Rwanda Welcomes Historic Paris Agreement On Climate Change
The Government of Rwanda welcomes the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change that paves the way for substantive action to limit global temperature increases to lower than 2 degrees with the ambition to reach lower than1.5 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels.
|Keywords||climate change, COP 21,|
The Government of Rwanda welcomes the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change that paves the way for substantive action to limit global temperature increases to lower than 2 degrees with the ambition to reach lower than1.5 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels. The agreement represents the first ever international commitment to take concrete measures to reduce emissions and help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. Adopted by 195 nations, the Paris Agreement will unleash action and investment to build a low carbon, climate resilient and sustainable future for all.
The Paris Agreement comes after years of negotiations and two weeks of talks in France. During the UN conference in Paris, Rwanda called for a robust pact that ensured no country would be left behind in the effort to overcome climate change and develop green societies and economies. Led by Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s delegation also met with bilateral partners and shared the country’s ongoing efforts to respond to the impacts of climate change. This includes the creation of Rwanda’s Green Fund, now a US $100 million environment and climate change fund that supports green investments and climate resilience initiatives across the country.
The official opening of climate talks, known as the 21st session of Conference of the Parties (COP21) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), took place in Paris on 30 November 2015. The global meeting was opened by the Leader’s Event at which 150 Heads of State and Governments delivered national statements reaffirming their commitment to a climate change deal. Minister Biruta delivered Rwanda’s national statement on 7 December 2015, during the high level segment, calling for more investment in new technologies and renewable energy to slow climate change and attain prosperity.
After 14 days of intense negotiations, the Paris Agreement was adopted by 195 nations on Saturday, 12 December 2015. For the first time in history, the Paris Agreement brings all nations into a common cause based on their past, present and future responsibilities in addressing the impacts of climate change.
The universal agreement’s main objective is to keep global temperature rises this century below an average of 2 degrees with an ambition to reach lower than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The deal also recognises the climate action plans submitted by 188 countries, which provide a solid foundation from which the international community can limit emissions and adapt to a warming planet. Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to submit their updated climate plans, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), every five years. Under this framework, countries will in the long-term steadily increase their ambitions for emission reduction and resilience against the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of the UN climate conference cover the crucial areas for dealing with climate change, including efforts to reduce emissions, a transparent system for reviewing these efforts, adaptation (strengthening the ability of countries to deal with climate impacts), and financial and technical support to help vulnerable nations build clean, resilient futures.
The already broad and ambitious efforts of developing countries to build their own clean, climate-resilient futures will be bolstered by increased finance from developed countries and voluntary contributions from others. Through the agreement, Governments decided that they will define a clear roadmap to provide technology transfer and climate finance worth US $100 billion a year by 2020, while also setting a new goal to boost the provision of finance above US $100 billion a year before 2025.
Rwanda’s high level statement about the adoption of the Paris Agreement emphasized:
“As the world now accelerates efforts to reduce emissions, Rwanda is calling for greater research in the technologies and clean energy that can help us to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. Dealing with climate change is not a choice between development and the environment, it’s about ensuring our development gains can be sustained for generations to come.”
Following its adoption, the Paris Agreement will be deposited at the UN in New York and subsequently be launched for a year-long signing from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. The UN Secretary-General will convene a high-level signing ceremony for the agreement on 22 April 2016.
The agreement will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification. Following the signing of the Paris Agreement, the next step for Rwanda will be to prepare ratification instruments allowing legal adoption and implementation.
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