CALL­ING FOR GREATER CLI­MATE AC­TION

WILL THE LESSONS LEARNT IN 2017 HELP IN THE INI­TI­A­TION OF SOME MA­JOR AC­TION ON THE GROUND FOR QATAR AND THE REST OF THE WORLD?

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE - NEE­SHAD V S Co-Founder & Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor, Arab Youth Cli­mate Move­ment Qatar (AYCM-Q) Middle East Man­ager, CliMates Fo­cal Point, CAN Arab World

Will the lessons learnt in 2017 help in the ini­ti­a­tion of some ma­jor ac­tion on the ground for Qatar and the rest of the world?

Two years af­ter the his­toric Paris Agree­ment, it's time for con­crete ac­tion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) re­gion, but the re­cent chaos and the em­bargo on Qatar by its Arab neigh­bours have given rise to mixed feel­ings about the fu­ture co­op­er­a­tion of the Gulf bloc for a col­lec­tive cli­mate ac­tion mech­a­nism in the re­gion. How­ever, the sil­ver lin­ing is that the block­ade will pro­vide Qatar with an op­por­tu­nity to be­come sus­tain­able and also help in de­sign­ing regulatory and policy frame­works, which should in­clude poli­cies of long-term cer­tainty for low-car­bon en­ergy in­vest­ments and policy co­or­di­na­tion to cre­ate am­ple space for re­new­able en­ergy. Fur­ther­more, Qatar may also want to en­sure its in­ter­ests are rep­re­sented in the re­spec­tive global governance part­ner­ship.

As a re­sult of the block­ade, busi­ness and fi­nan­cial ac­tiv­i­ties were ini­tially in­ter­rupted, not only in Qatar but also in its neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. Cli­mate change im­pacts the en­tire MENA re­gion and coun­tries must sup­port col­lab­o­ra­tive in­vest­ment in re­new­ables and mit­i­ga­tion of cli­mate ac­tion ef­forts, pro­vide ad­e­quate sup­port be­tween the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, track progress to en­sure that com­mit­ments are de­liv­ered and ad­vance new ef­forts if we are to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agree­ment.

A re­gional co­op­er­a­tion in the Gulf coun­tries in the ar­eas of low-car­bon econ­omy and clean en­ergy can help de­velop cli­mate policy, tech­ni­cal di­a­logue and ca­pac­ity build­ing, of mem­ber gov­ern­ments for a long-term im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Paris Agree­ment. Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween na­tional gov­ern­ments and the pri­vate sec­tor sup­ported by in­ter­na­tional agen­cies and in­sti­tu­tions can help in tack­ling cli­mate change and its im­pacts will de­pend greatly on ac­tion by all lev­els of govern­ment where new and am­bi­tious goals should be set and col­lab­o­ra­tion should be a way for­ward. In­deed, en­gage­ment of dif­fer­ent lev­els of govern­ment in adap­ta­tion and mit­i­ga­tion ef­forts present a real op­por­tu­nity for ac­cel­er­at­ing ac­tion, in­clud­ing by get­ting buy-in of a wide range of stake­hold­ers.

With all Gulf States sign­ing and rat­i­fy­ing the Paris Agree­ment, GCC coun­tries em­barked upon a new eco­nomic pri­or­ity to build truly sus­tain­able and re­silient economies that will last be­yond oil and nat­u­ral gas. The Gulf coun­tries' vul­ner­a­bil­ity to cli­mate change is real and

"TWO YEARS AF­TER THE HIS­TORIC PARIS AGREE­MENT, IT IS TIME FOR CON­CRETE AC­TION IN THE MENA RE­GION, BUT THE RE­CENT CHAOS AND THE EM­BARGO ON QATAR BY ITS ARAB NEIGH­BOURS GAVE RISE TO MIXED FEEL­INGS."

joint ac­tion to move to­gether to­wards low­car­bon de­vel­op­ment and green growth will in turn en­able the GCC states to make fur­ther con­tri­bu­tions to global cli­mate ac­tion.

The 23rd edi­tion of the an­nual UNFCCC COP23 in­ter­na­tional meeting was aimed at find­ing ways to deal with the big­gest crisis hu­man­ity has ever faced. While the shadow of Don­ald Trump and the US with­draw­ing from the Paris Agree­ment loomed large, the cli­mate ne­go­tia­tors worked on de­tails for a ‘rule book' to be adopted at the 2018 Cli­mate Sum­mit in Poland.

COP23 in­cluded a ‘fa­cil­i­tat­ing di­a­logue', which con­sisted of tak­ing stock of all cli­mate-re­lated ef­forts and or­gan­is­ing the first ne­go­ti­a­tions to raise the tar­gets be­yond 2020. As de­fined by the Paris Agree­ment, these tar­get fig­ures should be re­viewed every five years.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of COP23, another ma­jor event to cel­e­brate the sec­ond an­niver­sary of the Paris Agree­ment agreed in the French cap­i­tal in 2015 was the One Planet Sum­mit. Spear­headed by French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and coor­gan­ised by the United Na­tions and the World Bank, the fo­rum gath­ered world lead­ers to com­mit to cli­mate fi­nanc­ing. Since his election to the French pres­i­dency ear­lier this year, civil so­ci­ety and global lead­ers have pinned their hopes on Macron against his Amer­i­can coun­ter­part Trump. The US pres­i­dent, who de­cided to pull Amer­ica out of the Paris Agree­ment in June, was not on the in­vi­ta­tion list of the One Planet Sum­mit.

The One Planet Sum­mit fo­cused on the fi­nanc­ing of cli­mate goals and was aimed at defin­ing the rules of the Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment, which were rather tech­ni­cal in na­ture.

Cur­rent pledges made so far are in­ad­e­quate and many are con­di­tional on other coun­tries keep­ing their side of the bar­gain. Fresh mo­men­tum is sorely needed in the com­mon bat­tle against cli­mate change. A greater col­lab­o­ra­tion is also re­quired be­tween the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors and be­tween the dif­fer­ent lev­els of gov­ern­ments (in­ter­na­tional, na­tional, re­gional and lo­cal), whose cli­mate ac­tions and strate­gies must be bet­ter aligned for bet­ter re­sults

"THE ONE PLANET SUM­MIT FO­CUSED ON THE FI­NANC­ING OF THE CLI­MATE GOALS AND WAS AIMED AT DEFIN­ING THE RULES OF THE PARIS CLI­MATE AGREE­MENT, WHICH WERE RATHER TECH­NI­CAL IN NA­TURE."

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