Un­der Trump shadow, cli­mate talks set 2018 dead­line to agree on rules

Trump urged to re­con­sider cli­mate doubts

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

MAR­RAKESH: Nearly 200 na­tions agreed around mid­night on Fri­day to work out the rules for a land­mark 2015 global deal to tackle cli­mate change within two years in a new sign of in­ter­na­tional sup­port for a pact op­posed by US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump. At the end of two-week talks on global warm­ing in Mar­rakesh, which were ex­tended an ex­tra day, many na­tions ap­pealed to Trump, who has called cli­mate change a hoax, to re­con­sider his threat to tear up the Paris Agree­ment for cut­ting green­house gas emis­sions.

Show­ing de­ter­mi­na­tion to keep the Paris Agree­ment on track, the con­fer­ence agreed to work out a rule book at the lat­est by De­cem­ber 2018. A rule book is needed be­cause the Paris Agree­ment left many de­tails vague, such as how coun­tries will re­port and mon­i­tor their na­tional pledges to curb green­house gas emis­sions. Two years may sounds like a long time, but it took four to work out de­tailed rules for the 1997 Ky­oto Pro­to­col, the Paris Agree­ment’s pre­de­ces­sor, which obliged only de­vel­oped coun­tries to cut their emis­sions. Paris re­quires com­mit­ments by all.

The final text also urged rich na­tions to keep build­ing to­wards a goal of pro­vid­ing $100 bil­lion a year in cli­mate fi­nance for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries by 2020. Moroc­can For­eign Min­is­ter Sala­hed­dine Me­zouar told a news con­fer­ence that Mar­rakesh had been the start of turn­ing prom­ises made in Paris into ac­tion. “We will con­tinue on the path,” he said, urg­ing Trump to join other na­tions in act­ing to limit emis­sions. Fiji’s Prime Min­is­ter Frank Bain­i­marama, who will host next year’s cli­mate meet­ing in Ger­many, in­vited Trump to drop his scep­ti­cism about cli­mate change and visit the South Pa­cific na­tion to see the ef­fects of stronger storms and ris­ing seas.

Trump plans to fa­vor fos­sil fu­els over re­new­able en­er­gies and has threat­ened to halt any US tax­payer funds for UN cli­mate pro­grams. On Thurs­day, gov­ern­ments reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to “full im­ple­men­ta­tion” of the Paris ac­cord which seeks to phase out green­house gas emis­sions this cen­tury and to limit a global av­er­age rise in tem­per­a­ture to “well be­low” 2 de­grees Cel­sius (3.6 de­grees Fahren­heit). “Not one coun­try has said that if Pres­i­dent Trump pulls the United States out of Paris, they will fol­low him,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Sci­en­tists.

En­vi­ron­men­tal groups said the out­come in Mar­rakesh was a step in the right di­rec­tion, but many is­sues needed to be re­solved over the next two years, in­clud­ing funds for de­vel­op­ing na­tions. “Rich coun­tries have been try­ing to wrig­gle out of their pledges to help poorer coun­tries meet the costs of cop­ing with im­pacts and green­ing their economies,” said Har­jeet Singh at Ac­tionAid. Also on Fri­day, a group of 48 de­vel­op­ing coun­tries most at risk from cli­mate change said they would strive to make their en­ergy pro­duc­tion 100 per­cent re­new­able “as rapidly as pos­si­ble”, as part of ef­forts to limit global warm­ing.

— AFP

MAR­RAKESH: A mem­ber of an In­ter­na­tional del­e­ga­tion plays with a gi­ant air globe ball out­side the COP22 cli­mate con­fer­ence on Fri­day.

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