6 Key Takeaways from the Marrakech Climate Summit

Home News 6 Key Takeaways from the Marrakech Climate Summit
6 Key Takeaways from the Marrakech Climate Summit

Despite the President Trump specter that hounded the Marrakech climate summit in Morocco, the message from 111 countries was clear: “Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond.”1

This is the Marrakech Action Proclamation for our Climate and Sustainable Development signed at the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. COP 22 was also dubbed informally as COP Action, being the first meeting of the governing body of the Paris Agreement (or CMA 1).

On Nov. 4, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change entered into force, with 77 countries ratifying the agreement. By the end of the COP 22, in a show of political force, the number of countries that adopted the agreement reached 111.2

Related Post: The Lay Person’s Guide to the Paris Agreement & UN Development Goals

So what are the main achievements of the Marrakech Climate Summit?

1. It signaled the start of the Implementation Phase

The COP 22 is a turning point for the world’s fight against climate change. From the Paris Agreement, the Marrakech summit served as the start of the implementation stage. Paula Caballero, the Global Director of World Resources Institute’s Climate Program said that “the Marrakech climate talks affirmed the world’s strong commitment to international climate action.”3

global-warming-climate-change-carbon-emissions-air-pollution
A carbon tax is a proposed solution that would see the reduction in carbon emissions.

2. Parties agreed to set a roadmap for 2018 with the development of a Paris Rulebook.

The rules of the Paris agreement will be finalized in 2018. In line with this, negotiators agreed to set a roadmap, negotiating on issues that include “mitigation, adaptation, finance, transparency, a global stock take, market mechanisms, and implementation and compliance.”4 Discussions on these issues will continue at COP 23 in 2017, to be readied for adoption during the COP 24 in 2018. As per Caballero, “with a final rulebook in hand, the 2018  climate summit will set the stage for countries to put forward their enhanced national action climate plans in 2010.”5

Related Post: The World Unites to Address Climate Change

3. It generated additional support for the Adaptation Fund

Belgium, Germany, Italy and Sweden pledged $81 million new contributions for the Adaptation Fund.6 This is critical in scaling up funding for the climate change initiatives of developing countries.

wind-farm-wind-power-wind-energy
Climate change policies could mean an increase in renewable energy investment.

4. The NDC Partnership was launched to mobilize support for climate and sustainable development goals.

NDCs stand for national climate plans. The NDC Partnership is a coalition of 33 countries and 9 institutions that aims to provide countries with technical and financial support for climate change initiatives. Hakima El Haite, Climate Champion and Minister Delegate of Morocco described the NDC Partnership as a “vital, collaborative platform.” He adds: “Through the NDC Partnership, we will also engage more of the private sector, encourage South-South cooperation and make donors more responsive to countries’ needs.”7

5. Several countries have set ambitious targets for 2050

A total of 22 countries are part of the 2050 pathways platform. This includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and Germany which have set radical strategies for minimizing carbon emissions by 2050.8 However, with a Trump presidency, it is important to monitor how the U.S. will deliver on its pledge, being the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

barack-obama-president-marrkech-climate-change
Barack Obama leads the United States in the fight against climate change.

Related Post: What a Trump Presidency Means for the Fight Against Climate Change

The good news here is that not only countries are onboard the 2050 pathways platform. Fifteen cities and nearly 200 business have likewise signified their commitment to this initiative.9

6. The world’s poorest countries have committed to generating 100% of their energy from renewable sources.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of the world’s 47 poorest countries have pledged to prepare long-term strategies to combat climate change and update their nationally determined contributions accordingly.10

While some sectors expressed disappointment for the slow pace of the implementation of the Paris Agreement, it must be noted that achievements in the Marrakech climate summit were significant. Work plans were drawn up, commitments were pledged and discussions will continue. Ultimately, despite Trump’s threat to cancel the US government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, the Marrakech summit still sent a strong signal that countries of the world will forge on in the fight against climate change.

Show 10 footnotes

  1.  United Nations. 2016. Marrakech Action Proclamation for our Climate and Sustainable Development. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (no date). http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/marrakech_nov_2016/application/pdf/marrakech_action_proclamation.pdf
  2.  Climate Home. 2016. COP 22 headlines: what did Marrakech climate summit deliver? Climate Home, 11 November 2016. http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/11/18/cop22-headlines-what-did-marrakech-climate-summit-deliver/.
  3.  Caballero Paula. 2016. Statement: At COP22 in Marrakech, Climate Negotiators Agree to Roadmap 2018. World Resources Institute, 18 November 2016. http://www.wri.org/news/2016/11/statement-cop22-marrakech-climate-negotiators-agree-roadmap-2018.
  4.  Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. 2016. Outcomes of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Marrakech. http://www.c2es.org/international/negotiations/cop22-marrakech/summary
  5.  Caballero Paula. 2016. Statement: At COP22 in Marrakech, Climate Negotiators Agree to Roadmap 2018. World Resources Institute, 18 November 2016. http://www.wri.org/news/2016/11/statement-cop22-marrakech-climate-negotiators-agree-roadmap-2018.
  6.  Ibid.
  7.  World Resources Institute. 2016. Release: National Governments Partner to Ensure Climate Action. 17 November 2016. http://www.wri.org/news/2016/11/release-national-governments-partner-ensure-climate-action-fast-effective-and-ambitious.
  8.  Climate Home. 2016. COP 22 headlines: what did Marrakech climate summit deliver? Climate Home, 11 November 2016. http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/11/18/cop22-headlines-what-did-marrakech-climate-summit-deliver/.
  9.  Ibid.
  10.  Yeo, Sophie. 2016. COP 22: Key Outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Marrakech. Carbon Brief, 19 November 2016. https://www.carbonbrief.org/cop22-key-outcomes-agreed-at-un-climate-talks-in-marrakech.

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