01 Dec, 2012 |
COP18/CMP8 entered the crucial phase of climate change negotiations on Day 9 with world leaders issuing a clarion call for urgent global action at the opening of the High Level Segment of the conference.
Elsewhere, Qatar took a further step towards its goal of a low carbon future by joining a scheme to share data among researchers and engineers across international borders. And the ninth Hikma session saw a full house discuss ways to adapt to climate change in the Arab region
The High Level ceremony began with a dramatic film presented by a young Qatari medical student, who reminded delegates of their responsibility to agree adequate measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change.
The ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the President of COP18/CMP8 Doha, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, H.H. Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, and H.E. Vuk Jeremic, President of the UN General Assembly.
H.H. Sheikh Hamad said that climate change had repercussions for all human beings, rich and poor, adding that the resolutions from the Doha conference would “determine what we bequeath to future generations”.
Mr. Al-Attiyah said: “This conference in Doha and the negotiations that will follow over the next year represent an historical turning point … It is no secret that climate change is one of the most urgent challenges awaiting humanity and calls for action from the international community.
“We should all deploy serious efforts to reach cooperative, constructive negotiations.”
“No country can find a haven in isolation,” he said, in a clear message to developed nations to play their part in finding solutions and reducing emissions. “We have to be far sighted,” he said. He called on developed countries to fulfill their obligations” to help developing countries.
Meanwhile, Qatar signed up to the Global Atlas for Renewable Resources, hoping to speed up a process that can lead to new technologies for clean energy.
The atlas is an online information system that maps data related to wind and solar energy and will soon to be expanded to include geo-thermal, bio-thermal, and marine energy. It is an initiative of the United Arab Emirates-based International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) whose director general Adnan Z. Amin was a signatory on Tuesday when the ‘letter of interest’ was signed by Issa Shaheen al-Ghanim, representing Qatar’s Ministry of Industry and Energy.
Tuesday’s Hikma event was organised by the League of Arab States (LAS) and United Nations (UN) organisations and attended by representatives from many regional groups.
During the event, which was called “Climate Change Vulnerability and Impact Assessment: Initiatives for Adaptation in the Arab Region,” five panellists outlined regional projects which have been launched to assess climate change impacts.
Speaking at the event, Ashraf Nour Shalaby, from LAS Cairo, outlined the Arab Framework Action Plan on Climate Change. He said: “It increases the capacity of Arab countries to take greater measures to deal with issues of climate change.”
Meanwhile, young visitors the Kids’ Zone at Qatar Sustainability Expo had plenty to keep them entertained, with a science show, a film screening at a planetarium and the chance to have a go at some hands-on science by making an eco toy.
The event has been organised to help children learn about how science works, as well as about recycling.
This week many pupils will visit the Expo with their schools and will be able to see the science show, which includes experiments and competitions.
James Soper, from Science Shows for Schools, said: “The aim of the show is that it is a ‘smoke screen’, so the science goes under the radar. The kids are getting involved, having fun, laughing and taking part in competitions but all the while there is a very carefully crafted scientific message.”
The Kids’ Zone has been very popular with families and some children have returned again to have a go at making another kit.