World can’t afford any country regressing from Paris agreement: UNGA President

Marrakech, Nov 15 (IANS) Amid speculations on US President-elect Donald Trump rolling back from the Paris climate agreement, United Nations General Assembly President Peter Thomson said that world is at such a crucial stage that one country’s change would have huge effects.

Several senior UN officials had reacted to Republican Trump’s victory where Secretary General Ban ki-Moon saying he was hopeful that Trump would change his mind, while COP 22 President Salaheddine Mezouar hoping that one country quitting would not change anything.

“World can’t afford any country regressing its commitments to the climate change. Any country rolling back from the Paris climate agreement would have huge impact on the global commitments,” said Thomson in his address at the opening ceremony of the joint high level segment of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), 12th session of the parties to Kyoto Protocol (CMP12) and the first session of parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1).

The meet was opened by Moroccan King Mohammed VI and in presence of Ban – who is attending his last UN Climate Conference as Secretary General, Mezouar, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa along with heads and delegates of over a hundred of countries.

Thomson, who did not take any names while stressing his point, however added that the effect of climate change is being faced by every country and this makes it imperative for all of them to stick to their commitments.

“Droughts, hurricanes, storms and other such natural disasters are rapid. Due to rise in sea level existence of several nations is under threat. It is therefore very important that we all remain committed and understand that there are urgent steps required,” said Thomson, who is from the South Pacific island of Fiji.

He stressed on the finance mobilisations for the developing countries, which is a commitment by the developed nations to provide $100 billion to the developing nations by 2020, in order to help them meet their NDCs and commitments under Paris Agreement.

He also urged for scaling up the investments.

“Aggregating difference between what has been pledged by the countries and whaty scientific community tells us is required,” he said.

Trump — a climate change sceptic — has threatened to cancel the Paris deal if he cames to power. This would mean the threshold achieved for the Paris Agreement would be jeopardised as America accounts for 17 per cent of the global emissions, the biggest chunk after China.

(Kushagra Dixit is in Marrakech at the invitation of TERI to cover COP-22. He can be contacted at kushagra.d@ians.in)

–IANS

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