COP22 in a Nutshell
COP22 was hailed as “an implementation COP”; turning the Paris Agreement, into a plan for action. The conference in Marrakech brought together negotiators from nearly 200 countries to discuss progress on implementing the agreement. The election of Donald Trump cast a shadow over the whole conference as many wondered what this would mean and the question resonating in many peoples’ minds was (and still is): will he pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement?
Despite this harrowing thought, negotiators pushed on with the task at hand and many climate experts believe that the scientists who will be advising Mr Trump will brief him on the scientific evidence of climate change which is undeniable, not even by the most sceptical.
But, alas, despite expectations for action, there were few notable achievements at COP22. Finance remains a point of contention, and it was agreed that countries would continue discussing this point. Countries were urged to continue scaling up their financial contributions towards the pre-agreed “$100bn a year by 2020” goal, and to achieve a greater balance between adaptation and mitigation. Some countries had hoped for stronger wording on this, since adaptation has long trailed mitigation, to the detriment and disappointment of the most vulnerable countries.
In Paris, countries agreed to hold a “facilitative dialogue” in 2018 to discuss progress on implementing the climate agreement and the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) or national climate pledges. A key theme of COP22 was debating how best to create a fair “rulebook” that all countries could share and have confidence in when assessing each other’s climate pledges or NDCs. The technicalities of the rulebook, including baselines and methodologies will likely be a continuing discussion into 2018.
Countries also approved a five-year workplan on “loss and damage”, which will start in 2017 and will see countries start to formally address topics such as slow-onset impacts of climate change, non-economic losses (for example, culture and identity) and migration. In other words, dealing with climate impacts that are beyond adaptation.
Several developed nations, including the USA, UK, Germany, Mexico and Canada laid out their long term de-carbonization plans. 47 of the world’s poorest countries, which have grouped together as the Climate Vulnerable Forum, committed to generating 100% of their energy from renewable sources as soon as possible. They also pledged to update their nationally determined contributions before 2020 and to prepare long-term strategies.
Summarized and adapted from The Carbon Brief, COP22: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Marrakech. Please see the full article here.