HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah speak- ing at the climate meeting in Doha. (AFP)
Kuwait urges ‘First World’ help for fossil fuel income-dependent states Backs UN

DOHA, Dec 4, (Agen-cies): His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah delivered a speech on Tuesday during the 8th UN Climate Change Conference in Doha.

At the opening ceremony of the conference, HH the Amir said: “I am pleased to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and deep appreciation to the Amir, government, and people of the State of Qatar, for the warm reception and generous hospitality and good organization of this important international conference, held under the umbrella of the United Nations, and the great efforts exerted in order to make it a success and to achieve its desired objectives.”

HH the Amir said “I would like also to congratulate His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyya for his selection as a Chairman of this conference. I am confident that the wisdom and experience he enjoys shall contribute to the success of this conference, and reaching the desired objectives and results as anticipated by our states.”

HH added “I am also pleased to take this opportunity to express to His Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, and the executive head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Ms Christiana Vigiris and her assistants my sincere thanks for their work for this conference, which deserves our appreciation and praise.”

HH the Amir noted “it is our pleasure to see this high-level international participation in this conference, which reflects the great importance that the international community attaches to the issue of climate change, which has become an obsession for all the states and people of the world.

“The State of Kuwait supports the efforts of the United Nations in the fight against climate change, through its active participation in the ongoing negotiations aimed at reducing the negative effects of this phenomenon, based on the principles and provisions contained in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and their effective and sustainable
implementation as the legal binding instrument and the basis for international cooperation in this field.”
HH the Amir stressed that “the principle of shared responsibility, taking into account the variation of burdens and capacities justice and sustainable development of different countries in line with their national priorities and capacities, in order to reduce emissions in materialization of the ambitions of all our peoples.”
The Amir added “this conference is being held in the State of Qatar in a crucial stage which requires adopting decisions that pave the way for the next phase beyond 2012 towards this phenomenon, and adapting to it whether within the frame work of long-term cooperation through effective implementation of the Bali Action Plan in all its elements, and the agreement on the second commitment period for developed countries, without imposing new obligations on developing countries, except for those voluntary actions which commensurate with their national potentials backed with financing, technology transfer and capacity building.
“Kuwait also hopes that the developed countries abide by their leading role in reducing emissions and helping developing countries adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, and the negative effects resulting from the measures of responding to mitigating the effects of climate change, especially those whose economies rely on the use of fossil fuels as a major and sole source of income, and this can be achieved through the transfer of technology and the diversification of income sources.
“In contribution to the emission reduction the State of Kuwait made great voluntary and thoughtful strides, according to available resources, in the rehabilitation of its oil and industrial installations, where the oil sector adopted a new strategy based on scientific and economic grounds that aim to reduce emissions, as well as setting mechanisms for improving energy efficiency, and the use of clean technology for fossil energy, without prejudice to its fundamental interests and obligations in it’s  development of clean industry.”

HH the Amir added “in the field of renewable energy, the State of Kuwait attached great concern to the diversification of its energy sources, where the concerned entities stated the executive phases of an ambitious plan for using wind and solar energy aiming to raise the percentage of using this energy to 1 percent of the total energy usage in Kuwait in 2015, and up to 15 percent in 2030.”

HH concluded by saying “I repeat my thanks and gratitude to the State of Qatar for hosting this conference, hoping to achieve its desired ambitions and hopes that will positively reflect upon our peoples and achieve good results that will benefit all mankind”.

Extreme weather is the new normal and poses a threat to the human race, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday, as he sought to revive deadlocked global climate change talks.

Ban’s intervention came as efforts to agree a symbolic extension of the UN Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that obliges about 35 developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, looked to be faltering.
In a speech to almost 200 nations meeting in Doha to try to get a breakthrough, Ban said a thaw in Arctic sea ice to record lows this year, superstorms and rising sea levels were all signs of a crisis.

“The abnormal is the new normal,” he told delegates at the Nov 26-Dec 7 talks. He said signs of change were apparent everywhere and “from the United States to India, from Ukraine to Brazil, drought (has) decimated essential global crops”.

“No one is immune to climate change – rich or poor. It is an existential challenge for the whole human race – our way of life, our plans for the future,” he said.

Urging nations to cast off their apathy and embrace ambition, he had earlier said that Superstorm Sandy, which lashed the Caribbean and the United States a month ago, had “given us an awakening call”.
The failure to agree a Kyoto extension is blocking efforts to lay the foundations of a new global UN deal that is meant to be agreed in 2015 and to enter into force from 2020.

At the last attempt in 2009, a summit in Copenhagen failed to agreed a global deal to succeed Kyoto.
Kyoto required countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012.

Robert Stavins, director of Harvard University’s environmental economics programme, said there was some hope that an accord could be struck in 2015.

“It’s a blank slate and there is always hope for long-term happiness,” he said, likening the situation to somebody seeking a new romance after being twice divorced.

Ban said that Kyoto should be a platform for future climate change action even though Russia, Japan and Canada are pulling out, leaving a group led by the European Union and Australia that account for only 15 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions.

The defectors say Kyoto is no longer relevant because emerging nations led by China and India will have no targets to curb their soaring emissions from 2013. And the United States, the second biggest emitter behind China, never ratified Kyoto.

Ban also said that rich nations should step up aid to help the poor cope with climate change after a $10-billion-a-year funding programme promised for 2010-12 runs out.

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