Global leaders ratification of Paris Agreement impresses LDC Group

Global leaders ratification of Paris Agreement impresses LDC Group

By Peter Vusi
[New York City, US] The 71st UN General Assembly has recorded a plethora of milestones. Key among the achievements being its frenetic speed meant to actualize the Paris Agreement. Other than hosting a high-powered session on migration and openly addressing the causes, effects and even future solutions on migration it also held a frank conversation on the Paris Agreement during the eighth annual Climate Week. The Climate Week had a two-fold agenda aimed at rallying multiple support towards the attainment of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build a critical mass to actualise the Paris Agreement.
By the 21st September, some 31 countries had deposited their instruments of ratification at the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special event to accelerate the entry into force of the Paris Agreement. This brought the total tally of countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement to 60 countries. For the agreement to enter into force it only required 55 nations which could be translated to signify 55 per cent of the total amount of pollution aggravating climate change. 

"With today's 31 ratifications the Paris Agreement has surpassed the country barrier and is now on the brink of early entry into force.” said the Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu. “This is a powerful political symbol that governments of the world recognise the need to take urgent action against climate change"

The LDC group comprises of 48 countries with the mostly drawn from Africa, Asia and the Americas who are extremely vulnerable to climate change and ironically have contributed the least to the phenomena.

Infograph of The LDCs Group, a powerful lobby at the global climate change talks [Image: ENG]

Earlier in the week within the precincts of the UN headquarters Mpanu-Mpanu who hails from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had moderated an event highlighting the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative. According to LDC lobby group which gained prominence during the climate change negotiations in Paris last year this renewable energy initiative is geared towards the alignment of SDGs and climate change goals in a bid to enable the world’s poorest nations to achieve universal access to clean energy.

"The Paris Agreement is a dynamic and inclusive agreement which focuses on supporting the needs of the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries. With entry into force imminent, it is vital that we build on this growing global unity and carry out our commitments agreed in Paris, to safeguard our planet for future generations.” Mpanu-Mpanu said.  “This requires developed countries to provide much needed support to developing countries, including the LDCs, to enable us to develop sustainably and adapt to the enormous challenges climate change presents to our communities."

The LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative was first broached in May this year during the climate talks in the German city of Bonn where it gained currency and the New York highlight was aimed at building momentum before its major launch which is slated for November during COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

"COP22 will be an action and implementation COP, providing the opportunity to begin implementation of the Paris Agreement through concrete action in the renewables sector. This is a chance for our developed country partners to fulfill their support responsibilities under the Paris Agreement, which should be a priority given their commitment to enhance the capacity and the ability of developing countries to take effective climate change action." Mpanu-Mpanu says.  "All LDCs face major challenges in scaling up renewable energy and ensuring energy access to our poorest communities. This initiative will ensure no LDC is left behind. With clean and renewable energy also comes jobs and opportunities to vastly improve the livelihoods of our people."

Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu from DRC and Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group at the global climate negotiations [Image: IISD]

The LDC Initiative is drawing lessons from other initiatives such as those advanced by the Small Island Developing States and African Renewable Energy Initiative and will be developed under the umbrella of a Global Initiative on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Through this the LDC expects to gain from shared best practices and collaborative synergies. 
"This Global Initiative exemplifies how the international climate process can generate new global partnerships, powering towards a more prosperous future for the world's poor and amplifying the charge towards a clean energy economy." Mpanu-Mpanu says.

[Tags: Climate Change, LDC Group, African Renewable Energy Initiative, Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Small Island Developing States]

Published in Diplomacy