Paris accord in focus as global climate diplomacy kicks off in Morocco
Marrakech, Nov 7 (IANS) Global climate diplomacy began on Monday with the opening of the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) by lighting a small solar lamp. President COP21, Segolene Royal handed over the baton of climate change negotiations to President COP22, Salaheddine Mezouar, along with the responsibility to keep the global temperature rise well below two degrees.
The two week conference, which is seen as the COP of action, started at this historic Morocco town, four days after the landmark Paris Climate Agreement (COP21) entered into force.
“Paris gave us a global commitment to climate change and Marrakech will give us more ambitious climate action. We must all rise to the challenge in support of the most vulnerable countries in the fight against climate change,” said Mezouar, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Underlining that the COP21, which entered into force four years before its intended deadline, had been ratified by 100 countries now, Mezouar said to know how to implement the Paris Climate Deal is the latest challenge for the world.
“The commitment which started in Copenhagen and COP21 has now been ratified by 100 nations. We need to know how to implement the Paris Agreement,” Mezouar said.
The Copenhagen Accord or 15th COP and Fifth session of CMP (Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) that happened in 2009, was a political agreement at UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, where parties pledged to take action against greenhouse gas emission.
Seven years later, Morocco is now holding the first session of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1), COP22 and CMP 12 (Parties to the Kyoto Protocol).
Mezouar spoke of gathering financial resources for the developing nations to help them mitigate climate change, technology transfer and capacity building. The developed world, under a $100 billion mission, is supposed to extend help to the developing nations. Of this, about $63 billion is said to have started being mobilised by public funds, and remaining as private funds.
“There is a need to increase the NDCs commitments. Efforts to live up with a process to give financial resources, technology transfer, capacity building for the developing nations is required,” said the COP22 President.
NDCs or Nationally Determined Contributions are the plans of countries submitted to the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), on reducing green house gases, such as planting billion of trees as enunciated by India’s NDC.
Speaking of his own country Morocco, he said, “Morocco is going to become regional leader for clean energy.”
He called for a concrete action plan for the most vulnerable countries, especially in Africa, the least developed and small island developing states.
Mezouar said that during COP22, Morocco, along with a number of partners, will launch the NDC Partnership to ensure that direct finance flows towards the most vulnerable countries.
President COP21 and former French minister, Royal lauded the entry into force of the Paris Agreement.
“The rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement is unprecedented and sends a powerful signal of the world’s commitment to combating climate change,” said Royal.
Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa of Mexico, pointed out the historic significance of Morocco as host of the UN Climate Change Conference 22 as well as the COP7, held in Marrakech in 2001 – leading to the Marrakech Accords. The COP22 will feature CMA1 and the first global climate action agenda that will feature thematic showcase events, dialogues and a high-level event to call for more coordinated and ambitious climate action between states and civil society.
“We need to work together with speed and scale on all fronts,” said Espinosa.
(IANS correspondent Kushagra Dixit is in Marrakech to cover COP22. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)