Key advances can be made at Cancun climate meet – Jagdeo
…if developed countries keep commitments
President Bharrat Jagdeo believes that there are key opportunities that can be had at the Cancun, Mexico meeting on climate change that would improve on commitments made in the Copenhagen Accord last year.
He said this would ensure that capital to address climate change is allocated where it would have the biggest impact: to both adaptation and mitigation actions.
In his address at the United Nations General Assembly high level debate in New York on Friday, “Jagdeo proposed three ideas that can guarantee breakthroughs,”
the Government Information Agency (GINA) said in a press release. The president said the first move would be to hold the developed world accountable to the commitments they have made to immediate, short-term ‘ramp-up’ financing for climate action in the developing world. “The existing commitments of US$30B total by 2012, and US$100 billion per year by 2020, can be agreed to in Cancun,” he said.
The president said the second priority would be to resolve the “vexed” issue of an effective financial transfer mechanism that ensures that the funds flow to both adaptation and mitigation actions, and thirdly, ramp up meaningful sectoral responses that work in the short-term. With regard to the latter, he made specific reference to Guyana’s position that action on deforestation and forest degradation is one of the most impacting.
Jagdeo said that none of the three proposals asks the developed world to provide aid. Instead, he said, “it is about ensuring that capital to address climate change is allocated where it can have the biggest impact. The president also highlighted the need to protect the environment and he reiterated Guyana’s position for a legally binding global climate treaty at the international level that regulates emissions to stabilize the climate. He also warned about destruction of the natural habitat and its consequences on life. According to GINA, Jagdeo also illustrated how a ton of carbon emitted in Africa or Asia threatens the citizens of the smallest village in North America. “When those who seek to represent those citizens deny that this is true, or fail to understand its consequences, they threaten their own national interests and the wealth and security of their nations,” he argued. He also noted that although progressive countries are becoming more aware of the need to invest in clean energy economies, new green industries and a less carbon intensive approach to agriculture and forestry, they are failing to invest in measures that will realise their ideas. Jagdeo blamed this failure on the absence of a global agreement which rewards low carbon innovation, reiterating Guyana’s position that the international community needs a legally binding global climate treaty.
The fact that the United Nations Framework Conven-tion on Climate Change did not sign an agreement on global actions to stabilise the climate at last year’s meeting in Copenhagen paved the way for greater danger, according to the president. “Not only did the global community fail to accomplish this, we are now in real danger of suffering from a catastrophic drift in ambition, where we no longer even try to connect the scientific evidence on climate change with the necessary global action to avert it… So we must re-dedicate ourselves to crafting a shared response to shared climate threats,” Jagdeo said. With the Copenhagen Accord being the only concrete outcome of last year’s climate summit, the president encouraged countries regardless of whether on not they signed on, to hold the developed world accountable to its commitments.
According to Jagdeo, if the international community is prepared to be held accountable, “we will not be found lacking,” noting that functioning financial transfer and other mechanisms to address deforestation and forest degradation can inspire pro-gress in other areas such as technology transfer and energy efficiency. He said Guy-ana’s Low Carbon Develop-ment Strategy outlines how the country can save cumulative forest-based emissions of 1.5 gigatons by 2020, and the REDD+ deal with Norway, that created a climate finance fund which will amount to between US$300 million and US$500 million between this year and 2015. Guyana has also identified how to use this climate financing to invest in education and health care, clean energy and opening up non-forested land for new economic activities.