DOHA: Qatar gears up to host the biggest event in 2012, UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8) which will officially start next Monday and last up to 7th of December.
HE the General Coordinator for COP18/CMP8 and Chairman of its Executive Organizing Committee Abdulaziz bin Ahmed Al-Malki said that Doha has been actively preparing for the Conference for a year. The preparations are now in their final stages. The mass transport system for participants has been organized and marked clearly with COP18/CMP8 branding. Our volunteers have been briefed and are waiting to welcome the delegates and visitors arriving in Doha. I am pleased with the hard work that the team has put in and I hope that their efforts will ensure the Conference runs smoothly."
More than 400 vehicles has been prepared, and will be used to provide environmentally friendly transport for delegates and visitors. Traffic is expected to increase during COP18/CMP8. To help residents and participants, as well as to cut emissions, the United Nations prevents all but the 194 head of delegation cars from driving to Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). In place of cars, organizers have put in place a system of free, efficient buses throughout the city that will transport official delegates, including the top level organizers, to and from the QNCC.
The Ministry of Interior and Civil Defense force have established a comprehensive plan for the security of the event, which will be both extensive and unobtrusive. Security forces have planned for every eventuality, and will also provide support for all city events linked to the conference.
About 17,000 people (delegates and visitors) from 194 nations will attend COP18/CMP8 – making it Doha’s largest ever conference. There will be about 1,500 journalists from Qatar, the region and the world, including at least 100 TV stations to cover the event as well as more than 7,000 members of non-governmental organizations.
Qatar which formed Organizing Committee a year back to host the event has succeeded to attract more than 2,500 volunteers from Qatar's residents for the conference.
While the Confrere will not officially begin until next Monday, delegations from dozens of countries are gathering now in Doha to set out their negotiating positions ahead of the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8).
Among the negotiating parties holding closed door meetings at the pre-sessions are the Least Developed Countries group (LDC), the Small Island Developing States Group (SIDS), the African Group (AG) and the G77 plus China.
They are discussing the issues that each country faces as a result of climate change and what they would like brought to the table at COP18/CMP8 in order to present a unified voice at the talks.
The LDC group is made up of 48 countries; 33 in Africa, 14 in Asia and the Pacific and one in Latin America, representing the poorest nations in the world.
They comprise more than 880 million people - about 12% of world population - but account for less than 2% of global GDP and about 1 per cent of global trade in goods.
It was announced this month that South Sudan would become the latest member of the LDC group.
The Group of 77 is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and negotiating capacity at UN talks. There were 77 founding members and the original name has been kept due to its historical significance, despite its expansion to 132 members. China has been a "special invitee" since the Gabon meetings of 1981.
The pre-sessions will also include the next regular meeting of the executive board overseeing the Clean Development Mechanism, which regulates emission-reduction projects in developing countries.
These projects earn countries certified emission reductions, each equivalent to one tone of CO2, which can be traded and sold on carbon markets and used by industrialized countries to meet some of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
The pre-sessions to COP18/CMP8 started November 19 an last until next Friday at the Sheraton Doha.
Since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force in 1994, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC has been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change. The COP is the "supreme body" of the Convention, its highest decision-making authority. The COP is an association of all the countries that are Parties to the Convention.
There are now 195 parties to the convention taking part in climate change negotiations. All parties to the UNFCCC are represented at the COP at which they review the implementation of the convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions to promote the effective implementation of the convention.
Successive decisions taken by the COP make up a set of rules for practical and effective implementation of the convention. In 2010, governments agreed that emissions need to be reduced so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2 degrees Celsius.
The COP is assisted by two subsidiary bodies. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) links scientific, technical and technological assessments, the information provided by competent international bodies, and the policy-oriented needs of the COP. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) was created to develop recommendations to assist the COP in reviewing and assessing implementation of the Convention and in preparing and implementing its decisions. (QNA)