Two-day climate meeting begins in Abu Dhabi

Peace Kanu, Abuja

The Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, Capital of the United Arab Emirates, UAE.

The United Nations in collaboration with the Government of the United Arab Emirates, is hosting a two day climate meeting that has begun in Abu Dhabi.

The meeting aims to spur leaders into action as they gather to outline the agenda and draft resolutions to be tabled at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September 2019.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, called for greater support to help develop the green economy.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

According to him, the world faces a battle for its survival.

He said that despite the existential threat, not everyone was confronting the problem with due focus.

“The world is facing a grave climate emergency – disruption is happening now and faster than top scientists predict. Every week brings more devastation, floods, drought and…superstorms. All around the world, people are losing their homes and forced to migrate.

“The situation only gets worse and we must act now with urgency. We have no time to lose,” he said.

The Secretary General therefore called for bold actions in the areas of renewable energy, emissions reductions and sustainable infrastructure.

He also called for sustainable agriculture, management of forests and oceans.

“The situation is urgent. In many major economies, emissions continue to grow and time is running out for us to take the action needed to keep the rise in global temperature below 2 degrees – the goal set by the Paris Agreement.

Unfortunately, the current commitments that countries have made to reduce emissions will not achieve this goal and, in fact, are leading us to a world that will be at least 3 degrees warmer by the end of the century. On top of this, the finance that’s needed to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change has not yet come close to the US$100 billion a year promised by the developed world,” he explained.

The Secretary-General will convene over 1,700 people at the Abu Dhabi meeting including youth delegates, ministers and leaders from business and civil society from over 160 countries around the world.

Nigerian delegation

Nigeria is among 1,000 delegates from participating at the ongoing United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Climate Change and Environment High-level Climate meeting to discuss emerging political issues on climate change.

Mr Seyifunmi Adebote who is the Leader of Nigeria’s Youth Delegate to the meeting and also the State Coordinator, International Climate Change Development Initiative, said Nigeria’s delegation was led by Prof. Adeshola Adepoju, the Director-General, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.

He said also representing Nigeria at the meeting was Samuel Makwe, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN.

“It is expected that the Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting will be the global milestone for the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit which will hold in New York, U. S. on Sept. 23.

“Nigeria, being a member country of Youth Engagement and Public Mobilisation, one of the Summit’s nine transformational areas has shown its commitment towards mobilising people to take action on climate change and ensure that young people are integrated and represented,” he stated.

According to Samira Ibrahim, another Nigerian delegate and a climate specialist: “This event is very important for Nigeria, we are not here to just talk.

“Our job is to show leaders that the ideas and initiatives of young people around the world are driving landmark Climate Actions.

“We want leaders to know the work that is being done, share feedbacks and make stronger commitments that will scale these Climate Actions,” he explained.

Officials hope the event will help accelerate efforts in combating climate change, as agreed by 186 member states under the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Peace PIAK