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National Willpower Needed  to Help Reduce GHG Emissions
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National Willpower Needed to Help Reduce GHG Emissions

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, national willpower is needed and all constituents including the private sector should cooperate and collaborate, Saeed Motesaddi, deputy at the Department of Environment (DOE) said at a recent symposium on Challenges and Solutions in Implementing Policies for Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
Iran, which ranked  14th globally at one time in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) now stands seventh; therefore the country is among the top seven major greenhouse gas emitting nations, the official pointed out. He expressed concern that “extensive measures have not yet been taken to reduce GHG emissions.” If necessary measures are not taken on the issue of climate change, it would “bring us dangerously close to a point of no return,” he said.
 The symposium held at the DoE, was attended by executives from government organizations, the private sector, and environmentalists, ILNA reported.

 Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol, of which Iran is signatory, is linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and is seen as an important first step towards a truly global emission reduction regime that will stabilize GHG emissions, and provide the framework for the future international agreement on climate change. It ends in 2015.
Negotiations are currently under way to agree on a post-Kyoto legal framework that would obligate all major polluters to pay for CO2 emissions. China, India, and the United States have all signaled that they will not ratify any treaty that will commit them legally to reduce CO2 emissions. The new framework will be negotiated at the December 2015 meeting of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in Paris, France, and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.

 Involving Private Sector
Motessadi said “one of the reasons for the inefficiency in reducing GHG emission is because the private sector has not yet been involved in the process and all related issues are handled by government bodies.”
The official stressed that green house gases and related hazards should be identified, and legislation is needed to back activities in reducing GHG emission. “National willpower is required,” he emphasized.
The government aims to reduce such emissions and a “low-carbon economy” is on its agenda. But the cooperation of different sectors including NGOs, private sector, and government organizations is imperative, he said.

 Implementation
Mohsen Nasseri, head of the National Plan for Climate Change at the DOE, said the program for implementing national measures must be prepared in the national workgroup sessions all across the country. “Convergence is needed for the preparation of the initial draft of the plan and the government is moving in this direction,” he said.
The official further said in accordance with national and international priorities, multifaceted measures should be taken to reduce GHG emissions. Thus, representatives from government organizations, private sector, environmentalists, and legislative bodies, have all been included.

 Future Vision
Nasseri said the goals of the DoE symposium are: understanding the current situation and future vision in order to prepare the infrastructure to meet international obligations for the reduction of GHG emissions; discerning the drawbacks and vantage points as well as the opportunities and dangers within the country in implementing the policies, and identifying national limitations for accepting international obligations.
Iran’s limitations for future negotiations in the Kyoto Protocol need to be laid bare. The country’s standpoint needs to be clarified and policies for reducing green house emissions and solutions for the current drawbacks and pitfalls need to be drawn; also preparing the necessary backup documents for all the above needs to be prepared; all this is part of the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan, starting in 2016, he said.

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