‘Local action needed’ for UAE’s global commitment to climate change goals

In a signing ceremony at the United Nations on Wednesday, the UAE and 19 other countries formally bound their governments to the agreement made in COP 21 last year in Paris, which includes reducing global warming to less than 1.5°C.

ABU DHABI // A countrywide plan is needed so the UAE can fulfil the climate change goals it signed up to in Paris last year, an environment expert said.

At the United Nations on Wednesday, the UAE became the first Middle Eastern country to ratify the Paris Agreement – an environmental pact that includes striving to reduce global warming to less than 1.5°C.

“Unabated climate change will result in substantial impacts on our food, energy and water supplies,” said Tanzeed Alam, climate and energy director for the Emirates Wildlife Society.

“The UAE’s global commitments needed to be translated into local actions such as more renewable energy on the ground, energy-efficient buildings across the UAE and fuel-efficient vehicles widely available.”

Mr Alam said countries needed to ramp up their ambition towards the agreement, as the current level of support was insufficient to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Of the 175 countries that signed the Paris Agreement, 60 governments, whose countries produce 48 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it. To take effect, the agreement must be ratified by sufficient countries to cover at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The 22nd annual Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Cop 22) will take place in Marrakech, Morocco, in November.

nalwasmi@thenational.ae

Published: September 22, 2016 04:00 AM

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