Climate Change

'Paris Agreement signing would mark critical global efforts to address climate change'

In a couple of days, the Paris Agreement document will be open for signatures by states

By Vijeta Rattani
Published: Wednesday 20 April 2016
Perito Moreno glacier, Patagonia, Argentina Credit: Flickr
Perito Moreno glacier, Patagonia, Argentina Credit: Flickr Perito Moreno glacier, Patagonia, Argentina Credit: Flickr

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christina Figueres has expressed delight at the record number of countries (around 155) that are set to sign the Paris Agreement on April 22 and called for greater global efforts to address climate change in the coming future.

“The signing of the Paris Agreement is a crucial step. However, the achievement of climate goals as outlined in the Paris Agreement call for an unprecedented rate of de-carbonization. The coming decade will need to deliver unprecedented outcomes in terms of global well-being and poverty eradication," she remarked.

Underlining how climate change and poverty are linked, she asserted that climatic change is undermining food and nutrition security, keeping poor people in endless poverty and badly affecting entire economies for years. Likewise, the impact of climate change on agriculture has a rapid knock-on effect on poverty. Additionally, water resources are also at risk, as many of the impacts on climate are floods and droughts.

Stressing on the need for countries to achieve development goals in a low carbon pathway scenario, she highlighted that "since more carbon in the atmosphere equals more poverty, we cannot deliver sustainable development without tackling climate change and we cannot tackle climate change without addressing the root causes of poverty, inequality and unsustainable development patterns." She further added that adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York last year only strengthens the idea that climate change and development goals are “inseparable” and that climate action is integral to the successful implementation of most of the other SDGs under the agenda.

She further said that at the heart of the goals which promote sustainable development in energy, economic and jobs growth, industry and infrastructure is the overwhelming requirement that it is done within a rapid transformation towards low-carbon solutions. Thus, governments need to deploy low carbon technology now for sustainable and green future.

She also highlighted that inclusive participation of disadvantaged groups and women is required to ensure effective climate action.

Concerned about the shortage of time to address climate change and the urgent need for strategic approaches Figueres said, “We have a short window of opportunity to align strategies and to sharpen the focus on the urgency of implementation. Therefore, strategic approaches developed this year will shape the overall path for years to come.”

Despite the challenge of short time, she expressed optimism citing the successful unanimous adoption of the Paris Agreement by 195 sovereign governments on December 12, 2015. Underlining that sustainable global effort would be critical to address climate change, she said, "In today’s increasingly interdependent world, your loss is no longer my gain. We are either all losers or we can be all winners. Therefore, the only plausible path after Paris is to direct human ingenuity, innovation and implementation towards sustainable, low-carbon growth and development in a cooperative and inclusive manner."

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