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Showdown Looms Over $100 Billion Pledge At UN Climate Conference

The Herald

A showdown is looming at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) scheduled for Poland in December with developed countries and developing ones having different priorities as they work on a template for a book of rules to guide implementation of the Paris Agreement.

There are also many disagreements especially around the transparency framework in the Paris Agreement and also the issues of financing with developed countries backtracking on the pledge they made to provide $100 billion to developing countries.

Rich nations led by the United States and the European Union in 2009 pledged to avail $100 billion climate-related aid to developing countries per year by 2020.

Zimbabwe needs about $90 billion to adapt, and to mitigate the effects of climate change between now and 2030, according to a Government plan drawn up under the Paris treaty.

The rule book, which aims to provide guidelines on how to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2°C in this century, has to be made ready for adoption by world leaders when they convene for the annual UN climate talks.

Zimbabwe’s climate expert Mr Washington Zhakata said this year’s COP is slightly different from previous ones in that parties are supposed to conclude the issues of development of a rule book with modalities, procedures and guidelines for implementing the Paris Agreement.

“The Paris Agreement is looking at issues of reductions of emissions of greenhouse gases in all countries. Our developed country partners, who are our partners in negotiations, are more focused on issues to do with reductions of emissions, not the adaptation component which ourselves as developing countries and Zimbabwe in particular are very keen on to ensure that the financing for adaptation is provided for, especially by the developed countries who have accepted historical responsibility of having caused current climate change,” he said.

“As we discuss the issues of mitigation, which is emission reduction at COP and as we prepare to conclude the rule book for implementation, we should ensure that the issues of the transparency framework which gives us the platform to discuss how transparent countries should be when they are reducing their emissions.”

Mr Zhakata said if the world did not reduce its emissions properly it would face a global warming potential of over 2 degrees, which can impact the whole world in terms of fighting droughts and prevalence of floods.

He said the presidency of COP (Poland), together with the outgoing Fiji, had invited heads of State at the beginning of the meeting.

Head of States are going to meet on December 3, 2018.

Mr Zhakata said: “This is the first time for heads of State to meet at the beginning and not at the end. This is to provide political momentum and maybe some declarations from the heads of State on the way forward in terms of concluding matters related to the rule book.”

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