The United Nations Climate Chief Patricia Espinosa, says 2018 may be one of the hottest years ever. She said this to highlight how important it is for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) which opened on December 2 in Katowice, Poland needs to address the impact of climate change and greenhouse gases.
The COP24 was finalising the implementation guidelines of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
While talking about how important this conference is since it is happening in a year that saw a series of devastating climate disasters around the globe, Ms. Espinosa said this year is likely to be one of the four hottest years on record, saying the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is at record levels and the emissions continue to rise.
“Climate change impacts have never been worse. This reality is telling us that we need to do much more, COP24 needs to make that happen,” she added.
She stated that the guidelines are to provide clarity on implementation of the landmark agreement and strengthen international cooperation saying a finalised set of implementation guidelines will unleash practical climate actions, like adapting to climate change impacts, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing financial and other support to developing countries.
The conference is being held hot on the heels of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, as well as a cascade of UN and other reports on increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions.
“All of these findings confirm the need to maintain the strongest commitment to the Paris Agreement’s aims of limiting global warming to well below 2ºC and pursuing efforts towards 1.5ºC,” says Ms. Espinosa.
Lesotho Meteorological Services (LMS) Principal Meteorologist, Mosuoe Letuma, stated that Lesotho is represented in the COP24, adding that the delegation will also participate in the adaption of the Paris Agreement and other issues that will be discussed at the conference that include the global average temperature.
He explained that from 1990 the global average temperature has increased by 0.8%, which he said has resulted in countries such as Lesotho experiencing heatwaves, droughts and other climatic changes.
He pointed that, for Lesotho and other developing countries, the 2ºC is not an option for them, saying temperatures should be kept at least 1.5ºC. He emphasised that if it rises to 2ºC, it will be a disaster because the heatwave will be extreme.
“The heat will be so unbearable,” he said.
2018 Climate Change Summit termed COP24 will end on December 17.
The Lesotho delegation comprises of government officials from the Ministries of Energy and Meteorology, Agriculture and Food Security, Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, Foreign Affairs and International Relations as well as Development Planning. Lena