Climate Change Negotiators in the Sub-Region on Thursday ended a regional preparatory meeting in Accra to discuss and coordinate their participation in the upcoming Climate Change Conference (COP 24) to be hosted in Katowice, Poland in December.
COP 24 is expected to validate the operating rules for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement and take stock of the efforts announced to ensure the effective implementation of the Agreement from 2020.
The Accra meeting hosted representatives from ECOWAS, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA) and the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, to update themselves on the regions climate priorities in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.
The three-day meeting was organised by the ECOWAS Commission aimed to construct guidance messages for negotiators, taking into account the results of research on global warming scenarios at 1.5 Celsius and 2 Celsius.
It helped participants to take stock of the work of the Bonn and Bangkok intercessional meetings held in May and September respectively, and the ongoing discussions on the rules and modalities for the implementation of the Paris Climate Change.
Participants also identified the main points of interest for the Region with regard to the ongoing discussions on the instruments of operationalisation of the Agreement.
The meeting also afforded the participants, the opportunity to inform and agree on activities planned by member states and regional organisations at COP24 and then agree on a plan for the coordinated participation of the region in the conference.
Mr John Pwamang, the Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), welcomed the participants on behalf of the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Environment, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng at the opening.
He expressed the hope that the meeting would equip them with adequate skills to negotiate on various thematic areas, particularly adaptation, finance, and mitigation.
Mr Seth Osafo, the Legal Advisor, African Group of Negotiators, said Africa’s participation in the COP was very important because it continued to bear the maximum impact of climate change, despite the Continent contributing three per cent of total Green House Gas emissions.
He said America and China contributed about 50 per cent of GHG emissions, and so they deserved to contribute higher towards global mitigation and adaptation measures.
Mr Safo emphasised the need to increase climate actions towards the protection of the planet for succeeding generations.
He urged the African negotiators, at the global level, to push forward the critical issues like health, agriculture and environment that were highly impacted upon by climate change.
Mr Safo said there was the need for countries to cooperate and collaborate while governments committed more funds to addressing climate impacts in the world.
During COP24, the developed countries are expected to report on how much they have committed towards addressing climate change impact, while the developing countries would recount how much they have received from the Global funds to mitigate and adapt to the phenomenon.
Various Heads of State are expected to be meeting on the first day of COP24, which would be held from December 3 to 14 in Poland, to issue a declaration that would influence the negotiations at the COP.
COP24 would also be attended by Ministers of State, NGOs, youth, women groups and various negotiators and delegates.
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