EU ambassador calls for Israel to ratify Paris climate accord

Trump threatened in May that as president he would cancel the agreement, describing the accord as "bad for US business" and previously calling climate change a "hoax."

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November 10, 2016 18:41
2 minute read.
World Climate Change Conference 2015

Hundreds of environmentalists arrange their bodies to form a message of hope and peace in front of the Eiffel Tower as the World Climate Change Conference 2015 convened at Le Bourget near the French capital. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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As world leaders gather in Morocco for this year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change, European Union Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen called upon Israel to ratify the universal Paris Agreement on Thursday.

“For the first time ever, almost every country in the world has committed to playing its part in tackling climate change, and for that reason it is important that all countries are making progress” Faaborg-Andersen said at the Israeli Climate Convention held in Tel Aviv. “I therefore take the opportunity to call upon Israel to ratify the agreement as soon as possible.”

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Faaborg-Andersen was referring to a universal climate accord adopted on December 12 at last year’s UN Conference on Climate Change (COP- 21), which came into force on November 4. Signatories to the agreement determined that the global temperature rise must be kept “well below 2°C,” by means of varying national targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although Israel has yet to ratify the agreement, Environmental Protection Ministry officials have said that they plan to raise the ratification for government approval next week.

“We must maintain the momentum in Paris, because the price is worth it,” Faaborg-Andersen said. “There’s a lot of work to do and we look forward to working hand-inhand with Israel to accomplish these goals.”

The ambassador was addressing participants in the first-ever Israeli Climate Convention, hosted at Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies, in parallel with the ongoing annual UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco – also known as the Conference of Parties 22 (COP-22).

Two of the world’s top emitters, the United States and China, both ratified the document on September 3, while India did so on October 2. The European Union ratified the accord on October 5, but Israel and 10 other OECD countries still have yet to do so. Both Japan and Australia jumped on board in the last few days.

American President-elect Donald Trump threatened in May that as president he would cancel the agreement, describing the accord as “bad for US business” and previously calling climate change a “hoax.”

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Prior to last year’s COP-21, all participant nations submitted Intended National Determined Contribution plans for the accord to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Israel’s targets involve a 25% reduction in its 2005 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – limiting residents to 7.7 tons of carbon dioxide per capita.

While it is impossible to precisely compare the targets of different countries – since each nation’s greenhouse gas emission levels vary considerably – the submissions of most other OECD states included more robust percentage reductions than those of Israel.

The United States submitting its targets with the intention of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below its 2005 level in 2025 and making “best efforts” to curb its emissions by 28%.

All European Union member states committed to a “binding target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.”

As delegations from around the world make their way to Morocco for the ongoing COP- 22, Faaborg-Andersen said that the first session there serves as a first meeting of Paris Agreement parties.

“For the vision of a global low emission future to materialize we need to start putting our words into action,” he continued.

“It would take more than ratification alone to deliver the necessary greenhouse gas reduction adaptation acts and financing.”

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