Laos has given its commitment to addressing climate change while attending the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Glasgow last week.
The COPS26 event was held from 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow, United Kingdom and co-hosted by the United Kingdom and Italy. The conference was attended by 39,509 participants from 196 countries, development partners, international organizations, international non-governmental organizations, businesspeople, and journalists from around the world.
Laos sent a delegation led by Mrs. Bounkham Vorachit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, according to a media release by the Ministry, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Laos in the United Kingdom, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
The COPS26 conference was aimed at continuing discussions and negotiations on the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, to which Laos is a party.
The agreement seeks to see the nations of the world work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net zero emissions by 2050, as well as to find strategies for adapting to climate change.
Laos attended COPS26 as part of the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Group of Developing Countries plus China (G77 and China).
During a ministerial-level meeting, Mrs. Bounkham Vorachit commented that the government of Laos recognizes the importance of addressing climate change, which poses a threat to national socio-economic development, and has integrated this work into the country’s Five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan, and its National Green Growth Strategy, including raising the targets of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to contribute the implementation of the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net zero emission by 2050.
Alongside this, Laos maintains a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2030, and has set out to do this by increasing forest cover to 70 percent of the country’s total area, increasing the installed capacity of renewable and clean energy, and increasing the use of electric vehicles by 30 percent.
During the meeting, Minister Bounkham met various participants from many countries to further discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the future. Speaking with Zhao Yingmin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Environment of the People’s Republic of China, the two consulted regarding continued implementation of an agreement to create a low-carbon demonstration zone in the Saysettha Development Zone in Vientiane Capital, with the two sides signing on the handover of equipment for the initial low-carbon model zone project.
Minister Bounkham also met with Mrs. Carole Dieschbourg, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Luxembourg. The two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation in climate change and environmental affairs with joint implementation projects with Laos and the region. In addition, she also met with Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Kingdom of Thailand, who discussed the promotion of environmental botanical gardens, continuing to cooperate on environmental management, pollution control, joint guidelines in the management of plastic waste, climate change and the exchange of information on cross-border smog.
Minister Vongkham met with Mrs. Amanda Milling, UK Minister of State for Asia, discussing cooperation on the implementation of the climate change convention and the implementation of the United Kingdom’s proposal to reduce logging, reduce coal-fired power plants, and promote the use of clean energy and electric cars including comprehensive support for Laos during its transition to use of clean and sustainable energy.
Following the COPS26 event, Laos will continue to work with local and international stakeholders to enhance participation and fundraising, as well as access to grants under the framework of the climate change convention.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, as the national focal point for climate change, will continue to coordinate and cooperate with all parties, including the business and private sectors, in implementing the outcome of this conference.
Story by Khonephachanh Syboun.
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