- Climate Change Summit Begins in Morocco
Countries will gather in Morocco from today for the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to accelerate work on the rulebook and trigger a definable pathway for developed countries to materialize the flow of $100 billion per year by 2020 in support of climate action by developing ones.
UN estimates show that achieving sustainable development will require USD $5-7 trillion a year, a large slice of which must fund the transition to a low-carbon, resilient world economy. To fulfill these investment needs, we will need to look at creative funding options, beyond the traditional ones and in which both public and private sector flows are aligned and scaled-up.
The World Meteorological Organization has now confirmed that the average global concentration in the atmosphere of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, reached the symbolic and significant milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and broke new records in 2016.
There are likely to be “process fights” as countries meet in various formations over the two weeks. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) will meet as a single “contact group” three times, with informal talks on each substantive agenda item running in two parallel sessions.
About 97 Parties including Nigeria will attend the Marrakech meeting. Nigeria delegates comprises Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, experts, senior government officials and civil society groups. The first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) will open on November 15 with many ministers and some Heads of State expected to attend.
Many countries are concerned that the CMA should not be the body to decide on its own rules-as only 87 of 197 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement, and are therefore not able to actively participate in the CMA. If these concerns are not allayed then difficulties will arise.
The main substantive issues and challenges facing governments in Marrakech therefore, remain largely unchanged.
ONE: Increasing ambition – A critical issue in Marrakech is how the world will achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal pursuing efforts to stay under 1.5°C warming, and the 2016 “facilitative dialogue” could potentially see fiery exchanges between countries over how to ramp up ambition and financial support in the pre-2020 window.
TWO: Dealing with climate reality – In Marrakech, countries will discuss the 2016 review of the “loss and damage” mechanism-which develops policy frameworks to help communities deal with a variety of climate change impacts-with developing countries laying down a moral imperative for developed countries to provide the necessary finance. Though 135 million people are at risk of displacement due to land degradation and tens of millions risk being impoverished as their livelihoods are threatened, climate change institutions which would help-like the loss and damage mechanism and its newly established displacement task force-remain under-resourced and funding for adaptation remains inadequate. Anticipating climate change to exacerbate displacement around the world, civil society groups meeting in Marrakech will mount a call for governments to address the gaps in legal protection for “climate migrants.”
THREE: Supporting the energy transformation – Governments will launch ambitious new efforts such as the Least Developed Country Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative, and the Global Programme for Renewable Energy and Energy Access Transformation, building on and expanding the progress made by the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, which has so far attracted $10 billion in pledges. If the negotiations on implementing the Paris Agreement hit a roadblock, initiatives such as these can offer some good news given their potential for both reducing emissions and improving energy access for the world’s poor-provided the pledges materialise into new projects.
FOUR: Finance roadmap to 2020 – A major conflict among countries is likely to arise in Morocco over finance after developed countries released a “roadmap” to the $100 billion per year which they have committed to find by 2020. Developing countries and civil society groups have already severely criticised the roadmap for “double counting” existing aid flows and exaggerating of the rate at which public money can leverage private funds.
Concerns about the new “roadmap” include that it provides no scope for increased financing from developed countries and multilateral financial institutions over the pledges made in Paris. With the costs of developing countries’ Paris pledges expected to exceed $4 trillion, these criticisms will have to be addressed if countries are to implement the Agreement successfully.