The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - Conference of the Parties (COP22) recently concluded at Marrakech, Morocco. It was held concurrently with the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) and the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12) from 7th to the 18th of November. Held amidst the background of a United States pull-out under President-elect Donald Trump, the Marrakech Climate Change Conference reaffirmed the commitment of countries for the quick implementation of the historic Paris Agreement.
The big takeaways from the conference was the declaration that the parties will conclude the framing of rules for the implementation of Paris Agreement by 2018 and the approval of a five-year work-plan to commence next year to tackle emergent issues like the slow-onset impacts of climate change, non-economic losses and migration of affected people. The conference also urged developed countries to meet their Kyoto Protocol commitments on emission cuts before it expires in 2020.
The Marrakech Action Proclamation on the penultimate day of the conference hailed the extraordinary and irreversible momentum on climate change driven by governments, by scientific study, business initiatives and global action at all levels. It called for matching political commitments to rapidly build on that momentum to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster adaptation action in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum, a coalition of 47 developing countries, pledged to strive to achieve 100% renewable energy between 2030 and 2050. The forum also declared that any country with a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) not compliant with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal to keep global warming under 1.5 degree Celsius should update it by 2020. The Climate Vulnerable Forum includes countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Costa Rica, Tuvalu, Madagascar and Ethiopia.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the initiative and said, "This is the type of bold leadership by example the world needs right now on climate change. If countries that have done the least to cause climate change can take such strong steps, so can others.”
The “2050 pathways platform” also launched during COP22, has been already been joined by 22 countries, 15 cities, 17 state or regional governments and 196 companies. The platform will facilitate long-term decarbonisation strategies, sharing of resources and experiences in support of the national strategies to countries, cities and companies.
In another positive development, 42 countries launched the NDC Partnership, a coalition supporting implementation of NDCs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and related Sustainable Development Goals. The Partnership also launched the NDC Funding and Initiatives Navigator, a searchable database of available financial and technical assistance programs for NDC implementation.
More than 20 countries including India, France and Brazil, signed the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance launched at the COP21 at Paris last year by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande to provide a collaborative platform for 121 prospective solar resource rich countries.
The Indian position at COP22 was to assert that all future actions on climate change must be firmly rooted in climate justice and issues like adopting a sustainable lifestyle. India also declared that Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) will remain central to the country's course of action.
There was an Africa Day event during COP22, with dual themes of “Moving from Commitment to Action with NDCs” and “The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative: Moving Forward.” The hugely ambitious Africa Renewable Energy Initiative with a target of 10 GW of additional generation capacity by 2020 and 300GW by 2030 was announced, along with an appeal for contributions from public and private investors.
The negotiations on climate finance continued to the early hours of the 19th as countries tried agree on a roadmap to mobilise USD 100 billion by 2020 as promised by rich nations. Morrocan Foreign Minister and COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar said that it was necessary to respect the commitment of USD 100 billion considering the magnitude of the impacts of climate change and called for 2017 to be the year of large scale projects for mobilizing finance and accessing financial facilities for adaptation.
There will be expectedly much more progress to look forward on the Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (MPG) to operationalize the Paris Agreement in the upcoming climate talks next year. The Pacific Island nation of Fiji will preside over COP23 which will be held in Bonn, Germany.