Climate change is an unprecedented planetary emergency, Mujawamariya

Minister of Environment, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya (2nd left) interacts with other delegates at COP25 in Madrid yesterday. (Courtesy)

The Minister of Environment, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, has said that climate is an unprecedented planetary emergency and that it was creating complex risks.

She made the statement while addressing the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC, in the 25th Conference of the Parties, known as COP25, an annual two-week conference that takes place at the end of the year.

It is attended by world governments which meet to work on a global response to climate change.

“Climate change is an unprecedented planetary emergency. Through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s scientists have sounded the alarm. Climate change is creating complex and interlinked risks to the natural, social and economic systems we all depend on.”

Mujawamariya also said that Rwanda will play its part to meet global climate agreements.

“Rwanda is committed to playing its part to realise the aspirations of the Paris Agreement and the target of limiting average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We are reviewing our Nationally Determined Contributions to enhance our national climate action plan to make it more ambitious and investing in innovative solutions to increase our adaptive capacity.”

The 2015 Paris agreement is a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. It was signed on December 15, in 2015, by the Parties to the UNFCCC in the COP21.

She also applauded countries that have ratified the Kigali amendment, and explained that its implementation could avoid up to 0.4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, and that if Paired with energy efficiency, the benefit could increase to almost one degree Celsius.

The Kigali Amendment aims for the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by cutting their production and consumption.

The goal is to achieve over 80 per cent reduction in HFC consumption by 2047. The impact of the amendment will avoid up to 0.5 °C increase in global temperature by the end of the century.

“The Kigali Amendment is just one example of the many actions we can take right now to limit warming and protect the health and wellbeing of all living things”, she said.

UNFCC is an international environmental treaty adopted on May 9, 1992 and opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992. It entered into force on March 21, 1994, after a number of countries had approved it.

The UNFCCC, among other things, is tasked with making sure the 2015 Paris Agreement is being implemented.

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