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190 Countries Meet To Resume Sessions On the Paris Climate Change Agreement

The Paris Agreement is critical to driving trillion-dollar investment into the global low carbon economy.

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Developed countries are being urged to honour Paris Agreement. Flickr
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Negotiators from nearly 190 countries, including India, gathered here on Tuesday for the six-day resumed sessions of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement amid strong calls for progress.

At the resumed session, the countries will focus on developing the implementation guidelines of the Paris agreement.

The guidelines in a ‘rulebook’ are needed to provide guidance on how to implement the agreement and to see transparently how countries are progressing in their actions.

The opening of the session saw a brief addresses by Prime Minister of Fiji Bainimarama, who is currently presiding over the climate change negotiations, as well as the Polish in-coming COP President Michal Kurtyka, who will preside over the negotiations at this year’s climate change conference or COP24 to be held in Katowice in Poland in December.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand Surasak Karnjanarat and Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Patricia Espinosa also addressed the opening.

 

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The implementation guidelines will unlock practical actions.Flickr

 

All speakers strongly urged negotiators to step up the pace of their work and to move towards negotiating texts that capture clear options on the implementation guidelines that can swiftly be finalized and adopted in Katowice.

This is crucial given the deadline that countries set for themselves to complete this work at COP24 this year.

Executive Secretary Espinosa said COP24 was now right around the corner.

“We are working against the clock. We must now complete the heavy lifting and we must do it rapidly. UN Climate Change stands ready to assist countries,” she said.

Current COP President Bainimarama impressed upon delegates that the six-day Bangkok talks were urgent.

“In these few days, we have the opportunity to put the Paris Agreement on a path from words to action,” he said.

The implementation guidelines will unlock practical actions and bring the agreement’s institutions to life.

 

Paris Agreement
The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference Paris will bring together leaders with the goal of creating a universal climate agreement that will keep global warming down. Flickr

 

This is vital for all aspects of climate action, including enabling ambitious global and national adaptation action and emission reductions, developing fair transparency and compliance arrangements and mobilizing means of implementation, especially with respect to finance, to support developing country action.

In-coming COP President Kurtyka said non-state actors were steaming ahead and that governments had to keep up with that pace by putting in place the implementation guidelines.

He urged delegates to craft clear texts in Bangkok that they could work with at COP24.

“Clarity and a streamlined text is my request,” he said.

Global investors are closely watching and formulating their expectations for this round of negotiations.

Aviva Investors Chief Responsible Investment Officer Steve Waygood said: “After a summer of extreme weather events across the globe, the risk that unchecked climate change poses has never been clearer.

Paris Agreement
Education – along with training and public awareness – plays a key role in the global response to climate change, as recognized by Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. Flickr

“It’s time for country delegates at UN climate talks this week to agree on ambitious and robust rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. As a global insurer and investor, we rely on a transparent and consistent regime to deliver the essential global transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Also Read: Asia’s Increase In Consumption of Meat to Cause Environmental Problems: Researchers

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, said: “The Paris Agreement is critical to driving trillion-dollar investment into the global low carbon economy.

“An ambitious and transparent implementation rulebook, holding countries to account for delivering and scaling-up their commitments on climate change, will lock in policy certainty and underpin investor confidence.” (IANS)

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Lack of Proper Sanitation Affects 620 Million Children Around The World: Report

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period.

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A new toilet recently installed in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

A lack of proper school toilets threatens the health, education and safety of at least 620 million children around the world, the charity WaterAid said in a new study published Friday.

Children at 1 in 3 schools lack access to proper toilets, putting them at risk of diarrhea and other infections and forcing some to miss lessons altogether, according to the study, based on data from 101 countries.

Guinea-Bissau in West Africa has the worst school toilets while Ethiopian children fare worst at home, with 93 percent of homes lacking a decent toilet according to the report, released ahead of World Toilet Day on Monday.

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Students arrive for class at the Every Nation Academy private school in the city of Makeni in Sierra Leone, April 20, 2012. VOA

“The message here is that water and sanitation affect everything,” WaterAid spokeswoman Anna France-Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “If there’s no toilet in schools, children will miss lessons and it will have an impact on their growing up.”

Diarrhea, infection risk

A lack of proper sanitation puts millions of children around the world in danger of diarrhea, which kills 289,000 children younger than 5 a year, WaterAid said.

But some regions have started to clean up their act, notably South Asia, where access to toilets in schools has improved.

More than half the schools in Bangladesh now have access to decent toilets, while students in 73 percent of schools in India and 76 percent of those in Bhutan can access basic sanitation.

Akramul Islam, director of water, sanitation and hygiene at the Bangladeshi charity BRAC, said the country’s once-high levels of open defecation — using open ground rather than toilets — were now less than 1 percent.

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India’s plight in sanitation has not improved much since ages.
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“Today, schools have separate toilets for girls and boys and the issue of menstrual hygiene is also being addressed,” he said. “This has happened because of initiatives taken by both the government, the NGOs and other stakeholders.”

Also Read: 3 HIV+ Students Banned From School in Indonesia

Improvement needed

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period, WaterAid said, urging greater investment in basic sanitation.

“If we are serious about all children and young people, wherever they are, whatever their gender, physical ability or community background, having their right to clean water and sanitation, we must take decisive and inclusive action now,” said Chief Executive Tim Wainwright. (VOA)