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News AFED Message to Arab Leaders: A chance is at hand to achieve progress in climate negotiations - Arabs are most affected and reaching an agreement is in their best interest

The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) disclosed during a ceremony in Amman, under the Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, a memorandum that AFED had sent to Arab leaders on the preparations for the climate change negotiations at the Cancun Summit in December. During the event, which was held at the Royal Cultural Center in Amman and attended by a host of government officials, diplomats, business leaders, academics and media, AFED also presented the main results of its report on "Impact of Climate Change on Arab Countries."

AFED Secretary General Najib Saab presented the memorandum that AFED had addressed to Arab governments on the upcoming Cancun climate change summit, saying that: "The role that Arab countries should play towards achieving practical results and effective agreements is not merely an obligation, but a real necessity for the Arab region, which has an undisputable interest in an international binding agreement to mitigate climate change as well as to adapt to its serious impacts, especially that the Arab region is among the most affected by it. In order for Arab countries to benefit from the international support which they need to adapt to the effects of climate change, they need to play a constructive role in achieving an effective international treaty when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012."

The memorandum went on to state that: "It is true that the leaders who gathered at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009 were unable to arrive at a binding and comprehensive agreement; however, 100 countries that collectively represent 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions agreed on the necessity to limit the increase in average temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius, and some of them adopted, for the first time, mitigation strategies and national targets, while others pledged funding. Even though the completion of a comprehensive and binding treaty may not be possible in Cancun, many other possibilities are still at hand to achieve meaningful progress."

The message reaffirmed that the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit and the negotiations that followed showed that it is possible to achieve in Cancun progress towards practical measures in five issues, which are: Energy efficiency and renewable energy; Technology development and cooperation; Adaptation assistance for least developed countries; Avoided deforestation, land management, and combating desertification; Transparent mechanisms for funding and fulfillment of the Copenhagen pledges. The memorandum also called on Arab countries to focus on "The continuation of negotiations to reach a comprehensive treaty. Cancun provides an opportunity for achieving tangible progress in "building block" agreements that would provide immediate reduction in emissions, and address Parties' interests towards energy security and economic development."

AFED concluded by affirming that "Challenges facing the Arab world due to climate change are immense, but we believe that it is possible to succeed if Arab countries undertake fast and efficient steps, primarily in their own interest and for their benefit, especially in the fields of water and energy". AFED also hoped that the Cancun conference "Will be a chance to affirm a constructive and effective Arab presence, so that Arabs, as major stakeholders, can be full partners in arriving at the needed decisions."


Contact information The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) (email:
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED)
Keyword(s) climate change
Geographical coverage Lebanon
News date 08/07/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH