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Middle East
20 Nov 2016

World species are waiting for a serious implementation of the climate deal

World species are waiting for a serious implementation of the climate deal
By Majd Abu Zaghlan
Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the planet, and current levels of adaptation and adaptation support are insufficient to protect people and nature from its impacts. This year is on track to become the hottest ever recorded and experts stress that if the warming continues, threats to humans and biodiversity will increase and become more intense. Our economic system is incompatible with life on this planet and although some species will be able to adapt, the majority will not.
 
The climate summit in Paris last year announced a legally binding agreement for all developed and developing countries to reduce their emissions  in order to keep the global rise in temperature this century well below 2 degrees Celsius,  and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This treaty, called the Paris Agreement, entered into force on 4 November 2016.
 
The Paris Agreement promotes the use of renewable energy technologies and calls for changes in land and forest management methods. The agreement promotes investment in a low-emissions economy to help the world face climate change.
 
To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows has to be raised, and it must be made possible for both developing countries and the most vulnerable to take stronger action, in line with their own national objectives. 
 
Developed countries committed to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020, and they have agreed to continue mobilizing finance at this level until 2025 and come up with a concrete roadmap.
 
One year on from the Paris Agreement, 197 Parties are now gathering at the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakesh, Morocco to discuss the challenges ahead, opportunities for sustainable development, and the role of financing in the implementation of national contributions to reduce the effects of climate change.
Despite the increase in international funding for developing countries in recent years, they still receive only 20 to 25 percent of the investment they need; the developed countries will need to double their contributions to finance climate adaptation efforts in developing countries.
 
For the Middle East, discussing these adaptation needs and making it binding is crucial, as it is currently unclear when this will be decided and which countries will be responsible for it. This COP at Marrakech could offer an important opportunity to provide a roadmap for climate financing.
 
The climate financing mechanism for developing countries faced a huge challenge during COP22 because while the industrial countries pledged at Copenhagen to mobilize $ 100 billion a year by 2020 up to 2025, the public and private funds by donor countries reached only $ 62 billion in 2014.
 
Other key issues that require significant progress include the long-term adaptation finance goals and improving rules for accounting for climate finance, in the context of the US$100 billion roadmap. The need for real balance between mitigation and adaptation expenditures — as well as finding ways to finance loss and damage — are essential to move the finance agenda forward.
 
BirdLife believes it is important that the COP22 adopts a decision that clarifies the role of the Adaptation Fund under the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, according to the roadmap, adaptation finance is only projected to account for about 20% of the USD100 billion by 2020. BirdLife stresses the importance of scaling up adaptation finance and promoting greater parity between mitigation and adaptation support.
 
The Paris Agreement sets up a process to establish modalities for accounting and reporting on climate finance. BirdLife encourages governments to adopt a clear work program at COP22 to ensure that the modalities of financial accounting have been developed by no later than 2018.
 
All world species are waiting for a serious implementation of the climate deal and we urgently need to motivate action.