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Compiled Sanet van Zijl
President Hage Geingob signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on Friday in New York, America during a ceremony of the United Nations (UN).
The event was historic in that 175 member countries have signed the agreement. It is the first time in the history of the UN that this many member countries has taken action to sign the agreement on the opening day.
The Paris Agreement was accepted in December 2015 at the 21st session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21) in Paris, France.
The participation of so many countries and the presence of this many world leaders shows that the world is ready to fight climate change. It is of utmost importance now that the agreement on climate change is implemented as quickly as possible.
Currently 197 parties are part of the UNFCCC. The Paris Agreement has to be signed and ratified in each country and then only can it be implemented. Friday was only the start of the signing, as member countries have a year to sign the agreement.
The Paris Agreement is a thorough framework which will serve as a guideline in international attempts to limit greenhouse emissions and to meet all challenges of climate change head on. The agreement demands that all countries prepare nationally determined contributions (NDC) every five years, which must be more challenging than their preceding commitment. In their NDCs, the states should specify which pursuits would be undertaken and plans executed in order to alleviate and adjust to climate change. They must also publicly divulge on their national greenhouse gas emissions and supply the information needed to evaluate progress in applying their contributions.
The first thing that needs to happen is that the average temperature worldwide needs to decrease by two degrees Celsius. Secondly, a Green Climate Fund needs to be launched so that a yearly U$100 000 billion capital can be saved to be used for member countries’ needs. Namibia needs about N$457 billion to decrease greenhouse emissions by 90% by the year 2030.