Uganda has joined over 155 countries to sign the Paris agreement on climate where countries pledged to work to limit the rising temperatures and combat climatic change.
196 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention of climatic change in Paris approved the agreement on December 12 2015 after a long process of diplomatic engagements and panel beating over measures to include in the global package.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda who represented Uganda at the agreement signing ceremony held at the UN headquarters in New York last Friday told the delegation that the signing of this agreement opens a new chapter in the global efforts to put into action the undertaking of curbing climatic change.
“All of us must commit ourselves to carrying this bold step forward by ratifying and eventually domesticating the said agreement in order to give it the necessary legal effect under our respective national legislation,” Ruganda said.
He however pointed out the lack of financing, weak institutional and human capacities to effectively respond to environmental challenges, in most African countries as a stumbling block towards achieving the Agreement goals and called upon developed countries to offer support to Africa.
“This is the context in which we urge our developed country partners that have required means to come in and partner with us in addressing these gaps,” He said.
He added that such countries should significantly mobilize and provide new and additional sealed up financial flows, support enhancement of scientific and technological innovations, and increase assistance for human resource and institutional capacity in Africa to enable a full implementation of climatic change actions.
The Prime Minister announced to the delegates that Uganda has taken various actions to operationalise some relevant commitments under the Agreement.
A full integration of measures to address the effects of climate change in the long term aspiration has been put in ’Uganda vision 2040’ and the second National Development Plan (FY2015/16-FY2019/20) ,and that the government has prioritized climate change among the issues to address over the next five years.
This ,according to Rugunda ,will be a achieved through building a sustainable green economy with focus on increased use of renewable resources of energy ,restoration of degraded ecosystem and demarcation of critical wetlands and forests boundaries.
In the agreement, all countries pledged to work to limit the temperature rise overall below 2 degrees Celsius .The period of signature will remain open for one year and each country, upon signing must also submit a proposal plan for action on the agreement to officially ratify the Paris Agreement.