Germany, France believe the world would attain better climate change agreement soon

Climate ChangeGermany and France has expressed optimism that the international community could adopt an ambitious and durable climate agreement at the end of the year.

Their bet on the issue is that the political will to deliver such an agreement is greater than ever before.

At the close of the 6th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, in Berlin, Germany’s Federal Environment Minister, Dr Barbara Hendricks and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said they see the outcome of the world commitment towards adopting a climate agreement as positive.

Some countries have already committed themselves into contributing $100 billion annually to help finance climate change impact in the world. Germany has pledged to contribute 10 billion dollars to the fund, while the US and China has agreed to reduce their emissions as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, in December there would be a UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris to deliberate on finding a better climate agreement that would be binding on all countries to take specific actions towards reducing green house emissions to the two degree Celsius benchmark.

The Paris agreement would contain a mechanism to raise ambition levels with the aim of achieving global decarbonisation by the second half of the century.

The objective of the Paris agreement is to make international climate policy more comparable, binding and honest.

Paris also needs to produce plausible climate finance solutions to support the reduction of greenhouse gases and adaptation to climate change.

During the recent Petersberg Dialogue, Dr Hendricks said: “The international community has learnt from the experience of Copenhagen in 2009 and we are now significantly better placed for a successful outcome in Paris.

“We know that we cannot resolve all the issues in that last night of the COP. That is why we need to clarify as many questions as possible as early as possible. We need a basis for political decisions by October. In combating climate change we have no time to lose.”

Mr Fabius also said: “A success in Paris depends on all of us. I am encouraged by the collective willingness that I sensed here in Berlin to get results. We are not there yet. From now on, every meeting must have a clear outcome and send a signal that we are moving forward. I will convene a ministerial meeting mid-July in Paris to take stock of the results of the next negotiations in Bonn.”

Federal German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande also pledged commitment towards achieving global target on decreasing carbon emissions.

Dr Hendricks said she was impressed that many countries including poorer developing nations are working very intensively on their own ambitious climate targets.

She said: “It is now vital that all other major emitters also submit ambitious national contributions as much as possible.”

At the dialogue, Dr Hendricks advocated a climate agreement, which incorporates a long term goal as well as medium term contributions, saying: “In order to hold temperature increase below two degrees, we need a climate-neutral global economy in the second half of this century. We should combine this long-term goal with a mechanism enabling countries to regularly scale up their contributions after Paris as well.”

Mr Fabius outlined the four pillars of the Paris Alliance as the agreement, the intended nationally determined contributions of countries, increased public and private climate finance for mitigations and adaptation projects in developing countries, as well as an action agenda to advance a range of new initiatives from non-state actors.

The Climate Dialogue aimed at identifying remaining challenges of climate change and bring concrete possibilities for action in the lead up to the Paris COP21.

Each year, the Dialogue is organised and co-chaired by Germany and the Presidency of the next UN climate change conference.

Political representatives from regions all over the world and from negotiating groups participate in the dialogue.

Meanwhile, as part of a climate change reporting training held for 20 journalists from the world over, by the Ecologic Institute in Berlin and the German Foreign Office, the truth of climate change issues affecting various countries including Africa and for that matter, Ghana, revealed that increased in water scarcity, long drought, desertification, rising temperatures, rising sea levels, more flooding, erosion, energy crisis, and ignorant of the issues of climate change is a common phenomena.

Francis Lungu, a journalist with the Post Newspapers Limited in Lusaka, Zambia told the GNA that: “because of low water levels, we are now experiencing energy crisis. It’s been there for over a year now. We also have climate issues like low rainfall that is affecting agriculture and food production”.

“High pressure in electricity demand and shortage of fossil in Egypt occasionally result in load shedding in my country,” Ahmed Mahmoud, a journalist with the Al Ahram Press Establishment in Egypt said.

“In Uganda, energy crisis has been a daily issue, but the situation is increasing daily, Peter Labeja, a journalist working with the Uganda Radio network told the GNA.

Arnold Letsholo, a freelance reporter with the Sunday Standard in Botswana said: “We have also been experiencing load shedding for some time now.”

With these submissions as raised by the journalists on the effect of climate change, it is therefore important that drastic measures and solutions are found to help the most vulnerable countries in Africa, and the Caribbean to reduce the impact.

“Of course, Paris will not be the finishing point but the starting point and there is the need for better climate negotiations that will help set the basic rules and common agreement to reduce global emissions,” Lena Donat, a Legal Fellow at the Ecologic Institute in Berlin reiterated.

In this era of challenging electricity generation problems in Ghana popularly referred to as “dumsor” the country , could explore solar power generation by following the example of Germany, which has invested massively in the technology by encouraging public-private partnership to take off the increasing pressure on thermal energy sources.

By Lydia Asamoah

Source: GNA

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