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COP22 to set the scene for a sustainable planet

Tawhidul Alam

The conference is important for the developing countries, especially coastal communities, because the massive effects of climate change will severely damage their resilience

One of the greatest challenges the world faces today is climate change. It is behind the extreme weather conditions worldwide as well as the global increase in temperature to the extent that the survival of human being is under consistent threat.

Having recognized the fact, the world leaders met at the conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris in December 2015, where 196 countries embarked on a journey to act against global warming for minimizing the severe effects of climate changes. The state parties in the conference agreed to adopt a climate deal that is to enter into force in 2020. All of the participating countries agreed to keep the global average temperature up to 1.5 degree Celsius. The agreement has certainly played an influential role to ascertain climate action plans, deal with the impacts of climate change, and sit together every five years to decide on more concrete actions. After the Paris agreement, the urgency to take actions to reduce climate change effects has increased more than ever; and this is the right time for them to share stories of success and failures with regard to fulfilling target of mitigating those impacts. Committing to a broad array of activities, such as conservation of forests, reducing greenhouse gases, sustainable management of land, stopping the extraction of fossil fuels, etc. is a hard row to hoe.

So, the next conference of the parties (COP 22) has been planned this November 2016 in Morocco. The conference is important for the developing countries, especially coastal communities, because the massive effects of climate change will severely damage their resilience. It can only be prevented by taking actions to lower carbon emissions and subsequently limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degree Celsius. COP 22 can be a platform for the countries of the world to be united to achieve this goal. In this session, developing countries must start lobbying with UNFCCC Secretariat, and the signatory countries to really act on Paris agreement and set new targets to reduce carbon emissions. In fact, the countries decided on the strategies to lower their emissions in the Paris agreement. Now, at COP22 they will build an international trust that action to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts is underway, in addition to further interventions.

Many of the signatory countries have submitted their biennial reports to the expert review team for UNFCCC secretariat. Information reported in these reports shows the progress made so far against the set targets. The secretariat endorsed that the state parties are closer to their targets, emissions of greenhouse gases are projected to further reduce; policies are being enforced; and financial, technological and capacity development support has increased. Though we heave a sigh of relief at the news, there is no scope for self-complacency! Rather, the common transparency framework that exists under the Paris Agreement for all countries must be in force. It will constitute a process to track their commitments on mitigation, adaptation and support. At the same time, actions that were promised to deal with the climate change impacts must be measured, reported and verified.

Featured image: Chittagong beach, Bangladesh/©SixDegrees