One country exiting Paris deal will not mean anything: COP22 President

Marrakech, Nov 12 (IANS) Amid concerns over the threat by US President-elect Donald Trump, who has earlier vowed to cancel last year’s Paris climate agreement, President COP22, Salaheddine Mezouar said that one country walking out of the deal will not mean anything.

The Moroccan minister, whose country is hosting the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), said the Paris agreement is already in force and the rest of the world has to move on, whatever the next American administration may decide.

“We are confident in the interest and well being of all humanity. Withdrawal of one party from the agreement doesn’t mean anything. There is absolutely no threat to COP22. You have to keep trust and confidence,” Mezouar told the media here.

He also said that everyone is confident that the US will keep the trust and the momentum will continue as American people are strongly determined. He urged the world to be patient.

Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa, said the Paris agreement carries an enormous amount of credibility and that she looks forward to working with the Trump administration.

“Paris agreement carries an enormous amount of credibility. We in the secretariat have a very clear responsibility in helping the parties to bring the process further. At the same time, we are ready to build a very strong and constructive relationship with President-elect Trump, in order to bring this agenda that is in interest of the world,” Espinosa said.

Being hailed as the COP of action, COP22 is building up on the negotiations in terms of finance and mitigation processes of Paris Agreement, under which rich countries have pledged about 100 billion dollars in financial support to the developing countries a year starting 2020 to help them cut down the emissions. Of that $100 billion, about $63 billion will be mobilised through public funding.

Trump had pledged to roll out of the Paris agreement, which means that the threshold achieved for the Paris Agreement would be jeopardised as America alone accounts for 17 per cent of the global emissions, the biggest chunk after China.

Mezouar also said the conference is “going well” and negotiations are unfolding in the right spirit. He said there is need to increase the public funding.

Mexican Minister Espinosa said that there is need to speed up the work, adding, “we need a fully operational Paris agreement.”

Commenting on the objections of many developing countries, which are not happy with the mode of work conducted under Adhoc Working Group on Paris Agreement (APA), Mezouar said that all the parties were consulted.

The UNFCCC head also lauded Indian cement company – Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd – for being the first cement company to join RE100 – a global collaborative initiative of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100 per cent renewable power, led by The Climate Group.

(Kushagra Dixit is in Marrakech at COP22. He can be reached at kushagra.d@ians.in)

–IANS

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