Poorer nations to get climate change help

MARRAKECH (Morocco) • Developing nations will receive a much- needed boost to roll out their climate change action plans through a partnership that will improve their access to expertise and financial support.

The partnership was launched at the United Nations climate talks on Tuesday. Alongside the first meeting of countries that have ratified the new global climate change agreement, 33 governments signed up to the platform aimed at helping poorer nations achieve their targets on climate change and sustainable development.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon told leaders and ministers in Morocco that it was time for the words in the Paris climate deal to be translated into "effective policies and actions". So far 110 countries have ratified the agreement.

The plans, referred to as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), outline how countries will cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change, which include more extreme weather, melting glaciers and rising seas.

"The NDCs are at the very heart of the Paris Agreement - but like anything else, they are words on paper unless there is implementation," said Ms Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme, one of nine international agencies and multilateral banks that have joined the partnership.

Developing states were keen to get on with putting their climate plans into practice but many needed assistance, she said.

The plans include climate-friendly measures, from shifting to renewable power and cleaner transport to protecting forests and helping farmers grow enough food despite worsening climate stresses. The new partnership will provide developing nations with technical expertise, training for government officials and easier access to finance.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Poorer nations to get climate change help'. Print Edition | Subscribe