les infrastructures climatiques et d’observation,  soutenir  au développement et à la mise en œuvre de politiques nationales et régionales,  faciliter la  mise en œuvre des projets spécifiques sur le terrain afin d’améliorer les mesures d’adaptation et préparer les pays africains à accéder au financement.  Axes prioritaires de l’IAA : la gestion des sols dégradés et peu fertiles ; la recherche en agroforesterie afin de réduire l’érosion des sols ; l’agro-écologie, pour promouvoir les bonnes pratiques agricoles et la gestion de l’eau. Comment va s’articuler le financement ? Le Triple A devrait être  le catalyseur : charger de  mobiliser  des fonds pour la mise en application des projets agricoles. De fait, il renforcera les capacités des agriculteurs et développera l’assurance sécheresse permettant aux exploitants d’avoir des revenus constants et durables. Le financement de l’adaptation pour l’Afrique,  bilatéral et multilatéral,  est évalué  à 516 millions de dollars par an en moyenne et 11 milliards de dollars seront nécessaires d’ici à 2020, d’après un document de la Banque Africaine de Développement intitulé «  L’Afrique et le climat : une opportunité pour s’adapter et prospérer ».  Selon, Khultoum Omari-Motsumi, responsable de l’Initiative d’Adaptation Africaine, une table ronde de donateurs  devrait avoir  lieu avant le prochain sommet des chefs d’Etats de l’Union Africaine, prévu en janvier 2017. L’Afrique est une victime «  collatérale » des changements climatiques, » a rappelé le président du Comité scientifique de l’Initiative Africaine d’adaptation ( IAA), Mohamed Badraoui, lors d’un événement parallèle en marge des négociations.    ...

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World Green Economy Organization :  A New approach from the Arab world
Nov26

World Green Economy Organization : A New approach from the Arab world

World Green Economy Organization :  A New approach from the Arab world Recently at the UN Climate Conference in Marrakech, the World Green Economy Organization was announced globally in presence of  Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and the Environment,  Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and Chairman of the board of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) and Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Towards a green economy “The World Green Economy Organization aims to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and increase awareness on climate change to enhance the shift towards a green economy and a low carbon economy that is climate-resilient, resource-efficient, and socially inclusive,” said in Morocco Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and Chairman of the board of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), during the global launch of the World Green Economy Organization in Marrakech (Morocco). “ Launching WGEO at this time reflects the relentless efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he added . After the October 2016 third World Green Economy Summit in Dubai, the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties, COP 22, in Marrakesh, Morocco, was an opportunity for the Arab world to show its willing to diversify its economy and also a way to promote its willing to work with all countries around the world towards a green economy. Dubai Plans Last June, Mr Al Tayer, announced in Dubai that  his country will build within the next five years  a largest Concentrated Solar Power (CPS) which will generate  1,000 megawatts (MW) of power by 2030 as part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy to generate 75 per cent of Dubai’s power from clean energy by 2050. This solar project could reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of CO2. It can therefore meet its pledges linked to the Paris Agreement : keep global warming temperatures below 2°C in a long term goal, he added. The project will even surpass the existing world’s largest CPS tower in Morocco that has a power generating capacity of 150MW, senior energy officials said. How the World Green Economy Organization will work? According to Mr Al Tayer, the World Green Economy Organization, based in Dubai,  will play an instrumental role in mitigating climate change.   It will serves as a mechanism for adaptation and mitigation to climate change by generating new solutions for sustainable energy, water and other environmental challenges. How ? “by lowering the risk of green economy investments and bridging...

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What’s next for climate action ? -Patricia Espinoza
Nov25

What’s next for climate action ? -Patricia Espinoza

What’s next for climate action ? -Patricia Espinoza Shortly after the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, the UN’s top climate change official Patricia Espinosa visited Norway, where she met with government and local leaders and gave a speech at the 2016 Zero Emission Conference in Oslo. Hosted by the Norwegian NGO ZERO, the conference was designed to show that it is possible to create a thriving, modern society without the use of fossil fuels or fossil based materials, and with zero greenhouse gas emissions. In her speech, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa summed up the central outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, along with outlining the next steps for international, national and local climate action, and addressed the issue of what specifically Norway can do to help implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement.  Her speech     The Marrakech InsightsFirst, I saw unparalleled political will to act on climate change. The momentum that carried us from hundreds of thousands of people in the streets at the People’s Climate March in 2014… to an ambitious agreement in Paris last year has not diminished.Political will brought the Paris Agreement into force just days before this year’s conference in Marrakech, setting a tone for the meeting and allowing us to hold the historic first Conference of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. Second, Marrakech featured close cooperation to advance critical issues, which can be seen in the conference outcomes. Governments took a crucial step towards writing the rules of the Paris Agreement. They outlined the finance, technology and capacity building support that enables the developing world to move to low-emission development and build resilience. Marrakech featured long-term de-carbonization plans from major emitters and medium-income countries.* The Marrakech Action Proclamation unites nations in the determination to implement the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.This is all very positive and shows that governments are willing to work together. It also sends a strong signal that we have unstoppable global momentum on climate change and sustainable development. Third and finally, Marrakech shined a light on movement in markets and in the private sector. And it highlighted climate actions by local governments. The business leaders action In markets, we see a transformation to low-emission. The clean energy market is growing and now it makes more sense to choose renewable energy over all others. Investors are moving to cleaner, greener assets to secure stable returns. Throughout the private sector, we see high efficiency operations, sustainable supply chains and products that reduce consumer’s climate footprint. Local governments Local governments are moving in the...

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