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UAE Stresses Importance of International Efforts to Reduce Climate Change at COP24
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UAE Stresses Importance of International Efforts to Reduce Climate Change at COP24

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The United Arab Emirates reiterated its position on the issue of global warming and climate change at the closing meetings of the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), calling for quick enforcement of the procedures and global standards adopted by the nearly 200 nations and territories to implement the provisions of the Paris Agreement.

The final meetings of the conference on Sunday, 16 December, in Katowice, Poland, lasted late into the night. The two-week event, that ran into overtime, ended with the adoption of a set of strong guidelines to ensure the implementation of the terms of the 2015 Paris Agreement, aimed at containing global temperature rise this century to below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and head of the UAE delegation at the conference, said: "The final meetings confirmed the UAE's statement during the conference that time is no longer with us, and the need for decisive climate action has never been more crucial. We managed to forge a global commitment to implement the terms of the Paris Agreement, and pursue the goals of sustainable development to reduce the effects of global warming and climate change and protect the lives of millions of people who are exposed to the negative consequences of this change annually."

The most prominent points and criteria agreed upon at COP24 included a detailed transparency framework meant to promote trust among nations that they are doing their part in addressing climate change. It sets out how countries will provide information about their national action plans, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as mitigation and adaptation measures.

The guidelines also spell out how to uniformly count greenhouse gas emissions. If poorer countries feel they cannot meet the standards set, they can explain why the reasons for their non-compliance and present a plan to build up their capacity in that regard.

Another notable achievement was that the nations agreed on how to collectively assess the effectiveness of climate action in 2023, and how to monitor and report progress on the development and transfer of technology. Other points include the development of a new vision and mechanisms for global funding for climate action and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

In his speech at the conference, His Excellency Al Zeyoudi recounted the UAE's experience in successfully dealing with the challenges of climate change, working towards achieving sustainability in all sectors and committing, through specific national contributions, to implementing the provisions of the Paris Agreement globally.

He also invited all delegates to attend the upcoming edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at in Abu Dhabi in January 2019. The annual global platform will bring together thousands of world leaders, businesspersons and experts at conferences, exhibitions and high-level events that seek to identify innovative solutions to global sustainability issues.

The UAE delegation headed by His Excellency Al Zeyoudi held a number of joint meetings on the sidelines of the conference. This included a meeting with Henryk Kowalczyk, Polish Minister of Environment, with the Minister congratulating his Polish counterpart on the outstanding organization of the conference. They discussed ways of achieving innovative and sustainable solutions.

The Minister also met with Masagos Zulkifli, Minister of Environment and Water Resources of Singapore, and discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the fields of waste management and sustainability, and on innovations related to climate action.

He also held discussions with Jennifer Morris, President of the nonprofit Conservation International, on cooperation in the conservation of marine life. Talks were also held with Erik Grigoryan, Armenian Minister of Natural Protection, on ways to leverage the UAE's experience in protecting biodiversity and achieving sustainability of natural resources.

Siim Kiisler, Estonian Minister of Environment and Chairman of the fourth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEA4), met the Minister to discuss the main proposals and themes to be addressed at the event scheduled to run in March 2019.

His Excellency Al Zeyoudi also met with Malik Amin Aslam, head of the Pakistan delegation and Advisor to the Pakistan Prime Minister on Climate Change, and discussed cooperation between the two countries in various environmental fields.

Earlier, the Minister met with Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, who praised the UAE's prominent role in combatting global warming and its efforts globally in supporting initiatives to reduce the consequences of climate change.

The UAE delegation organized a number of events on the sidelines of the conference, including the second session of ‘Youth Dialogue’ in cooperation with the Youth Climate Lab. The event highlighted the progress of the UAE’s Youth Climate Mentorship Program that was launched at COP23 in Bonn, seeking to bolster youth engagement in international climate negotiations and national climate change policy development processes, as well as increase youth contribution in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

 











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