June 26, 2019

Global warning will not wait for us to act

In the picture  Marcel Beukeboom,  International Representative for climate change. Photography by Imane Rachidi.

Marcel Beukeboom, Dutch International Representative for climate change, talked about the Dutch participation in the global fight against climate change, describing his efforts to reach out to countries all around the world in order to enhance cooperation in addressing this urgent challenge.

International efforts to address climate change reached a peak with the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015 by 195 countries, with the aim of limiting the destructive effects of global warming for the world’s population. The Paris Agreement established a global action plan, to be reviewed every five years, that established clear objectives to be reached by each country.

However, Mr. Beukeboom noted, “It is not enough to know the objectives. We need to work together to reach them, and especially with the bigger producers of CO2 emissions, who are unfortunately less active in implementing real changes. We should work without accusing other, but rather work together to reach the result of reducing global temperatures of 2°C. Climate change and global warming will not wait for us to act.”

Mr. Beukeboom travels all around the world meeting officials from governments willing to join the fight against global warming, sharing the Dutch experience, listening and learning about other countries’ policies, and attempting to consolidate shared views on the implementation of national plans of adaptation to climate change. In Europe, Mr. Beukeboom’s goal is “to convince governments to be more ambitious in their reduction of CO2 emissions, looking for innovative ways of reducing emissions. In the end, national reduction will lead to the expected results in the international arena.”

In Asia, a continent where he travels frequently due to the visible effects of climate change in the region, “countries like India, that in the beginning were not enthusiastic, are in practice implementing enormous changes, notably concerning solar energy production. I also frequently visit China; we need to count on them if we wish to reach out goals. I may say that the position of some African countries obstructs the progress. Paradoxically, these countries are very much affected by drought, but in fact are among those causing less CO2 emissions.”

“I always try not to mention the term ‘guilt’, but rather work towards reaching consensus, compromise, and recognition of the responsibility of each country, going ahead by working together” – Mr. Beukeboom said.

One of Mr. Beukeboom’s tasks is precisely to negotiate and to study plans to be presented to his international counterparts in 2020. Now – he said – plans are more concrete and clear for the common citizens, such in the cases of regulations on water, energy, transportation, consumption, diet and waste use. Very concrete measures that can be implemented by the governments looking for changes in the life of their own citizens.

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