(2016-11-13) Ten days after the entry into force of the landmark Paris Agreement, dozens of heads of State and Government are expected on Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22), which started in Marrakech, Morocco, on 7 November 2016.
Before the Conference wraps up on 18 November, State Parties hope to define the rules for the accord and to lay out a viable plan for providing at least $100 billion a year to developing countries to support climate action.
Adopted by 196 States Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December, the Paris Agreement, so-named after the French capital where it was approved, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It entered into force in record time on 4 November 2016.
The Marrakech Conference includes a number of meetings and high-level events, including the high-level segment to be attended by dozens of heads of State and Government, on Tuesday 15 November.
During the first week of COP 22, in parallel with the negotiations between the Parties, a series of thematic days on forests, water, cities, energy and transport highlighted the crucial role of non-state actors, including businesses, cities and non-governmental organizations, to implement the Agreement.
On Saturday, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, co-host of COP 22, welcomed the fact that 105 countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement. “It gives the Agreement a lot of weight and a lot of credibility”, she said at a press conference.
“It has happened in record time”, she added. “So we really hit the ground with this unexpected success in many ways of the entry into force of the Agreement much earlier than expected. But now at the same time we have more urgency to get to work and finalize the elements we need in order to have a fully operational Paris Agreement”.
The President of COP 22, Salaheddine Mezouar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, underscored "an extremely positive state of mind, a commitment of everyone to maintain the momentum and help COP 22 be the one we all wanted, a COP of action, a COP of commitment, a COP that confirms the determination of all Parties, the international community as a whole, to continue climate action”.
Mr. Mezouar stressed that the main priorities of the Moroccan Presidency of COP 22 are to create a bridge between “the world of negotiations and the world of action”, to get Parties to increase their national commitments, to focus on climate finance and to transform climate initiatives launched at COP 21 into concrete projects.
Asked about the uncertainties raised by the US presidential election, Mr. Mezouar said that the participants of the Marrakech Conference remained "confident" and that it was necessary "to stay the course" and “keep this extraordinary momentum”.