Regional News of Thursday, 18 October 2012

Source: GNA

Let's commit Canada and US to Kyoto Protocol-AACC

The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) on Wednesday called on the Eighteenth Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 18) to develop an extension to the Kyoto Protocol for countries like Canada and United States to commit to it.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Most Rev Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, Vice President of the AACC for West Africa, made the call on behalf of the participants at the two-day Conference for the group in Accra.

The international interfaith conference sought to discuss the role faith based organizations could play in climate change adaptation and mitigation, challenges faced by churches and mosques in climate mitigation and adaptation and to seek the extent the churches and mosques have been working on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Most Rev. Aboagye-Mensah called on the Eighteenth Session of COP 18 to give support to developing countries that show commitments by registering their mitigation and adaptation plans.

He added that such countries needed to be provided with new non-concessional grants and predictable support.

Most Rev Aboagye-Mensah added that there was the need to support faith-based organizations in mobilizing at the grassroots to effectively respond to climate justice challenges.

“Such recognition must be in the form of financial, technical and human capacity among others”, he added.

Most Rev Aboagye-Mensah said there must be an agreement that required that developed countries should go beyond the set GHG emission targets in order to avert projected global emissions peak in 2015.

“Urgently accelerate the actualization of the Global Climate fund and mechanisms that were set up at COP 17 in Durban in December 2011”, he said.

Since the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force in 1995, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

The COP adopts decisions and resolutions, published in reports of the COP and successive decisions taken by the COP make up a detailed set of rules for practical and effective implementation of the Convention.

Most Rev. Aboagye-Mensah called on African governments to develop domestic resourcing strategies to finance local adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

“Recognise and mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies into national development plan involving key stakeholders like the youth and women and other marginalized groups within the countries”, he said.

He concluded by saying that “every lost moment in this very critical issue of climate change increases the irreversibility of the threat to dignified life and the future of Africa and the entire planet”.