The 17th annual meeting of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place in Durban, South Africa this year from November 28th – 9th December.
This year’s ‘Conference to the Parties’ (COP 17) will seek to advance the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements, reached at COP 16 last December. In addition, it welcomes updates about climate change action taking place across the world, with a presentation from the Wales-Mbale programme included this year.
Since the UNFCCC entered into force in 1995, the annual COPs assess progress in dealing with climate change. The COPs adopt decisions and resolutions, publish reports of progress, and establish rules for practical and effective implementation of the Convention.
With 194 parties, the UNFCCC has near universal membership. Under the convention, membership governments commit to:
• gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices;
• launch national strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to expected impacts, including the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries; and
• cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
In 2010 the Welsh Government launched the $1million Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC) programme in Mbale, Uganda, in partnership with the UNDP. This project builds upon the pre-existing link the region has with PONT in Wales. Our Development Officer, Ed Howarth, recently visited the area to help produce a communications strategy that will aid development of the project.
Part of the broader partnership between Wales and Mbale has been selected to be showcased at COP 17 on December 6 to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, and South African president, H.E. Jacob Zuma, amongst others. Jon Townley (Welsh Government) and Nimrod Wambette (Gumutindo) will make a presentation that focuses on the Size of Wales million tree planting project and hope to raise the profile of the environmental work Wales is carrying out and the diverse and proactive commitment we have to combating climate change.
In addition to the PONT-Mbale projects, a number of our community links have successfully applied for Clean Energy Grants. As part of the Welsh Government’s continued commitment to the climate change agenda, their Climate Change Division has awarded a number of substantial grants to excellent new projects.
Participation at the conferences is restricted to nominated representatives of Parties, observer States, accredited organisations and accredited media. COP 15 in Copenhagen 2009 welcomed over 24,000 delegates from across the world.
See the COP 17 website for more details. You can download the free app to your iPhone or iPad to follow up-to-date news from the conference. Follow news on Twitter at @UN_ClimateTalks and/or join in the debate on Facebook on the COP 17 page (you can view all posts on this page even if you’re not signed up to Facebook).
Contact one of our links with Environmental projects to see how you can get involved within your local community.
Engage in the Size of Wales campaign - even by simply 'liking' them on Facebook you help raise £1 for their campaign.
Join the African Climate Connection to see the variety of events happening across the UK
Learn how Oxfam is getting involved in COP 17 action
Sign Christian Aid’s petition calling on Huhne to act in the interest of the world’s poor when he represents the UK at COP 17 next week.