Ban Lauds CSOs for Making Paris Climate Accord a Reality

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – Less than two months before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concludes his second term, he has described the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change on November 4 “an emotional moment” for him, “a credit” to all civil society organizations (CSOs), and “historic for the world”.

He praised CSOs for their leadership, commitment and engagement, inviting them to “work together to make this world better for all”. In rather impassioned remarks, he said: “Today we celebrate, reflect and give thanks. I am deeply grateful to all of you and your organizations – representing millions of people. At a time when civil society is under attack in so many parts of the world, you have shown that citizens’ groups are essential partners for progress.”

Beware of Euphoria as Paris Climate Accord Enters into Force

By Jaya Ramachandran

BERLIN (IDN) – United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and independent experts are cautioning against euphoria about the entry into force of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change.

Ahead of the forthcoming meeting of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known by the acronym COP 22, beginning on November 7 in Marrakech. Morocco, UNEP’s annual Emissions Gap report said the world must cut a further 25% from predicted 2030 greenhouse gas emissions, “to meet the stronger, and safer, target of 1.5 degrees Celsius” global temperature rise.

Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland Discusses Sustainability

By Lowana Veal

REYKJAVIK (IDN) – With over 2,000 participants, including 400 speakers, the fourth Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik was a hive of activity and networking on everything to do with the Arctic. The event has become the largest Arctic event globally.

The concept of the gathering October 7-9 was devised by Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who until a few months ago had been President of Iceland and had put considerable time into Arctic matters and climate change. Grimsson still plays a central role in the Assembly.

New Partnership to Implement Paris Climate Change Agreement

By Jutta Wolf

BERLIN (IDN) – Many developing countries have made their first ever commitment to complying with climate targets with the adoption of the Paris Agreement endorsed in December 2015. A new partnership – initiated jointly by the German Ministry for the Environment and that for Economic Cooperation and Development together with the World Resources Institute (WRI) – now aims to help them transform these targets into specific strategies and measures.

The initiative aims at supporting developing countries in specifying and implementing their nationally determined contributions and help them unify existing climate and development goals with a view to achieving greater harmonisation of various donor programmes. The partnership will be officially launched at the Marrakesh climate conference (COP22) in November.

India Challenges WTO Ruling Against Climate Action

Analysis by Ravi Kanth Devarakonda *

GENEVA (IDN | SOUTHNEWS) – India along with other developing countries appears now to be facing an acid test in global climate change negotiations and at the WTO on how to ensure that their efforts to build robust domestic industries for manufacturing solar cells, solar modules and other products for renewable energy takes precedence over profits-driven trade rules framed by the United States and other developed countries, according to several negotiators.

On April 20, India took the first step by challenging a WTO panel ruling in favour of the United States that overly dismissed the domestic content requirements adopted by India for promoting solar cells and solar modules industries for producing renewable energy.

Bangladesh Taking Action to Mitigate Potentially ‘Catastrophic’ Climate Change

Analysis by Naimul Haq

BHOLA (IDN) – Bangladesh is one of the world’s countries worst affected by the global warming impact of climate change caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – extreme weather events such tropical cyclones, severe floods, rainstorms and river erosion, extreme heat waves and unexpected droughts on vast stretches of land are on the rise.

The country’s coastal regions face a rising sea level, higher tides and saline water intrusion which is already encroaching further inland and destroying agricultural opportunities.

The effect of greenhouse gas emissions along Bangladesh’s coast is already evident and experts predict it could be “catastrophic” if appropriate action is not taken now.

Despite efforts to increase resilience, climate challenges continue to result in large economic losses, reducing economic growth and slowing progress in reducing poverty.

Jobs and Climate Asian Development Bank’s Top Priorities as it Turns 50

Analysis by Jaya Ramachandran

FRANKFURT (IDN) – Creating quality jobs, developing the private sector, and combating climate change to ensure a vibrant and sustainable Asia top the agenda of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as it marks its fiftieth anniversary this year.

According to Bank President Takehiko Nakao, over the last decade, Asia has grown about 7% annually, even after the global financial crisis. This has supported global growth, he said in the opening address at the 49th Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors – for the first time held in Germany – from May 2 to 5.

China is expected to grow 6.5% this year, down from 6.9% last year, reflecting its transformation to a new growth model. The region as a whole is projected to grow by a robust 5.7% in 2016, said Nakao.

India, with projected growth of 7.4%, is now the fastest growing large economy. Indonesia is expected to grow 5.2% in 2016, higher than last year despite the negative impact from lower commodity prices. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Viet Nam are gaining growth momentum backed by reform efforts.

Environmental Fund Taps Six for Major ‘Green Prize’

NEW YORK (IDN | GIN) – Once the ancestral land of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers, the Tarangire national park in Tanzania found itself in the crosshairs of tourist developers carving up the wilderness for fancy lodges, luxury tents and other rich tourist amenities.

Lands once shared with the wildebeest, the zebra, and majestic old baobab trees were being “grabbed” by government or companies, without compensation to the Masaai and Hadzaba who resided there.

As countries around the world prepared to mark Earth Day on April 22, the Goldman Environmental Foundation honoured six grassroots leaders including Edward Loure of Tanzania for defending lands at risk from profit-seeking developers.

UNFCCC Chief Praises UAE Founder’s Vision at Crown Prince’s Court

ABU DHABI – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has abundant opportunities to diversify its economy away from oil as a result of the impulse of the Paris Agreement, the head of the UN climate convention said to a distinguished audience at the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Addressing the Court, Christiana Figueres said opportunities ranged from displacing coal on world markets via low cost gas supplies to ramping up the global deployment of renewable energy.

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