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Hope alive as Kenya, other nations make solid climate pledges

By Mark Oloo | Updated Sat, November 19th 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3

This year’s climate change talks concluded in Morocco yesterday, with Kenya and other countries pledging to keep up the momentum in fighting global warming.

Countries at the conference declared they would fully implement their domestic action plans and honour financial commitments made under the UN-led negotiations to combat climate change.

And making a case for poor nations, Heads of States and government called for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology from developed to developing countries.

At the end of the talks yesterday, developed countries reaffirmed they would fully contribute to ensure the USD $100 billion required to mobilise action is raised.

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Proposals were also made to raise funds to assist Least Developed Countries (LDCs) adapt to climate change. It is estimated that between US$56 billion and US$73 billion is required for adaptation in developing countries annually.

Heads of States and government said they would remain loyal to all the agreements.

“We call for all parties to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture,” they said in a communique dubbed the Marrakech Action Proclamation.

Blocking progress

The Kenyan delegation was led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who assured the international community that Kenya was making progress in its efforts to fight climate change through vibrant legislative and policy frameworks. Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judy Wakhungu also attended the talks.

More than 80 Heads of State and government took part in the high-level segment of the talks alongside UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change boss Patricia Espinosa.

However, climate financing was a thorny issue at the two-week summit, with LDCs accusing developed countries of reneging on their pledges to contribute to the climate fund.

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“Developed countries are blocking progress,” Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, chairman of LDC negotiators said, insisting financing for mitigation must take care of the needs of developing countries “because the process needs a clear roadmap.”

Countries represented including the US acknowledged that effects of global warming had reached alarming levels, and said honouring the Paris agreement brokered last year was a priority.

“Our task now is to rapidly build on that momentum, together, moving forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals,” the leaders said.

Under the historic Paris agreement, which came into force early this month, a record 200 countries agreed to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. It came into force this month and its implementation will require cuts in use of fossil fuels. The deal has already been ratified by 109 countries.

The next climate change conference will be held in Bonn, Germany in 2017.

Some 20,000 people attended this year’s conference.

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