NewsSouthern AfricaPost Paris climate talks gather momentum at Women's Forum


Posted on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 14:19

Post Paris climate talks gather momentum at Women's Forum

By Crystal Orderson in Port Louis

France's climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana. Photo©Thibault Camus/AP/SIPA"A little miracle happened in Paris" when countries attending the COP 21, concluded an agreement aimed at limiting climate change to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol, says French ambassador for international climate negotiations Laurence Tubiana.

Tubiana was addressing delegates at the Women's Forum in Mauritius and reflected on the challenges countries faced during the Conference of the Parties, known as COP 21 climate talks.

There is urgency for small islands. We do need to change our habits urgently

"It was a delicate moment, COP 21 was ambitious, 175 countries signed and now it's time for action," Tubiana said.

More than 300 participants from more than 40 countries are meeting in Mauritius to debate climate and health solutions, ways to advance innovation in agriculture, health and land use and sustainable energy as well as water and sanitation in Africa.

Paris delivered the long-term emission reduction goals that obliged countries to plan their climate action up to 2025/2030.

While the Paris agreement has "political approval, the legal approval now lies within member states to ratify the climate agreements in the various Parliaments," Tubiana added.

The talks, now set to move to Marrakesh in Morocco, have been billed as the "action COP."

Countries will also meet every five years from 2018 to evaluate where they have come from and what each nation must do to meet the overall target of saving the world from the worst ravages of climate change.

The issue of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and how they are dealing with changing weather patterns have also come under the spotlight at the Mauritius meeting.

Mauritius' Environment minister Marie Roland Alian Wong Yen Cheong said small economies such as her country needed investment in renewable energy but the costs were high.

"We are highly reliant on fossil fuel, it's a big problem, we have the wind and the sun and it's a big challenge," she said.

Tubiana said SIDS were committed to using 100 percent renewable energy and can show the world that such a switch was possible.

"There is urgency for small islands," Tubiana said. "We do need to change our habits urgently."

Mauritiys President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim said there was "fierce urgency of now" and emphasised the necessity of "the involvement of one and all, especially, women at all levels to tackle the adverse effects of a changing climate."

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