By Hana Namrouqa – Apr 24,2016

Environment Minister Taher Shakhshir signs the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the UN in New York on Friday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — IndyACT, an Arab climate change NGO, has invited Jordan and other Middle East and North African countries to review their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) following the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Before the signing of the Paris agreement, many countries that submitted their INDCs were uncertain about the scale of funding of climate change-related projects. Thus, the INDCs of the majority of Arab countries did not reflect the reality of climate change impact, Safa Jayoussi, head of the climate campaign at IndyACT and CAN Arab World Coordinator, said.

“The Middle East and North African countries are projected to be amongst the worst-hit by climate change… and despite their limited contribution to the emission of greenhouse gases globally, they are showing high commitment to the issue,” Jayoussi told The Jordan Times.

She highlighted that there are “big moments” that will take place this year, on which Arab countries can capitalise to boost their national and international climate action and INDCs, including the annual Arab League summit in Mauritania, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) session in May in Bonn, Germany and the Marrakech Climate Change Conference in November.

“During the Arab League summit in Mauritania, it is vital for Arab leaders to integrate climate change as part of the political agenda… It is of paramount importance, for our region to finally come together in a show of solidarity and take the lead on this global challenge,” Jayoussi stressed.

The activist highlighted Arab countries’ milestones in committing to combating climate change, including the promotion and implementation of clean energy laws and projects in Jordan and Morocco.

“This year, we will be concentrating our efforts and exerting pressure on Arab governments to go even further in adopting bolder renewable energy targets,” Jayoussi said.

Posted on the UNFCCC website, Jordan’s INDC said that this contribution of greenhouse gas emission will be unconditionally fulfilled at maximally 1.5 per cent by the country’s own means compared to business as usual scenario levels.

The INDC also said that Jordan, subject to availability of international financial aid, commits to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 12.5 per cent by 2030.

Around 60 world leaders and representatives of 155 countries attended the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change held at the UN headquarters on Friday.

Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, Environment Minister Taher Shakhshir signed the agreement and told the UN radio that Jordan’s support lies in minimising greenhouse gas emissions by 14 per cent, noting that Jordan is committed to implementing 70 projects worth $5.5 billion.

These projects entail shifting to renewable sources such as solar and wind, implementing energy efficiency initiatives, using energy- saving appliances and expanding the use of electric cars across the country, Shakhshir told The Jordan Times previously.

The agreement is aimed at keeping global warming to “well below” 2°C over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, and to strive for 1.5ºC if possible.

According to the agreement, there must be a balance between emissions from human activity and the amount that can be captured by carbon-absorbing “sinks” by the second half of this century.

In addition, developed nations “shall provide” funding to help developing countries make the costly shift to green energy and shore up their defences against climate change impacts like drought and storms, while rich countries are required to pledge $100 billion a year.
– See more at: