The newly-appointed Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Gemedo Dalle (PhD) announced this week that Ethiopia had a successful participation in the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) , which was held this month in Marrakech, Morocco.
The high-level global summit on climate changes was held in Marrakech in mid-November 2016 with focusing on strategic discussions on the ratification and rollout of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the key continental initiatives to support member states’ efforts.
Joined by his State Minister and Ethiopia’s chief negotiator on climate matters, Kare Chawicha, Gemedo noted that Ethiopia has once again played its leadership role in the global climate change negotiation representing the interest of the developing world. He said that the summit has served Ethiopia to once again regain its leadership position and shine out in climate negotiation forum representing developing countries, which are feeling the effect of climate change albeit their minimal contribution to the problem.
According to the minister, along with other African nations, Ethiopia is set to implement the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which was part of the Paris Agreement. The INDCs focuses on reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Highlighting one of the bold achievements, Gemedo told the press that Ethiopia has extended its leadership role as it was elected to chair Climate Change Vulnerable Countries Forum of developing states for a two-year term. The forum negotiates collectively in the global arena regarding climate change. He also explained that the forum is composed of 48 countries who have already agreed to shift their energy sources to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2050.
“Our role was big in the formation of this forum as well as to strike the Paris Agreement,” Gemedo told the press.
Noting that the country has taken over the chairmanship role from Democratic Republic of Congo, the minister went on saying: “It is a remarkable achievement to witness Ethiopia being elected to chair this particular group. This, indeed, demonstrates our country’s stride for maintaining its leadership role at the global arena”.
Regarding climate change affairs such as reduction of global warming, adaptation mechanism, climate finances, compensation and related issues, countries usually come together under different groups to negotiation and cooperation depending on their individual contexts.
Hence, Ethiopia was elected to one of these kinds of groups composed of climate change vulnerable nations.
He also disclosed that Ethiopia’s delegation undertook bilateral discussion with various counties and international organizations including Italy, Norway, New Zealand, UNITAR Global Environmental Facility, CDKN and other UN organizations.
The state minister said on his part that Ethiopia has played another “pivotal” role during the Marrakech summit particularly by pressing the issue of realizing the idea of institutionalizing the Adaptation Fund.
According to Kare, the Adaptation Fund is one of the mechanisms which have been proposed earlier as a financial mechanism through which developing countries are able to mobilize funds to help their preparation and mainstreaming climate change adaptation.
“The Adaptation Fund was established as one means through which states are able to secure fund for their preparation process to undertake climate change mitigating and adapting activities. However, it was not established as a permanent institution. But during this summit, there was encouraging commitments from participating nations which have already signed the Paris Agreement as they showed promising signs to transform the Fund to an institutionalized level. Ethiopia as well has been striving to push further to institutionalize,” he said.
COP21 which was held in Paris in December 2015 delivered the landmark Paris Agreement in which the NDCs emerged as a game changer and the primary mechanism for reducing global temperature by at least 2 degree Celsius. To date, 46 African countries have signed the Paris Agreement and 27 out of 103 countries in world have signed and ratified the Agreement that entered into force on 4th of November, 2016.