Mozambique to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate ChangeMar 23, 2016
Mozambique will sign the Paris Agreement that resulted from the Twenty-First Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) as soon as it is availed for signature this April.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited all world leaders to a signing ceremony on 22 April, for the historic climate agreement that was reached in Paris in December last year. The high-level signing ceremony will take place as a first step in implementing the Paris Agreement, which will then remain open for signature in New York, until 21 April 2017.
Countries will also need to adopt the agreement within their own legal systems, through ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. The agreement will enter into force when joined by at least 55 countries, which together represent at least 55% of global emissions. The chosen date for the signing ceremony, 22 April, is celebrated by the UN as International Mother Earth Day, or simply the Earth Day.
The announcement of Mozambique’s position was made by the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia, in the Capital City Maputo on March 23, three months after the agreement, in an event that gathered academics, civil society leaders, private sector representatives, development partners under the same roof to discuss ways to implement the decisions of the document approved at the Paris Conference on Climate Change in December 2015.
At the conference, a 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The Agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.
Addressing the gathering Minister Correia said although Mozambique and other nations, particularly the insular ones, would have liked a more ambitious agreement limiting global warming to below 1,5˚C, “this is nevertheless an agreement we believe in because it will allow for setting common targets, better coordination, more accountability by racking progress towards the long-term goal through a robust transparency and accountability system.”
The Minister explained that after signing the Agreement, Mozambique will continue to hold consultations with all sectors of the society, in developing a comprehensive national climate action plan for climate change, for the country to meet its obligations under the Agreement in full. “It is therefore paramount that we act with the sense of urgency to be able to access the resources for adaptation, capacity development, and transfer of technology”.
The Government organized this event to present the Paris Agreement for the key stakeholders to be aware of, to gage sensitivities and get contributions of the various segments of society and to identify suitability of proposals for the implementation mechanism to meet obligations under the Agreement.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Mozambique, Marcia de Castro hailed the Government of Mozambique through the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development for its initiative to involve the different actors on the onset of rolling out its national strategy to combat climate change under the Paris Agreement.
“Mozambique is a clear example that consequences of climate change can jeopardize the development gains achieved. To overcome this challenge and build resilience to natural disasters we need to have innovative strategies and actions that involve all stake holders”, Ms. de Castro told the gathering.
The historic Paris Agreement, the result of an arduous negotiation process, brings a clearly inclusive spirit of all parties and thus marks a new era in the fight against climate change. In this context, the Paris Agreement is to strengthen international climate action, while contributing to the achievement of the new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, Ms. the Castro pointed out.
“In this regard, the role of bilateral and multilateral cooperation becomes more important. This event brings us together today following the guiding principle of the Framework Convention, the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, responsibility of all parties in the fight against climate change, and differentiated responsibility according to the capabilities and national circumstances”, said the RC.
Ms. the Castro also emphasized that UN and the Government of Mozambique had recently signed the United Nations Assistance Framework for Development (UNDAF) for the period 2017-2020, with an integrated approach.
The drafting of document was guided by the Five-Year Government Program 2015 - 2019, the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030 and the New Global Partnership. The UNDAF has adopted four areas of results of the SDGs that focus on prosperity, the people, peace and the planet, for which the subject of protecting the environment and climate change is well aligned. “This result emphasizes the determination to protect the planet from degradation through sustainable consumption and production, sustainable management of natural resources and urgent action on climate change, for the benefit of present and future generations,” Ms. the Castro further explained.
Mozambique, a developing country, is vulnerable to extreme climate change related events such as floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. The country also faces challenges in access to clean and safe energy, environmentally clean technologies, potable water and basic sanitation services. The Paris Agreement provides opportunities to contribute to the achievement of national priorities including the achievement of the SDGs by ensuring that resources are used sustainably.
Development partners, including the UN, will support Mozambique through some of these identified priority areas: The strengthening of the early warning system; climate risk response; water resources management; increased resilience in the productive sectors including agriculture and fisheries; increasing the adaptive capacity of vulnerable people; food and nutrition security; biodiversity protection; conservation of endemic species; renewable electricity production, among others.