Grand Duke Henri addressing the Conference of the Parties in Katowice, Poland.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale
The 24thConference of the Parties (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is running from 3-14 December in Katowice, Poland.
Representatives from 190 nations have gathered in Poland to nail down the details of the 2015 Paris Agreement in the hopes of presenting a concrete plan of action to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The motto “Changing Together” reveals the COP’s aspirations to come to a common agreement and establish a binding treaty with clearly delineated targets, an objective which past meetings were unable to meet.
The opening ceremony on Monday involved around twenty heads of state, among them Grand Duke Henri who was accompanied by minister for environment, Carole Dieschbourg. In a short speech the grand duke expressed his admiration for the project proposals that focus on electromobility, forests and fair transition. “The success of the ecological transition that is to come depends greatly on the importance we attribute to its social aspect, as well as to the fairness and solidarity of the whole plan,” he said.
The grand duke, who has been resolute in his efforts to protect the environment, expressed his worry about the progress being made. “We’re finding ourselves in an increasingly delicate situation in terms of climate, and we’re only approaching this vital subject three years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Recent developments show that there might be a distinctive gap between our shared objectives and the harsh reality of very rapid environmental deterioration.” To underline his apprehension, the grand duke referred to the conclusions of the COP23 meeting in Bonn and explained that concentrations of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases are on the rise, and the consequences of climate change are become increasingly severe and wide-spread.
He underlined Luxembourg’s efforts to combat climate change by, for example, introducing a directive that limits every new construction’s energy consumption to almost zero and by promoting electric vehicles and the use of public transport. “The progressive independence from fossil fuels is inevitable and requires a steady investment in alternative solutions. Luxembourg has already initiated a roadmap for sustainable finance. We will also continue to show solidarity towards vulnerable countries by increasing our financial contributions and public support for their development.”