The controversial duality: Science and politics

 18 Nov 2017 - 15:11

The catastrophic speculations of climate change adverse effects in so many places in the world including Asia, the Caribbean and the United States highlights the urgency of taking a serious action to mitigate the deterministic consequences of climate change. Ensuring the full implementation of Paris Agreement and Sustainable development goals, COP23 has kicked last week in Bonn, whereas world leaders and decision makers from 196 countries are meeting to follow the spent efforts to implement the previous pledges.

It worth mentioning that the current conference organised by Bonn-base UN climate change (UNFCCC) is governed by the small developing pacific island state of Fiji and organisationally and logistically supported by G7 member Germany, with further commendable support from Germany state of North-Rhine-Westphalia and the City of Bonn.  The vision for the current presidency of COP23 is mainly to forge agenda condition to accelerate climate action before 2020 and beyond between civil society, the scientific community and all levels of government and regions.

In his opening plenary statement, the newly elected President of 23rd session of the UNFCCC, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji, declared that, “the need for urgency is obvious. Our world is in distress from the extreme weather events caused by climate change – destructive hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts, melting ice, and changes to agriculture that threaten our food security”.

In the shade of such unprecedented events, he said, “Our job as leaders is to respond to that suffering with all means available to us. This includes our capacity to work together to identify opportunities in the transition we must take. We must not fail our people.  That means using the next two weeks and the year ahead to do everything we can to make the Paris Agreement work to advance ambition and support for climate action before 2020”. 

This conference does not only demonstrate the rising consciousness of countries, governments, projects and civil society, but also to progress further and faster the previous plans. It aims also to cooperate and coordinate all parties to make a notable united impact. This agreed global development agenda suggests all countries should frankly start to cut greenhouse emissions, which aggravates the problem much faster than what the collective conscious can imagine. It also demands to review together the way we use energy in terms of production and consumption, as well as rethink around the way we manufacture and build.

This comes along with Qatar participation in COP23, and in this regard, the Assistant Undersecretary in the Environmental Affairs at Ministry of Municipality and Environment Mr Ahmad Al-Sada mentioned that, “Qatar intends to take part in order to face the challenge of Climate Change consequences by committing the Paris Agreement and promoting objectives of the current presidency”. 

While the Director of Climate Change Department in the same ministry Mr Abdualhadi Al-Marri said that, “We always put Paris Agreement into consideration as well as our commitment and priority to implement the Environmental aspect of Qatar Vision 2030 which agrees with the sustainable development”. 

The Qatar negotiating team begin its agenda of the (COP 23) which is expected to close by the end of this week. The negotiating team consists of different official bodies including; Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Ministry of Transportation and Communication, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar General Electricity & Water Cooperation (Kahramaa) and Qatar University.

Has the sustainsim era already started?  Post the previous climate change conference, it seems that great advances continued to be made. After (COP 22) alone, these are just a few of many examples.

•    China announces five pilot zones for “green finance” where financial institutions will provide incentive to fast track environmentally-friendly industries and new financing mechanisms such as emissions trading will be deployed.

•    The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issues disclosure requirements for the issuing and listing of green debt securities.

•    Several countries including France and United Kingdom announce dates when fossil fuels cars will be gone in favour of new electric vehicles.

•    Over 100 multinational companies pledge to source 100 per cent for their renewable energy for their operations under an initiative called RE100 by

The Climate Group

•    Over 250 US mayors commit to procure 100 per cent renewable energy for their cities by 2035.

•    Moody’s reports green bond issuance worldwide could cross US$200 billion in 2017, doubling the 2016 record.

•    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) develops green bond listing requirements in line with international best practice.

To conclude, although some great achievements have been seen this year, the climate change issue remains controversial whereas the climate justice need to be applied evenly. It is unfortunate to see poor and under-developing countries pay bills of the huge manufacturing that took place centuries ago by developed countries. For me, the solution in this regard may take longer what have been proposed in Paris, nevertheless, that does not mean Paris Agreement has failed, but the collective consciousness needs to realise that the spent long time to negotiate this problem and the accompanied danger of not responding to the issue may lead to further consequences.

The writer is a graduate from University of Nottingham and Bachelor of Environmental Science.