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Dec 10 2012 12:00:00:000AM
The President of COP18/CMP8 has hailed the agreement reached after two-weeks of grueling negotiations as a “Gateway to the future”.

Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah said the final extra day of the UN Climate Change Conference had been historic as all parties had reached consensus despite complications and many hours of extra consultation.

The “Doha Climate Gateway” - as Mr. Al-Attiyah called the deal – marked the beginning of discussions on a universal, legally-binding international agreement on emission reductions, which should be ratified in 2015 and come into force in 2020.

Speaking with Mr Al-Attiyah at a press conference at the end of COP/CMP8, Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said what was needed now was greater “political will” by all governments.

“This was a historic COP,” she said and while she accepted that governments alone could not be expected to take solve the climate change crisis she said: “What needs to change now is political will.” She added: “We need the corporate sector to play a part and to contribute.”

The UN has endorsed a target of restricting global temperature rises to less than 2 degrees Celsius but Ms Figueres said “the window is closing in on us”.

She stressed that the world had the finance and the technical knowledge to tackle the issue but governments needed to take decisive action.

Ms Figueres said that the significance of the Doha agreement was that it was a bridge between the original Kyoto Protocol, which was drawn up in 1997 and expires at the end of this year, and the next protocol, which was agreed in principle in Durban (the Durban platform) last year and is due to be signed in 2015.

Asked whether it was realistic to feel optimistic when nations such as the United States, Canada and Japan were not part of KP, she said that was not a hindrance because there was now “100 per cent agreement” by nations on the need to cut emissions.

In Doha, she said, all countries had agreed to produce a document detailing their reduced carbon emissions six months in advance of the 2015 COP.

When Kyoto was drawn up the target was for carbon reduction of 5 per cent. In Doha the participating countries had raised that figure to 18 percent, she said. “Current pledges are clearly not enough to guarantee the temperature will stay below the 2 degrees increase,” she acknowledged, and went on to stress the importance of the Doha Gateway. It had “ensured environmental integrity and a robust accounting system. No country has said it will not take part, even if it has left the Kyoto Protocol.”

The President was asked about his handling of the Russian delegation whose leader complained at the final plenary session that his country’s concerns had not been given proper consideration. The Russian spokesman protested at Mr Al-Attiyah’s loud voice and use of the gavel to drive the conference through its final phases.

Mr Al-Attiyah was gracious in the press conference, saying he appreciated the point of “his friend” from Russia but stressed he had exercised extreme patience through the almost continual negotiations of the last 48 hours. “I did my best to respect countries with different views. “I was so patient. I gave them time and I waited hours for their consultations.”

In the end, he had to bring the conference to a conclusion in the interests of all the parties. “They support that decision,” he said. ‘I had to apply pressure to finish the conference. Everyone wanted to go home except me,” he said with a smile.

Ms Figueres said the request by the Russian delegation for changes was “very clear” but to have agreed them would have prevented an agreement being reached. She suggested that within the documents that made up the final Doha agreements the Russians would find what they were looking for and that their concerns had been answered.

“The Russian interests are faithfully reflected within the texts,” she said, adding that she did not expect the disagreement to result in “long term consequences”....
Dec 10 2012 12:00:00:000AM
The President of COP18/CMP8 has hailed the agreement reached after two-weeks of grueling negotiations as a “Gateway to the future”.

Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah said the final extra day of the UN Climate Change Conference had been historic as all parties had reached consensus despite complications and many hours of extra consultation.

The “Doha Climate Gateway” - as Mr. Al-Attiyah called the deal – marked the beginning of discussions on a universal, legally-binding international agreement on emission reductions, which should be ratified in 2015 and come into force in 2020.

Speaking with Mr Al-Attiyah at a press conference at the end of COP/CMP8, Christiana Figueres, the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said what was needed now was greater “political will” by all governments.

“This was a historic COP,” she said and while she accepted that governments alone could not be expected to take solve the climate change crisis she said: “What needs to change now is political will.” She added: “We need the corporate sector to play a part and to contribute.”

The UN has endorsed a target of restricting global temperature rises to less than 2 degrees Celsius but Ms Figueres said “the window is closing in on us”.

She stressed that the world had the finance and the technical knowledge to tackle the issue but governments needed to take decisive action.

Ms Figueres said that the significance of the Doha agreement was that it was a bridge between the original Kyoto Protocol, which was drawn up in 1997 and expires at the end of this year, and the next protocol, which was agreed in principle in Durban (the Durban platform) last year and is due to be signed in 2015.

Asked whether it was realistic to feel optimistic when nations such as the United States, Canada and Japan were not part of KP, she said that was not a hindrance because there was now “100 per cent agreement” by nations on the need to cut emissions.

In Doha, she said, all countries had agreed to produce a document detailing their reduced carbon emissions six months in advance of the 2015 COP.

When Kyoto was drawn up the target was for carbon reduction of 5 per cent. In Doha the participating countries had raised that figure to 18 percent, she said. “Current pledges are clearly not enough to guarantee the temperature will stay below the 2 degrees increase,” she acknowledged, and went on to stress the importance of the Doha Gateway. It had “ensured environmental integrity and a robust accounting system. No country has said it will not take part, even if it has left the Kyoto Protocol.”

The President was asked about his handling of the Russian delegation whose leader complained at the final plenary session that his country’s concerns had not been given proper consideration. The Russian spokesman protested at Mr Al-Attiyah’s loud voice and use of the gavel to drive the conference through its final phases.

Mr Al-Attiyah was gracious in the press conference, saying he appreciated the point of “his friend” from Russia but stressed he had exercised extreme patience through the almost continual negotiations of the last 48 hours. “I did my best to respect countries with different views. “I was so patient. I gave them time and I waited hours for their consultations.”

In the end, he had to bring the conference to a conclusion in the interests of all the parties. “They support that decision,” he said. ‘I had to apply pressure to finish the conference. Everyone wanted to go home except me,” he said with a smile.

Ms Figueres said the request by the Russian delegation for changes was “very clear” but to have agreed them would have prevented an agreement being reached. She suggested that within the documents that made up the final Doha agreements the Russians would find what they were looking for and that their concerns had been answered.

“The Russian interests are faithfully reflected within the texts,” she said, adding that she did not expect the disagreement to result in “long term consequences”....
Dec 12 2012 12:00:00:000AM
With the inauguration of the Qafco-6 project, Qatar has become the world’s fourth largest producer and the biggest exporter of urea, with 15 percent market share of the total traded urea being from Qafco.

The $604 million urea production facility (Qafco-6), located in the industrial city of Mesaieed, was formally inaugurated by the Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. With Qafco-6, Qatar’s total annual urea production capacity has reached 5.6 million MT, which means the company would be producing about 17,000 tons per day.

With the operationalization of Qafco-5 last year, the company became the world’s biggest fertilizer producer. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada and other dignitaries, including diplomats from many countries.
The Peninsula
12 December...
Dec 14 2012 12:00:00:000AM
Four GCC countries - Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - together submitted a concept paper at the just-concluded UN climate conference that noted their plans to cut emissions and improve climate resilience as endorsed by the conference.

The four countries have pledged to present their plans in the near future.

The decision opens the door for the participating countries to present "Economic Diversification Plans" under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a joint statement from Qatar National Food Security Program (QNFSP) and the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change, UAE, said.

Commented Dr Adel Khalifa Al Zayani, Director General of the Supreme Council for the Environment, Bahrain: "Although GCC countries have unique challenges presented by weather extremes and scarce water resources, this has not prevented us from stepping up our climate efforts and international commitments."

GCC countries have a wide range of projects that represent substantial contributions to clean energy technology and energy management.

The drive for low-carbon development reaches into other parts of infrastructure development as well, including investments such as the light rail system in Dubai and the one under construction in Qatar, the statement noted.

Cutting-edge urban development
Cutting-edge urban development projects such the UAE''s Masdar City and Qatar''s Lusail City reflect the regional commitment to raising the bar for innovative practices.

Once completed, the Msherieb Project in Doha will represent the world''s highest concentration of "green" buildings, with 108 of its 110 buildings earning sustainability certifications, including the first-ever platinum LEED mosque. The scope of these projects reaches to the very core of the economic drivers for each of the nations.

Major investments in transforming industrial processes have seen the countries build on their experience as energy producers to develop technologies for reducing gas-flaring, improving carbon capture and storage and even launching the world''s largest Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in Qatar''s Al Shaheen field.

Large investments in education and research point clearly to a regional commitment to pushing even further.

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, the UAE''s Masdar Institute and the Doha-based Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute, and the just-announced Qatar Climate Change Research Institute are well on the way to delivering significant returns economically while contributing to solutions needed on climate issues.

In their submission to the COP18/CMP8 sessions in Doha, the four GCC nations put forward that the principles of the UNFCCC''s Bali Action Plan include recognition of national plans that deliver progress on climate issues through economic diversification and sustainable development.

"The joint initiative is a powerful signal of the region''s seriousness in driving clean energy, enhancing energy security, creating jobs and protecting the climate," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE''s Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change.

Dr Khalid Abouleif, the Chief Negotiator on Climate Change for Saudi Arabia, noted: "We stand ready for cooperation and action on these global issues."
The Peninsula
14 December...
Dec 17 2012 12:00:00:000AM
Held in parallel with the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2012 (COP 18/CMP 8) in Doha from the 27th of November to the 7th of December 2012, Qatar Sustainability Expo (QSE) celebrated its last day on Friday the 7th. The expo successfully achieved its objective of complementing the conference and allowing the exhibitors to showcase their sustainability programs and connect with visiting delegates and local visitors.

Organized under the patronage of His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, president of the UN Climate Change Conference 2012 - COP 18/CMP 8 Doha, QSE was arranged by International Fairs and Promotions (IFP).

“QSE was an important part of the international sustainability dialog, and we are thrilled at its resounding success,” said George Ayache, General Manager, IFP Qatar. “The event provided a unique opportunity for visiting delegates, NGOs and media to see the sustainability initiatives of local organizations and network with a global audience.”

Among the many captivating exhibits at QSE, was a high-tech Augmented-Reality system that allowed visitors to interact with the “Unseen Animals of Qatar”. Children and adults alike were captivated by exciting environmental science workshops, solar-powered experiments and more than 90 exhibits and stands. The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra enchanted guests every evening with their soulful performances.

Throughout the expo, several high-profile speakers also presented their thoughts and ideas on important sustainability related issues. The lectures played an important part in encouraging dialogue towards finding long-term solutions.

“The expo would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our partners,” said Ayache. IFP’s key partners for the event included Mowasalat, Qatar Tourism Authority, Lusail Real Estate Development Company, Qatar Steel, Qatar Foundation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion, Masdar (UAE Pavilion), General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) and Loving Hut USA. “Our partners’ have shown tremendous commitment to sustainability and to the expo, and we are deeply thankful for their support.”

Over the course of the event, QSE received regional and global media attention from thousands of international media networks and major news organizations.

“We are optimistic that Qatar Sustainability Expo and COP 18/CMP 8 will leave a legacy of persistent global action towards a sustainable future for our planet,” said Ayache. “I have no doubt that such an event in Doha will have an impact on humanity’s future for decades to come.”
ifpinfo
17 December
...
Dec 17 2012 12:00:00:000AM
Held in parallel with the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2012 (COP 18/CMP 8) in Doha from the 27th of November to the 7th of December 2012, Qatar Sustainability Expo (QSE) celebrated its last day on Friday the 7th. The expo successfully achieved its objective of complementing the conference and allowing the exhibitors to showcase their sustainability programs and connect with visiting delegates and local visitors.

Organized under the patronage of His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, president of the UN Climate Change Conference 2012 - COP 18/CMP 8 Doha, QSE was arranged by International Fairs and Promotions (IFP).

“QSE was an important part of the international sustainability dialog, and we are thrilled at its resounding success,” said George Ayache, General Manager, IFP Qatar. “The event provided a unique opportunity for visiting delegates, NGOs and media to see the sustainability initiatives of local organizations and network with a global audience.”

Among the many captivating exhibits at QSE, was a high-tech Augmented-Reality system that allowed visitors to interact with the “Unseen Animals of Qatar”. Children and adults alike were captivated by exciting environmental science workshops, solar-powered experiments and more than 90 exhibits and stands. The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra enchanted guests every evening with their soulful performances.

Throughout the expo, several high-profile speakers also presented their thoughts and ideas on important sustainability related issues. The lectures played an important part in encouraging dialogue towards finding long-term solutions.

“The expo would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our partners,” said Ayache. IFP’s key partners for the event included Mowasalat, Qatar Tourism Authority, Lusail Real Estate Development Company, Qatar Steel, Qatar Foundation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion, Masdar (UAE Pavilion), General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) and Loving Hut USA. “Our partners’ have shown tremendous commitment to sustainability and to the expo, and we are deeply thankful for their support.”

Over the course of the event, QSE received regional and global media attention from thousands of international media networks and major news organizations.

“We are optimistic that Qatar Sustainability Expo and COP 18/CMP 8 will leave a legacy of persistent global action towards a sustainable future for our planet,” said Ayache. “I have no doubt that such an event in Doha will have an impact on humanity’s future for decades to come.”
ifpinfo
17 December
...
Nov 28 2012 12:00:00:000AM
Qatar National Food Security program revealed its high tech informative and interactive display unit at the sustainability exposition, being held at the Doha Exhibition Centre until 7 December. Accompanied by Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, President of COP18/CMP8, visited the QNFSP stand during the inaugural ceremony. The expo serves as an opportunity to welcome delegates to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, and to introduce them to the various sustainability initiatives and climate action solutions undertaken by Qatari organizations.

QNFSP’s Exhibit is a showcase of the organization’s mission, vision, initiatives and activities as well as its achievements as a pioneer in food security solutions till date. The stand is segmented into QNFSP Strategy Showcase, Farmer market carts that have only domestic produce on display, Filaha Project that demonstrated historical and traditional farming methods, agricultural practices from sustained communities of the MENA regionspeaking of oasis agriculture, terrace-farming systems, fertility farming, groundwater harvesting, etc.

QNFSP’s exhibit also manifested a mini studio for interviews as well as a theatre that will screen varied films daily on food and water security- adaption and mitigation towards climate change scheduled at regular intervals. The exhibit targets to inform not only stakeholders, farmers, local food producers, government agencies, private companies, research institutions and media but also the local public and residents at large on the issue of food and water security in Qatar as well as the region. The display aims to create awareness of QNFSP’s work among local stakeholders whose engagement is crucial to attain the vision of the organization for a future food-secure Qatar.

Visitors were especially drawn to the LED walled info gadget that is entirely built on a platform made of 1500recycled wooden pallets with high resource efficiency and low environmental footprint. The seating made from recyclable cardboard membranes, waste packaging material is retractable from the floor. Nearly12 people at a time can experience the info gadget, which is completely built and fabricated in Qatar. Live twitter feeds as well as motto messages were constantly displayed by the gadget. During the launch, QNFSP’s well-informed staff members engaged with COP18delegates, environmental experts, leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss their initiatives to increase potential partnerships and plans to improve public awareness on the impact of climate change on food and water security in dry lands.

Speaking about the Expo, QNFSP’s Executive Chairman Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, also a Member of the Higher Organising Committee and the Chairman of the Organising Sub-Committee for COP18/CMP8, said: “The Expo is an opportunity to have a spectrum of players that are committed to sustainability development to share that knowledge across the board. It helps to share the successes, the opportunities and showcase their achievements and commitments to a future that is safe for current and future generations.”

Qatar steps up to food and water security in dry lands through QNFSP reflected a strong long term commitment to sustainability.
Press release
28 November...
Dec 01 2012 12:00:00:000AM
Research shows that with the current rate of consumption, water availability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will decrease 50 percent before 2050 due to the growing population. This will force an increase of dependence on desalination plants.

Scientists in Qatar are doing extensive research on this matter and others of national and international interest, with the support of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). Dr Hazim Qiblawey, from the Department of Chemical Engineering of Qatar University (QU), along with other researchers, presented the results of his study at the Qatar Sustainability Expo.

Qiblawey explained the operation of desalination plants, which use saline water, in a process that consumes energy and produces both fresh water and unwanted water. The author of the study said that this process generates emissions that contribute to climate change, having also an impact in marine life.

On this basis, he recommended users to be more careful with water consumption. The use of water in the MENA region is 15 million cubic meters per day, while in Qatar its 1 million cubic meters per day.

Mohamed Ahmedina, also professor at QU, talked about the country’s waste. Qatar produces 2.5m tons of solid waste a year, of which 60 percent are organic.

This waste is disposed of in landfills. In a small country, this becomes a problem due to the small landmass limiting factor.

Nevertheless, for Ahmedina, “disposal of waste is both a need and an opportunity”. This is the basis of his study ‘Biochars from Solid Organic Waste for Soil Quality, Enhancement and Carbon Sequestration’.

Among motivations to implement Biochar Environmental Remediation, he cited waste management, energy production and soil improvement. While some of the benefits of this technique are that it enhances fertility soil and reduces pressure on landfills.
The Peninsula
1 December...
Dec 01 2012 12:00:00:000AM
Research shows that with the current rate of consumption, water availability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will decrease 50 percent before 2050 due to the growing population. This will force an increase of dependence on desalination plants.

Scientists in Qatar are doing extensive research on this matter and others of national and international interest, with the support of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). Dr Hazim Qiblawey, from the Department of Chemical Engineering of Qatar University (QU), along with other researchers, presented the results of his study at the Qatar Sustainability Expo.

Qiblawey explained the operation of desalination plants, which use saline water, in a process that consumes energy and produces both fresh water and unwanted water. The author of the study said that this process generates emissions that contribute to climate change, having also an impact in marine life.

On this basis, he recommended users to be more careful with water consumption. The use of water in the MENA region is 15 million cubic meters per day, while in Qatar its 1 million cubic meters per day.

Mohamed Ahmedina, also professor at QU, talked about the country’s waste. Qatar produces 2.5m tons of solid waste a year, of which 60 percent are organic.

This waste is disposed of in landfills. In a small country, this becomes a problem due to the small landmass limiting factor.

Nevertheless, for Ahmedina, “disposal of waste is both a need and an opportunity”. This is the basis of his study ‘Biochars from Solid Organic Waste for Soil Quality, Enhancement and Carbon Sequestration’.

Among motivations to implement Biochar Environmental Remediation, he cited waste management, energy production and soil improvement. While some of the benefits of this technique are that it enhances fertility soil and reduces pressure on landfills.
The Peninsula
1 December...
Dec 02 2012 12:00:00:000AM
OPEC member Qatar will ask firms to tender for a 1,800 megawatt (MW) solar energy plant in 2014 costing between $10-20 billion as the world''s highest per capita greenhouse gas emitter seeks to increase its renewable energy production.

"We need to diversify our energy mix," said Fahad Bin Mohammed al-Attiya, chairman of the Qatari organizers of climate talks in Doha. The United Nations-led summit is being held among almost 200 nations from Nov. 26-Dec. 7.
Qatar, the world''s top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has been wary of a global shift to renewable energy, fearing it will hit demand for oil and gas from OPEC producers.

It has so far disappointed environmentalists by failing to set clear targets for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions at the U.N. talks, arguing its LNG exports help other nations turn from more polluting coal.
Qatar said the power generated by solar energy would mainly power its desalination plants, which are currently gas fuelled. The plant construction was expected to be completed by 2018.

"It will be developed in a concession format, there''ll be blocks," he said.

Once the plant is up and running, the share of renewables in Qatar''s electricity generation energy mix will rise to 16 percent from zero at present.

Attiya did not provide an exact figure on how much carbon dioxide the solar plant would displace but said it would be significant.

Qatar''s current power generation was 7,000 megawatts and consumption around 5,000 MW, with an annual growth rate of more than 10 percent, he said, although that was expected to slow.

"There''s a projection that growth will drop to 5-6 percent," he said.
Reuters
2 December...
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