Take on climate change: Emir

December 05, 2012 - 5:51:04 am

The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the COP18 Gala Dinner held at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha yesterday. Maher Attar

By Satish Kanady

DOHA: The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has called for urgent need for international cooperation and multilateral global action to counter the risk of climate change. Negotiating process on climate change convention should emanate from a sense of  global unity and collective initiative, he said while addressing the opening ceremony of the high-level segment of COP18/CMP8 here yesterday.

The session was attended by H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser,  the Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, COP18/CMP8 President H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah,  UN Secretary-General  Ban Ki-moon, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres,  and Kuwait Emir H H Sheikh Sabah  Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, and Vuk Jeremic, President of the UN General Assembly.

Addressing the session that saw leaders  highlighting  the risk from climate change in a single voice, the Emir underscored the need for reaching the right equilibrium between the development goals of the countries and their commitment to protect the planet earth. The responsibility for reaching a practical and effective agreement is a collective obligation that falls on the shoulders of all of us, he said.

The Emir encouraged the developed countries to honour their commitments, in terms of providing support to the developing countries. He also called for finding a solution that balances between the energy needs of countries, and the necessity of reducing global warming.

“The negative effects of climate change are extremely grave on the tracks of sustainable development aspired by all, and it would not be acceptable to decide solutions for it at the expense of development… therefore no country would be able to find a haven in the past theories of  ‘isolationism’ because the causes of environmental damage have no borders,” he said.

Qatar  is among the countries that are susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change and needs to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hence it has paid great attention to the environmental issues and made them one of the mainstays of its National Vision 2030. 
To achieve the long-term environmental goal, Qatar National Strategy 2011-2016 included a set of measurable goals like enhancing efficient use of gas and energy, restricting the use of  waste materials and recycling them, safeguarding biodiversity and enhancing knowledge and deepening national commitment towards the environment issues.
Elaborating on Qatar’s commitment to sustainable development, the Emir said the country is increasingly focusing on clean energy. Tapping of renewable energy has been initiated through the construction of solar industry infrastructure,. The country has launched a factory   to produce pure silicon as well as adopting the green buildings projects that use solar energy. 
The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has plans to  generate at least 2 percent of  Qatar’s total generation of power through solar by 2020. “Qatar is open and welcome any assistance that could help us find eh ebst ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
These efforts are not confined to the Ministries and governmental organs but transcend them to include our major companies, both in the government and private sectors. Al Shaheen Project is considered as one of the major exemplary clean development projects that aim at reducing  carbon dioxide emissions. 
The ceremony began with a documentary presented by a young Qatari medical student, who reminded the world of  its responsibility to take urgent steps to face climate change challenges.
The Peninsula