Cop 21, Chinese stance significant – Expert
An independent Namibian energy, environment and radiation consultant says China’s aim to cut its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% from 2005 levels by 2030, is a most significant commitment, provided that it is implemented.
Dr Detlof von Oertzen, Director of VO Consulting said this following points raised by the President of China, Xi Jinping, in his address at the the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on Monday this week.
“This is a most significant commitment, provided that it is implemented, and will transform the way that China’s industry manufactures the goods for the world,” he said.
“If we can have similar deep commitments by the USA, COP21 will be a milestone,” he added.
According to Dr von Oertzem, developing nations can not continue to blame the developed world for the greenhouse gas emissions, they themselves need to ensure that their emissions are kept in check. Namibia’s greenhouse gas emission targets are set in the government’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) that were published in September 2015.
“Namibia’s INDCs are unrealistic, and is based on a non-scientific approach to our greenhouse gas inventory, which has also not been properly peer-reviewed,” he commented.
Despite these shortcomings though, von Oertzen said the government must take more pro-active action on both the greenhouse gas mitigation front, and seeking to future-proof development by way of using sensible adaptation mechanisms.
In terms of climate-friendly technologies being transferred to developing countries, he said “we are in need of technologies which we do not as yet have.”
“We need to get access to such technologies. It is unlikely that they will just be transferred free of charge though, but there are wide-ranging efforts under way to secure international climate funding which can then be used to procure climate friendly technologies,” he said.
Commenting on China setting up a South-South cooperation fund to help other developing countries cope with the effects of climate change, von Oertzen said it would be better if China were to agree to a set price for its carbon emissions, which would incentivise its industry to make changes at home rather than merely giving money for others to make changes. “However, in reality, several such approaches are likely to be put in place, and having access to funds is always better than not having access to them,” he added.
According to the doctor, Namibia is a net carbon sink, which means it absorbs more carbon dioxide than is emitted in the country.
In 2010, which is the year up to which reasonable assessment data is available, some 22,895.53 Gigagram of CO2 were net sequestered. The Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sectors offered net sinks of 27,680.47 Gg CO2, while the Energy sector emitted 2,561.49 Gg, the Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU) sector 2,220.98 Gg and the Waste sector 2.47 Gg.