WINDHOEK – A director in the environment ministry says there is need to speed up work under the Paris Agreement Work Plan (PAWP) in order to pave the way for the adoption of its guidelines at the 24th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to be held in Katowice, Poland, this December.
Peter Muteyauli, the director for multi-lateral environmental agreements in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, said for Namibia, failure to reach agreement on the PAWP is not an option.
“We urge Parties to work in good faith and reach consensus on pertinent issues in a balanced and coherent manner,” he said.
Muteyauli said this in light of the climate change meeting being held in Bangkok (Thailand) to finalise the Paris Agreement Guidelines to get the agreement operational.
He said Namibia has taken note that the National Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Parties to the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement are falling short to address global warming and its associated negative impacts and this requires developed countries upscale their mitigation ambitions.
The Bangkok climate change meeting follows slow progress that was made in climate change negotiations held in Bonn (Germany) in May this year. In a statement released on Monday this week, the chairperson of the Least Development Countries (LDCs) Group , Gebru Jember Andalew, said the Bangkok negotiations represent a last opportunity for countries to come together to develop the rules and processes to operationalise the Paris Agreement on Climate Change before the 24th Conference of the Parties (CoP 24) to the UNFCCC to be held in Katowice (Poland) in December.
Andalew said the Bangkok session is crucial to the delivery of a robust, balanced and comprehensive set of guidelines for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at this year’s CoP 24.
“A last-minute rush to Katowice must be avoided so that the voices of poor and vulnerable countries are fully heard,” he said. The Bangkok climate change session is working from the recently published tools, which present various options that have been put forward by countries, and negotiators will need to narrow down these options to enable textual negotiations and finalisation of the Paris Agreement at CoP 24.
Andalew said in negotiating these outcomes, countries must not lose sight of the big picture as the past months have seen changing rainfall patterns in Africa and heatwaves across much of the Northern Hemisphere.
“Attribution science tells us these are the impacts of climate change and they will continue to intensify if immediate action is not taken,” said Andalew. He said of particular importance for the LDCs at these negotiations is the issue of climate finance, for which little progress was made in Bonn.
Climate finance, he said, enables LDCs and other developing countries to avoid repeating a history of high-carbon development pathways and to protect communities against the dire consequences of climate crisis, they did little to cause.
Namibia is an active Party to the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol which will expires in 2020. The Paris Agreement was adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC held in Paris (France) in 2015.