PM Gonsalves attends UN Climate Change Conference
November 15, 2016
PM Gonsalves attends UN Climate Change Conference

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is now in Marrakech, Morocco, attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

He is accompanied by his wife, Eloise, press secretary Hans King, the ambassador to the United Nations, Rhonda King, and businessman Dwight Hillocks.

The conference, which opened yesterday, November 14 in the Chinese COP22 pavilion, is a high level forum on south-south cooperation on climate change, {{more}}which is putting the spotlight on several initiatives and challenges facing southern countries in their endeavour to foster climate resilience.

Speaking at the opening session, Salaheddine Mezouar, COP22 president, congratulated China for adding impetus to south-south cooperation, saying that COP22 “is an opportunity to forge south-south partnership models on sustainable development and climate resilience”.

Speaking at the event, David Nabarro, special advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, emphasized that promoting south-south cooperation is part of the collective responsibility to unlock the full potential of the Paris Agreement.

Nabarro, who was representing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saluted developing countries for their sustained voice in favour of climate justice and commended China for its flagship programme: the South-South Cooperation Fund for Climate Change, which aims at helping developing countries tackle climate change effects.

He said UN agencies are adding to the momentum of south-south cooperation on climate change, citing in particular the launch by the UN Secretary-General of the the Southern Climate Partnership Incubator (SCPI), an initiative that aims at fostering partnerships among the Global South in the areas of renewable energy, climate resilience, smart cities and big data application.

“SCPI is leveraging the UN system to match the needs of developing countries with counterparts willing and able to meeting them,“ he said, stressing the close link between sustainable development and climate resilience. “All development has to be low carbon,” Nabarro affirmed.

For her part, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UNFCC, underscored that south-south cooperation is complementary to north-south cooperation in the field of fighting climate change.

She shed light on several examples of successful south-south climate cooperation, saying that Morocco’s sustainable development cooperation with African countries, particularly in the field of renewable energies, stands as a model to follow by other southern countries.

The forum brings together ministers from several developing countries, as well as senior UN officials and features sessions on several themes related to south-south cooperation and climate change, including capacity building, finance, technology and multi-stakeholder partnerships.