UN meet calls for combating climate change on urgent priority

This can be termed as one of the main outcomes of the ongoing crucial summit on climate change.

November 18, 2016 09:12 am | Updated November 17, 2021 06:34 am IST - Marrakesh

Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador to Multilateral Negotiations of COP22, prepares to speak during a press conference at the COP22 climate conference in Marrakesh on Thursday.

Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador to Multilateral Negotiations of COP22, prepares to speak during a press conference at the COP22 climate conference in Marrakesh on Thursday.

Nearly 200 countries today called for “highest political commitment” to combat climate change on “urgent priority” at a UN gathering here, noting that global climate is warming at an “alarming and unprecedented” rate.

The “Marrakesh Action Proclamation”, which was agreed upon by all the parties — 196 nations and the EU bloc — taking part in the summit, was read out at the Conference of Parties (CoP) Plenary session which said it was an “urgent duty to respond” to global warming.

This can be termed as one of the main outcomes of the ongoing crucial summit on climate change.

“Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond... we call for the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority.

“We call for strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, and underscore the need to support efforts aimed to enhance their adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability,” the proclamation said.

“We, Heads of State, government, and delegations, gathered in Marrakech for the high—level segment of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change... issue this proclamation to signal a shift towards a new era of implementation and action on climate and sustainable development,” the proclamation said.

Nations while welcoming the Paris Agreement, its rapid entry into force, ambitious goals, inclusive nature and its reflection of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, also affirmed their commitment for its full implementation.

India had pushed for inclusion of sustainable lifestyle with minimum carbon footprint and a clear cut mention of flow of funds in the draft of the political proclamation which was earlier made.

“We, the Developed Country Parties, reaffirm our USD 100 billion mobilisation goal,” the proclamation said.

It also called for an increase in the “volume, flow and access” to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave had during his recent statement in the high—level segment of the summit noted that access to adequate finance remains an “overriding concern” for India.

He had said that it is “critical” that developed countries provide finance and technology transfer support to developing nations.

The countries in the proclamation said that their task now is to rapidly build on to that momentum, together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.

“We call for urgently raising ambition and strengthening cooperation among ourselves to close the gap between current emissions trajectories and the pathway needed to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement,” it said.

The proclamation also called on nations to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture.

The parties also unanimously called for taking further climate action and support, well in advance of 2020, taking into account the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries, the least developed countries and those particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

“We, who are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, encourage the ratification of the Doha Amendment,” it said.

This point in the proclamation assumes significance especially as India had asked the developed countries to ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol by April next year to raise the ambition of climate actions in the pre-2020 period.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol demanded targeted emission cuts from rich and industrialised countries, mainly responsible for causing global warming. The protocol which came into effect in 2005 was to initially run until 2012, comes to an end in 2020.

Though many countries failed to achieve these targets, fresh targets in a second commitment period running till 2020 were decided at the 2012 climate change conference in Doha through what came to be called the Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol.

Paris Agreement was supposed to be a post-2020 climate agreement, replacing the Kyoto Protocol that will expire in 2020. However, earlier than expected entry into force of Paris Agreement means that the two agreements will run in parallel till the year 2020.

“We, collectively, call on all non-state actors to join us for immediate and ambitious action and mobilisation, building on their important achievements, noting the many initiatives and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action itself, launched in Marrakech,” the proclamation said.

“The transition in our economies required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement provides a substantial positive opportunity for increased prosperity and sustainable development.

“The Marrakech Conference marks an important inflection point in our commitment to bring together the whole international community to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time,” the proclamation added.

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