By Musa Ilallah
Though the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference known as COP26 being held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the Presidency of Alok Sharma, a British Minister of State and member of UK Parliament will soon come to a close, its memories will remain with us for as long as we can remember.
The conference is the 26th Conference of the Parties, COP to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC and the third meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement.
This conference is the first time since COP21 that parties are expected to commit to enhanced ambition towards mitigating climate change. Parties are required to carry out every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, a process colloquially known as the ‘ratchet mechanism’ to give new national pledges.
Originally scheduled to be held in November 2020, the event was postponed for twelve months because of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the World last year.
To take a look at the famous Paris Agreement which gave rise to the COP summits, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.
The Paris Agreement builds upon the Convention and for the first time, brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so. As such, it charts a new course in the global climate effort.
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Additionally, the agreement aims to increase the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, and at making finance flows consistent with a low green house gas, GHG emissions and climate-resilient pathway. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate mobilization and provision of financial resources, a new technology framework and enhanced capacity-building is to be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives.
The Agreement also provides for an enhanced transparency framework for action and support.
The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
There will also be a global stocktake every five years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties.
The Paris Agreement opened for signature on 22 April 2016 – Earth Day – at UN Headquarters in New York.
In his opinion which was widely publicised prior to attending the summit, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria had declared that the global Climate Crisis Will Not be Fixed by Causing an Energy Crisis in Africa.
According to PMB, ‘but because of their serious warnings from the powerful nations, we must not do so rashly. It is an inconvenient truth, but energy solutions proposed by those most eager to address the climate crisis are fuel for the instability of which they warn.’
“For today’s 1.3 billion Africans, access to low-cost and reliable energy is the highest of all possible concerns. This population is estimated to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050. While by 2100 Nigeria alone is projected to have the second largest population on the planet—this ‘great doubling’ has the right to more dependable electricity than their forebears.
African nations must remain vigilant and steadfast in not allowing themselves to be lured by the rehtorics of the developed world under whatever guise. A word is enough for the wise.
EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET ABUJA