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Can countries reduce greenhouse gas emission in time

The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP 24, was held late last year in Katowice, Poland, where assessments were made on the measures taken by the countries under the Paris Agreement. Love news spoke with Carlos Fuller, the International & Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, who said that countries agreed to abide by a one hundred thirty-three page agreement.

Carlos Fuller – International & Regional Liaison Officer: “There was a one hundred and thirty three page agreement coming out of the COP( Conference of the Party). The COP is held every year to assess how we are implementing the United Nations framework convention on climate change. This past conference of parties had a specific purpose and that is under the Paris agreement we had established many mechanisms to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases across the world and so we had to devise the rule book to the implement this Paris agreement so the primary outcome of the COP was this one hundred and thirty three page rule book on how we will reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, how we will adapt to climate change, what are the resources to be provided to countries like Belize to implement those actions to both reduce emissions but also to adapt to climate change but also to put in a compliance system in the event a party fails to come up to what it’s supposed to do, how can we assist them in living up to their obligations.

The idea of COP24 is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases which is easier said than done since almost everything we do result in the emission of greenhouse gases such as consuming electricity and driving our cars.  Fuller admits that it is a huge challenge.

Carlos Fuller – International & Regional Liaison Officer: “First of all these greenhouse gases are naturally occurring in the atmosphere in general however as we have developed in the past two hundred years we are emitting more greenhouse gases because of our development. They come primarily from the use of fossil fuels: petroleum products which we use to generate electricity, to drive our vehicles. It is also produced by and industry for example whenever we make cement we emit greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide. In agriculture our animals emit a lot of methane, rice production also produces a lot of methane, when we cut our forest and the trees rot they emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere so mankind development is emitting more greenhouse gases than we did before so it is to address these greenhouse gases and that’s why we have this climate change convention.

Fuller went on to explain how the countries progress towards reducing greenhouse gases will be measured.

Carlos Fuller – International & Regional Liaison Officer: “Each country is required to produce a nationally determined contribution,  it’s sort of like a padlock to get to the Paris agreement. Every country has to say this is what I can do to reduce my emissions of greenhouse gases, this is how I will adapt and so we call them these NDC’s( Nationally Determined Contributions) however there was no standard format of what we are actually going to produce so what we have done in the Paris rule book in Poland was to say this is how you should actually come up with these measures. This is what you should report on and so what we then do we do greenhouse gases inventory every year. We check on how much petroleum for example is imported into the country and hence how it is being used and then we know how to calculate how much greenhouse gases are being emitted. We measure our forest every year to see how much more of our land is under forest cover or how much has actually been reduced and use that to calculate how many emissions of greenhouse gases has occurred. We count how many cows and how many horses in the country and we know we can calculate what each of these animals are going to emit and so these are the kind of measures that will be put across the world to measure how much each country is going to be emitting.

The next Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held in Chile later this year.