Global Climate Change Accord Expected Today


New Vision , Paris, France

Negotiators at the UN climate talks in Paris could come up with a global agreement on climate change today Friday, hoping to shield mankind from climate disaster.

For the last two weeks, the negotiators have been busy in talks at La Bouget in Paris, France. If reached, the new international climate accord will be adopted in Paris and later be executed from 2020.

But what is worrying is that by yesterday afternoon, there was little breakthrough on some of the contentious issues. The draft agreement that was released Wednesday reflected major disagreements between countries on key issues such as defining the responsibilities of developed and developing countries and the availing of funds to help the most vulnerable nations. Poor countries are calling for more funds to help them deal with the impacts of climate change which they blame on rich nations that are emitting high levels of carbon.               

The other contentious issue involved divergence on temperature goals, whether the increase in global average temperature should be kept below 2 degrees Celsius, well below 2 degrees or below 1.5 degrees. Two degrees is the risk zone for the global temperature. If nothing is done now to reverse the current carbon emissions track of countries, the increase in global average temperature will clock 5.2 degrees Celsius by 20100 according to a United Nations report. This would result in severe droughts, changing planting seasons, hailstorms, floods and outbreak of several diseases, among other issues. To limit the global temperature, countries around the world need to cut their carbon emissions.

The 43-page draft agreement was also criticized by observers and pressure groups for being weak on how poor countries are going to enhance their capacity to cut carbon emissions before and after 2020.   

China is the leading emitter of carbon emission followed by USA. Uganda contributes only 0.09% of global greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere.

Uganda’s Water and Environment Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu who is Paris attending the talks says a climate change accord would help to safeguard developing countries from a climate catastrophe.

"I hope we come up with a legally binding global agreement to limit greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere; with funds to implement it especially among developing countries, which don't have the means to protect their people from disasters," he said.

He also says the accord should be gender-sensitive.

While addressing a breakfast meeting of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment at the Paris conference, Uganda’s state minister for environment, Flavia Nabugere Munaaba said the inclusion of gender specific text in the draft agreement continues to be a challenge.

"Climate change continues to negatively impact on the lives of men and women and in particular that of women whose productive and reproductive roles are intertwined with the use of natural resources," she noted

Last evening, the Jamaican international artist Jean Paul told a press conference in Paris where the climate talks are going on that he is committed to using his music to lift people's spirits for tackling climate change.

"Lifting spirits is something art does, we have the gift of being able to create things, human beings I'm talking about. It gives you a lift of spirit and so we created a song to lift spirits," said Jean who performed his "Love Song to the Earth" last night at the climate summit.