Climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.
— Antonio Guterres,
Even as the year 2019 is heading towards an end, the world has so far witnessed a number of calamities — from flooding and fire incidents — playing havoc on the health and livelihoods of people.
Experts predict more of what we see now as the climate continues to go crazy. Cyclones and storms are becoming more frequent and stronger. While some parts of the world will be hit with more flooding, there will be more persistent drought conditions in other parts affecting farming and livelihoods.
In short, if we don’t act now, we will see far more extreme and destructive effects of climatic change.
In October, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced within the next 12 years to stay within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“If we don’t achieve it, we will have a global catastrophe within 50 years,” the IPCC cautioned saying that a fundamental change is required in which every single person across the world is on board.
Even though countries made progress late in 2018 on the rules governing the Paris Agreement, global emissions continue to rise, making clear the need for enhanced climate action by 2020.
The UN estimates the world needs to increase its efforts between three and five-fold to contain climate change to the levels demanded by science — a 1.5 Degree Celsius rise at most — to avoid escalating climate damage.
The Sultanate of Oman, like other countries in the world, too
faces many challenges related to climate change.
Its geographical location near the sea and the ocean makes it clearly more vulnerable than other countries in the region.
Oman is located within the high temperature zone, which is characterised by great variation between the upper and lower temperatures, especially during the summer, and the negative effects on various ecosystems, such as vegetation and biodiversity.
Despite all its vulnerabilities, the country continues to play a major role in the protection of the ozone layer and on meeting the requirements to abide by the Protocol for the phase-out of ozone depleting substances permanently.
At the same time, the authorities take all the precautions to avoid its impact on economic development by allowing companies to encourage alternatives to ozone depleting substances in their various projects.
Through the issuance of the regulations on ozone layer protection in November 2013 and its updates in December 2015 and other various measures, the Sultanate has managed to reduce the consumption rates of the most important ozone depleting substances to zero, or to levels lower than those required in the Montreal Protocol in a short period.
The National Strategy for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change is a major initiative by the country in addressing the negative effects of global warming.
The strategy is aimed at developing an institutional and legislative framework; identification of programmes, plans and actions for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts and risks of climate change; as well as training and capacity-building.
The Sultanate is currently preparing the second national communication on vulnerability, risks, climate
modelling, future climate outlooks and ways to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
It has already started implementation of the second phase of the National Strategy for the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) from 2016 to 2020.
This is being done to complement the efforts and procedures in place to meet the compliance requirements of the Montreal Protocol and to achieve the reduction in the consumption of HCFCs of 35 per cent by January 2020.