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Amir reiterates commitment to combat climate change

Ban calls for ‘elimination’ of fossil fuel subsidies

HH Sheikh Sabah addresses the gathering
HH Sheikh Sabah addresses the gathering

MARRAKECH: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday reiterated Kuwait’s commitment to supporting the efforts exerted by the UN to combat the phenomenon of climate change. Addressing the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as COP 22 in Marrakech, the Amir said Kuwait has participated effectively and constantly in the negotiations aimed to limit the negative impact of this phenomenon, based upon the principles and provisions and the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the subsequent provisions until the Paris Agreement, since they constitute the legally binding instruments and the basis of joint cooperation.

HH the Amir called for taking into consideration the disparity in shouldering the burden, the inequalities in capacities and the levels of sustainable development in developing nations. “Coming a few days after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, our meeting today on this important international occasion, with such prestigious level of participation, is proof of Moroccan King Mohammad VI’s concern to achieve what we aspire for. Addressing the phenomenon of climate change in a diligent manner and realizing the magnitude of the challenges faced by our planet and its environment reflects our earnest pursuit to reform the climate system and protect our planet and its environment, until it regains its natural balance,” Sheikh Sabah said.

“In abiding by its international commitments, my country Kuwait has voluntarily put well-studied plans, based on scientific and economic research, within its available possibilities, to rehabilitate its oil installations, as its oil sector seeks to adopt a new strategy founded on scientific and economic grounds that aim to limit emissions, in addition to establishing mechanisms to improve energy efficiency, without jeopardizing its essential interests and its commitments to developing clean industry, while taking into consideration how to take advantage of the programs and the mechanisms established in the framework of the agreement,” the Amir noted.

Furthermore, Kuwait is voluntarily seeking to introduce renewable energy resources in its development plans to ensure a sustainable supply of energy for future generations and as part of its contribution to limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, as well as joining in the efforts of the international community to protect the climate system for present and future generations. In this context, I would like to assure you that we are about to complete the constitutional procedures for the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change,” the Amir said.

“With much hope, we look forward to seeing the global consciousness and awareness that we have sensed in the cooperation to limit the effects of climate change, reflect on the Marrakech Conference to constitute a turning point in addressing the impact of this phenomenon, and work towards achieving  the goals of the Paris Agreement through the adoption of resolutions for the phase preceding 2020 and beyond, in view of the amendments introduced and approved at the Doha Conference and to implement the items of the Paris Agreement,” HH the Amir added.

“My country Kuwait also hopes that developed countries will adhere to their pioneering role in reducing emissions and assisting developing countries by making resources available to finance the transfer of technology, building capacities, as well as adapting to the negative effects resulting from climate change and the negative effects arising from the response measures to reduce the impact of climate change, particularly countries whose economies depend on the production and export of fossil fuels as their main and only income,” he noted.

In conclusion, HH the Amir wished that the conference would be successful, and extended sincere thanks and gratitude to the Moroccan King, government and people for the warm welcome and generous hospitality.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for the “elimination of fossil fuel subsidies” to accelerate the transition to clean energy for the sake of the planet. Countries and businesses must do more to curtail global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions, he said at the annual UN climate conference. “We have no right to gamble with the fate of future generations or imperil the survival of other species that share our planet. I strongly urge all countries to increase the mitigation ambition of their national climate plans by 2018,” he said. “The private sector must also do much more, and I call for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies to accelerate the transition to clean energy.”

Ban said planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions must peak by 2020 and decline rapidly thereafter for the world to meet the UN goal of limiting average global warming to under two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Current country pledges to curb emissions “will not get us out of us the danger zone,” he warned. Last year was the warmest on record, the UN secretary-general noted, adding that 2016 “is virtually certain to be even hotter”.

“Today more than 150 million people live on land that could be submerged or suffer chronic flooding within this century, possibly causing massive waves of migration and instability,” Ban said. The choices we make today could have “catastrophic climate impacts” for thousands of years to come. “This is an enormous responsibility and an enormous opportunity to do what is right for our future,” said Ban, attending his last COP of the UN’s climate body before his term ends. – Agencies

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