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16 November 2022, 09:38

Collective West's policy seen as obstacle to enhancing international climate commitments

MINSK, 16 November (BelTA) - The policy of the collective West is an obstacle to enhancing international commitments to the climate change agenda, Belarus' Ambassador to Egypt Sergei Terentyev said as he represented the country at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27).

The Belarusian diplomat said that despite all the general efforts, 2022 did not bring good news about the stabilization of the climate situation. The countries are now facing two major challenges. Firstly, it is to reduce emissions and slow down the rate of global warming. Secondly, countries must adapt to the effects of climate change to protect their citizens and economies.

“Climate change trends dictate the need to further develop national mitigation strategies and measures along with adaptation strategies and measures,” the ambassador said.

Belarus has already developed and adopted adaptation strategies for agriculture and forestry up to 2050 and national action plans to adapt agriculture and forestry up to 2030 for the sectors particularly vulnerable to climate change. A number of other strategic and program documents also include measures for adaptation to climate change.

“Today Belarus needs a comprehensive national action plan for adaptation to climate change, which should unite all social and economic sectors, including industry, energy, transport, construction, housing and utilities, forestry, agriculture, and healthcare. However, there is no universal solution that can be applied at the national level yet,” said Sergei Terentyev.

In his words, effective adaptation to climate change depends on many factors, not only on government policy, but also on the involvement of other actors at the national, regional and international levels, with the active participation of international organizations and donors.

According to the diplomat, Belarus has joined the joint statement initiated by the World Meteorological Organization on early warning systems to meet the challenges of adaptation to climate change. Belarus considers this measure as fundamental. In Belarus, an early warning system of hydro-meteorological hazards is one of the priority tasks of the national hydrometeorological service.

The diplomat also noted that natural phenomena are joined by man-made measures, including restrictions on access to fertilizers and food from Belarus to the world markets. This further aggravates the global food crisis.

“As many speakers have pointed out, the current crises should not be an obstacle to combating the climate crisis. At the same time, the sanctions policy of the collective West, the United States and its satellites not only negatively affects economic development, but is also an obstacle to enhancing our international climate change commitments, which ultimately affects the overall climate agenda,” the Belarusian representative stressed.

The Republic of Belarus understands the calls of the international community to increase the ambition of the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “At the same time, we expect a response from donors and international organizations, including the Global Environment Facility, to assist our state in this area. Any unilateral measures that curtail the economic development of countries undermine international efforts to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The real goal of global climate policy should finally be the environmental wellbeing and security of each country and each individual, rather than the geopolitical ambitions of individual states,” the ambassador concluded.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an agreement signed by more than 180 countries on general principles of countries' actions on climate change. The goal is to stabilize greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere.

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