By Dana Al Emam – Nov 05,2015

AMMAN — Jordan plans to commit to decreasing greenhouse emissions by 14 per cent at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (CoP21), if the required funds are provided, an official said Thursday.

The convention, which will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, seeks to bring together stakeholders across the globe to “bolster business innovation and bring scale to the emerging green economy”.

Jordan needs the support of donors and the international community to reduce emissions by 12.5 per cent, while it can achieve the remaining 1.5 per cent reduction, using its own means, according to Ahmad Qatarneh, secretary general of the Environment Ministry.

Speaking at a workshop to discuss Jordan’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) held by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Qatarneh said hosting refugees is a source of pressure on already limited resources, a matter that contributed to an increase in emissions.

He noted that enhancing local industrial activity should be accompanied by coordinating with the international community to control greenhouse emissions.

The ministry’s planned commitment at the convention “does not come from scratch”, as it was already embedded within the Kingdom’s environmental plans, said Indira Dahabi, director of the climate change directorate at the ministry.

Jordan is aiming for renewable energy to supply 10 per cent of its total energy needs.

Meanwhile, the cost of achieving a 14 per cent drop in emissions by 2020 has been calculated at $5.7 billion, out of which the government has secured around $542 million, Dahabi added.

The move, she explained, will include a transition towards a green economy, introducing renewable energy as a power source for water and transportation, and implementing a comprehensive programme for energy rationalisation.

Jordan will highlight the need for equality as well as “common but differentiated responsibility” towards climate change at the CoP21, as countries like the Kingdom are historically not responsible for the phenomenon, Dahabi said.

This must come with a “roadmap” that specifies funding allocations from developed countries to developing ones in order to address climate change, she noted, citing a project that will set out a work plan for the INDCs, to be carried out next year in partnership with the GIZ (German Development Cooperation).

For his part, Raouf Dabbas, a ministry adviser and a board member of the Jordan Green Building Council, said the green culture is still not widespread in Jordan and many do not see it as a part of sustainable development.

However, he highlighted “great” potential for Jordan to develop clean and renewable energy sources, a process that is moving slowly, he said, although the nuclear project, which is the “worse option for the Kingdom”, is progressing “quickly”.

Dabbas called for enforcing energy rationalisation policies as well as developing fiscal policies at the Central Bank of Jordan that encourage the private sector to build partnerships and fund renewable energy projects across the country.

A successful agreement in Paris will accelerate the transition to the low carbon economy necessary to keep the climate safe, according to FES Deputy Resident Director Richard Probst, who highlighted the need to engage the private sector and civil society organisations in the planning and decision-making processes.

“Either we continue with the business-as-usual-mode, involving excessive consumption of fossil fuel and a non-sustainable development model, or we opt for a more sustainable and more inclusive model of development,” he said.
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