By Guest Writer
OPINION: Editor, it’s important to note that COP stands for “Conference of the Parties. COP, is the decision-making body responsible for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Last year COP26 happened in Glasgow which was the 26th annual summit. Ahead of it, over 200 countries were asked for their plans to cut emissions by 2030. During the conference of parties, a lot of promises were made to help and support developing countries to increase on climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
First and foremost it was agreed that countries will meet next year to pledge further cut for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) a greenhouse gas which causes climate change.
The agreement pledged to significantly increase money to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change and make the switch to clean energy. More so, world leaders agreed to phase-out subsidies that artificially lower the price of coal, oil, or natural gas. However, no firm dates have been set.
More to that, leaders from more than 100 countries with about 85% of the world’s forests – promised to stop deforestation by 2030. This is seen as vital, as trees absorb vast amounts of CO2.
However it’s very unfortunate that more trees are being cut down, wetlands are being encroached on, hence making developing countries more vulnerable to climate change.
According to research, since 2021 , Uganda lost 49.2kha of tree cover equivalent to 23.5Mt of carbon emission.
During the conference of parties (COP26), countries agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions from human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally known as net zero between 2050 and 2100 and each country to set its own emission-reduction targets, reviewed every five years to raise ambitions. Its very unfair that uganda government have not yet formulated their adaptation plan.
More so, rich countries were supposed to help poorer nations by providing funding, known as climate finance, to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy. Last year they pledged 100 billion US dollar for to support climate finance which is still unfulfilled and this has caused loss and damage of the livelihoods and properties.
It should be noted thatCOP27 should build on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.
This year COP27 will take place in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt, from Nov. 6-18. As government representatives begin finalizing the agenda for the COP27 (the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) next month, they should make climate action as global priority.
And make sure that the promises made during COP26 are fulfilled because developing countries continue to suffer the vulnerability of climate change impacts.
Furthermore, It’s clear to note that we are in a life-or-death struggle for our own safety today and our survival tomorrow, because millions of people have died due to natural calamities of floods, drought that is caused by climate change.
It’s high time not to point fingers or twiddling thumbs but rather quantum level compromise between developed and emerging economies In addition, emissions are at an all-time high and rising.” Meaningful progress must be made to address loss and damage beyond countries’ abilities to adapt as well as financial support for climate action.
Decisions must be made now on the question of loss and damage as failure to act will lead to more loss of trust and more climate damage.
It’s important to note that COP27 should be the number one litmus test of how seriously governments take the growing climate toll on the most vulnerable countries.
More so, COP27 should urge action across prior agreements through all areas of climate change need with a focus on protecting people from the immediate impacts of climate change, ensuring no one is left behind.
As we approach to COP27, we need clarity from developed countries on the delivery of their 100 billion U.S. dollars pledge to support climate action in developing countries because since 2020 we “developing countries had never received the fund” why then make false promises to provide support towards climate finance and yet at COP26, counties adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact, which calls for a doubling of finance to support developing countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change and building resilience. More so, during COP , delegates should set date to phase-out subsidies that artificially lower the price of coal, oil, or natural gas which will help to transitioning to clean , cheap and affordable energy.
In addition, the Ugandan government should enforce the laws and policies to stop deforestation and the ministry of water and environment should put in place climate change regulations to help in climate change mitigation and adaptations since Uganda is among the 12th least countries experiencing climate change.
We therefore call upon UN leaders, COP delegates, Ministers and other relevant stake holders to seek renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the planet to increase on climate change resilience.
Climate change is really we therefore demand climate justice.
For God and my country
The author is Ireen Twongirwe, the Executive director, Women for Green Economy Movement Uganda.
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