Pres­i­dent off to Morocco for Cli­mate Change meet­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Cle­tus Mushanawani Harare Bureau

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe yes­ter­day left the coun­try for Morocco to at­tend the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change cur­rently un­der­way in Marrakech.

The Pres­i­dent who is ac­com­pa­nied by Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, Wa­ter and Cli­mate Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri and For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Dr Sim­barashe Mum­bengegwi, was seen off at the Harare In­ter­na­tional Air­port by Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko, Cabi­net Min­is­ters Cdes Syd­ney Sek­era­mayi, Jo­ram Gumbo, Supa Mandi­wanzira and Sithem­biso Ny­oni, ser­vice chiefs and se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

He is ex­pected to join other Heads of State and Gov­ern­ment dur­ing the high-level seg­ment of the con­fer­ence to­mor­row.

The two-week 22nd Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties (COP 22) started just days after the 2015 Paris cli­mate ac­cord en­tered into le­gal force on Novem­ber 4, 2016.

Adopted by 196 States Par­ties to the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change last De­cem­ber, the Paris Agree­ment aims to strengthen the global re­sponse to the threat of cli­mate change by keep­ing the global tem­per­a­ture rise this cen­tury well be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius, above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els and, to pur­sue ef­forts to limit it to 1.5 de­grees Cel­sius.

In early Oc­to­ber, the ac­cord cleared the fi­nal thresh­old of 55 coun­tries rep­re­sent­ing 55 per­cent of global emis­sions re­quired for the ac­cord to come into ef­fect within one month.

Its en­try into force was ex­tremely swift, par­tic­u­larly for an agree­ment that re­quired a large num­ber of rat­i­fi­ca­tions and the two spe­cific thresh­olds.

The sum­mit comes after a year of in­tense progress on com­bat­ting cli­mate change. In Oc­to­ber, more than 170 coun­tries reached a deal to phase out their use of po­ten­tial green­house gas em­mis­sions, known as hy­droflu­o­ro­car­bons.

The avi­a­tion in­dus­try also re­cently agreed to limit or off­set its car­bon emis­sions. But even so, the world is not on track to meet its cli­mate goal. A UN re­port re­leased re­cently found that if ev­ery coun­try met its Paris emis­sions pledge, global tem­per­a­tures would still rise above the 2 de­grees Cel­sius cut-off.

COP 22 is nec­es­sary to ini­ti­ate im­por­tant work to­ward meet­ing that limit, but there still is a lot of work to do.

COP 22 will hold a num­ber of meet­ings and high-level events, in­clud­ing the high-level seg­ment to be at­tended by dozens of heads of State and Gov­ern­ment.

Other events in­clude the fa­cil­i­ta­tive di­a­logue on en­hanc­ing am­bi­tion and sup­port, the min­is­te­rial high-level di­a­logue on cli­mate fi­nance, and the high-level event on en­hanc­ing cli­mate ac­tion.

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