Reflection on Leader’s Event

[30th November 2015, Le Bourget Paris] It is a new start and a new hope to many when 150 heads of state each presented 3 minutes of their country’s statement at “La Loire” Plenary. The statements are presented in support of forming a universal agreement on climate that aims to limit the increase of average global temperature to below 2°C.

For each nation’s full statements made at the Leaders Event, click here. http://unfccc.int/meetings/paris_nov_2015/items/9331.php

157 out of 183 INDCs were submitted as of 1st December 2015 and that covers up to 97.9% of the global emissions. There is a significant gap between developed and developing countries to reach a consensus on combating climate change especially in the areas of capacity building, finance, equity, technology transfer, mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage. Hence, there is a need of establishing this Paris agreement where differentiation in equity and responsibility are considered in these areas.

Here are some interesting statements made by several Heads of State that I have jotted down:-

H.E. Mr. Juan O. Hernández, President of Honduras, Central America

Deep condolences to Paris. 50% of our countries are covered by forest. However we are deforesting the tropics. Because of hurricane, we lost 25% of our GDP we also lost 7,000 human lives. Today, El Nino and El Nina show that Climate Change is not an environmental issues but also a hard economic migration. Climate Change is a life and death issue. Due to droughts, we lost many pine forests that bring plague and emergency food aid to 275,000 people who experienced the effect of Climate Change.

“The figures don’t add up. Do you think we are equally responsible? We are not. As far the causes and effects are our concern, we are not equally responsible. It is not clearly defined.”

Our commitment as Honduras is this, we will still reduce our emissions by 50%. In the course of two years our Renewable Energy should increase from 30% to 55%. We want to reduce household wood consumption.

We appeal to the country’s and corporates that emit the most CO2: How much money do you need to satisfy your greed? Enough is enough, Honduras has suffered from your doing.

We need to look into [REDD+] and [Warsaw Loss and Damage] mechanism aspects. We need to implement CBDR and support adaptation. All these must be legally binding. Global temperature should NOT increase more than 1.5 degree celsius. There is no Earth B. We need to ACT NOW.

Her Excellency Ms. Simonetta Sommaruga, President of Switzerland

Switzerland is also directly affected by climate change. Climate change pose a significant threat to Switzerland. We need to limit the increase of global temperature below 2ºC and boost all countries resilient against Climate Change. Paris provides us the opportunity to produce global climate agreement. agreement that requires to be equal, having common rules that will reunite all nations moving towards low carbon societies.

Switzerland supports INDC and 5 years cycle. Climate finance, it is essential. Support countries in need is crucial. We must provide supports to countries who need it. Switzerland announce our intend to reduce 50% of greenhouse emissions based on 1999 by 2030 with the help of international mechanism and standard.

Furthermore, Switzerland more than tripled its public climate finance between 2009 and 2014, and remains committed to mobilising its fair share of the targeted USD 100 billion per year by 2020. Switzerland believes that support for adaptation is important, particularly in the most vulnerable countries. Therefore we have allocated over 50 percent of our climate finance to adaptation.

Switzerland will formalise its entire pledge of USD 100 million to the Green Climate Fund by the end of January 2016 at the latest, and has already made its first contribution. We strongly urge other Parties to do the same. Support for the countries most in need is crucial. Therefore, Switzerland will also increase its annual contribution to the Least Developed Countries Fund by 75 percent and provide USD 6.25 million by 2018.

His Excellency Mr. Antoni Martí Petit, Head of Government of Andorra

The UN are firmly to tackle global issues in global angle. We need to tackle all together. Andorra is a small country. We understand we need to think globally and act locally. Andorra income comes from Eco-Tourism, from snow and all. Climate Change causes less rainfall and more melting ice.

We are now focusing on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Our schools are relying on solar and hydraulic energy which encompasses 10% of our GDP. The government is committed itself to its mobility program, adoption of electric vehicles. Now (as of 2015), 50% of our cars are electric cars. We plan to reduce our carbon emissions by 37% by 2030.  

Andorra is a small country, therefore, we as a small country, we have limited capacity. Andorra wants to be part of Climate Change solution.

“To conclude, if in Paris, we postpone solution, it will be too late. Paris is today, the world is looking to us and the future generation is expecting more of us. We cannot disappoint them”

His Excellency Mr. Abdelmalek Sellal, Prime Minister of Algeria

Climate change just like terrorism knows no border. Algeria been facing terrorism for many years. Climate Change is one of the causes of cross-border crime. During our time in Durban at South Africa, we agreed at Paris we will adopt binding agreement on Climate Change, keeping global temperature below its dangerous margin.

There is no plan B. We have no planet B. Algeria is anxious. Once again, reiterate its determination, to ensure international agreement rooted in fairness today and future, Algeria submitted INDC which reflects their commitment, energy transition based on clean energy including Renewable Energy. Algeria, which has considerable Renewable Energy stocks via development over the last few years, it is also future focused decision, well thought industrial plan. Algeria look forward to work with you to mitigate and adapt Climate Change. Let us make sure here in Paris, we adopt the necessary decision to put an end to this planetary disaster.

Her Excellency Ms. Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile

One day receives rain of 14 years. We have experience highest temperature ever. We have low emissions already. Climate change is not an environmental problem but a social issue and perhaps is the political issues that will gather us to work together for the next few years. We recognize Climate Change is a global issues. We have lengthy coastal that require protection in order to protect largest marine in the world. We also actively invite you to come over and support conservation of marine.
We look forward to ambitious, differentiated, transparent and complete binding agreement at Paris COP21.

Christine Figueres: Paris is the city of light. Paris is the beacon of hope to the world, lighting its way to better humanity.

Christine Figueres: Paris is the city of light. Paris is the beacon of hope to the world, lighting its way to better humanity.

Before the commencement of the Leader’s event. Christine Figueres, executive secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) presented a short speech saying “at Paris, we must capable of standing in solidarity as the eyes of the world are on us. Not figuratively but literally. We must come together in combating climate change and to support developing world in poverty eradication, capture the problem with agreeable milestones and predictable outcomes.” She further highlighted Paris as the city of light. Positively she believes Paris is the beacon of hope to the world, lighting its way to better humanity.

It is my first time at COP but I believe this year would be different. I hope to be able to be part of this golden moment to witness the adoption of Paris Agreement that is workable for both developed and developing countries.

Written by: Jolene Journe T.

Translate »