Ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change

Ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change

Namibia, as a developing country vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, went to Paris with an overall goal to adopt a new global climate agreement as outlined in the Durban mandate. It was, therefore, imperative that the 2015 Paris Agreement be premised on the recognition of development needs and poverty eradication priorities of developing countries, while emphasising the necessary leadership of developed countries in climate action.

In an effort to join the global community to address climate change, Namibia submitted her ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in which we outlined both adaptation and mitigation components: a sign of our resolve to address adaptation and mitigation measures. The implementation of this INDC is fully conditioned to the provision of the differential 90 percent of means of implementation required such as finance, technology transfer and the associated capacity building from Annex1 Parties as stipulated under Article 4 of the UNFCCC.

At the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015, 197 countries agreed to a first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal known as the Paris Agreement. Our president, Dr Hage G. Geingob signed the intent of ratification of the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016 in New York.

We welcome the outcome of the Agreement particularly that the obligations under the Paris Agreement are set out in “the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication”.

On mitigation, we agreed to keep the global rise in temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and that we will pursue efforts to limit temperature rise even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

On adaptation, we agreed to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with, and recover from climate impacts and recognition of the importance of averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events.

We hope that support will be provided to developing country Parties as agreed, including financial support, to assist us with respect to our mitigation and adaptation obligations. The US$100 billion a year climate finance commitment up to 2020 assistance has been extended to 2025 with a commitment to further provide finance beyond this date. On transparency system and accountability, the Paris Agreement suggests that each Party shall contribute to the common goal by setting and communicating Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) with respect to emission reduction targets with a view to renew its ambitions every five years. It was also agreed that further INDCs be more ambitious than the previous ones.

Lastly, we welcome the implementation of the Paris Agreement particularly the evaluation, which will be undertaken every five years where upon each country must account for its climate actions.

In view of the above, the provisions of the Paris Agreement are consistent with the overarching objective of Article 95(1) of the Namibian Constitution which stipulates that the Government of Namibia shall maintain ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilisation of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future. In addition, the Agreement provides

Namibia with a number of opportunities to strengthen its adaptation and mitigation measures.
As the Paris Agreement is planned to enter into force after 2020, we also welcome the decisions calling for enhanced action before 2020. We are aware that the obligations of the Paris Agreement set the stage for future efforts, collaborations and cooperation among Parties. We are also aware that there is still a lot of work ahead. In this regard, Namibia avails itself on future engagements and negotiations that will seek to implement the Paris Agreement.

• This is the Motion of the Ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that the Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta tabled before Parliament on Wednesday this week.

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