Global unity to act on Paris climate deal

For a U.N. climate summit that began under the shadows of the U.S. presidential election results, which ended with the ascent of Donald Trump, a climate change denier, the 11-day meeting here concluded with all participating member nations coming together to reaffirm their commitment to climate action under the Paris Agreement adopted last year.

The nearly 200 nations attending the COP22 summit adopted the Marrakech Action Proclamation late on Thursday evening, sending out a strong signal to the world on climate action.

Responding to an invitation by the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, heads of state from close to 90 countries, and, delegations from other U.N. member countries issued the proclamation to signal a shift towards a new era of implementation and action on climate and sustainable development.

“Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond. We welcome the Paris Agreement, its rapid entry into force, with its ambitious goals, its inclusive nature and its reflection of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and we affirm our commitment to its full implementation,” the Proclamation, read out by COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, said.

The nations demanded solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, highlighting the need to support efforts aimed at enhancing their adaptive capacity, to strengthen resilience and to reduce vulnerability. On Friday, a Climate Vulnerable Forum, comprising a group of over 45 most vulnerable countries, was launched, which adopted an agenda for maintaining the target of limiting warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

The countries also called for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology.

Climate finance stressed

The countries also called for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology.

“We, the Developed Country Parties, reaffirm our $100 billion mobilisation goal,” the Proclamation read.

Responding to queries on where and how this climate fund would be mobilised, Nizar Baraka, President of the COP22 Scientific Committee said on Friday that industrialised countries of the global north would mobilise the $100 billion for countries of the global south and a roadmap, supported thus far by UK and Australia, had emerged during the COP22 negotiations.

“Two thirds of the funding will come from public finance institutions in the countries of the North to facilitate implementation of the NDCs (Nationally Dtermined Contributions) in the South and one thirds will be raised from private corporations. We have also finalised means to avoid double counting of these funds and their sources,” he said.

Doha Amendment

The nations, who are parties to the Kyoto Protocol (which does not include the U.S.), also encouraged the speedy ratification of the Doha Amendment, with its focus on pre-2020 action.

Given the gaps in emissions reduction has to stay on course for keeping global warming levels under 2 degrees C, the nations also called for urgently raising ambition and strengthening cooperation among the countries to close the gap between current emissions trajectories and the pathway needed to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.

India’s reaction

Environment Minister Anil M. Dave said the greatest achievement of the summit was that it managed to carry forward the momentum on climate action gained in Paris. However, he refused to comment on what might happen if the Trump administration in the U.S pulled the plug on the deal. “In a wedding house, one shouldn’t discuss divorce,” he responded to stress that a “COP of implementation” at Marrakech one did not need to discuss the possibility of the treaty falling apart.

Since the U.S. was not the sole actor in the case, the efforts that began in Paris will continue, no matter what, Mr. Dave said.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 2:05:28 PM |

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