Climate action in Marrakech, Morocco, 7 – 18 November

Climate action in Marrakech, Morocco

As the UN Climate Change Conference came to a close in Marrakech, after two weeks of inclusive and positive negotiations and hundreds of activities and side-events featuring Heads of State and Government, delegations and participants from around the world, COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar and Steering committee members held a press conference to take stock on outcomes and achievements.

Salaheddine Mezouar thanked the “steering committee members, the UNFCCC and all those that have worked on this successful conference.” He also expressed his pride as a Moroccan in hosting the international climate change conference in Marrakech and that His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco held the 1st Africa Action Summit on the margins of COP22. Many key initiatives for the Pre-2020 period were set in motion during the conference. Despite resoundingly delivering on the promise of a COP of “action”, Salaheddine Mezouar said, “we have just started. We have a year ahead of us in our Presidency to accelerate and achieve even more bold climate action.”

More than 30,000 delegates participated in the Blue Zone and an estimated 20,000 in the Green Zone (Innovation and Civil Society Spaces). The City of Marrakech welcomed numerous climate related and cultural activities including the Marrakech Climate Show, Akon’s concert “Light to Live,” the Women’s Leadership Summit.

In addition to the “Marrakech Action Proclamation For Our Climate And Sustainable Development,” that was arrived at through the involvement of more than 70 Heads of State and a highly inclusive process including consultations with all Parties starting weeks earlier at the Pre-COP, the conference produced scores of declarations, initiatives, MoUs, agreements and an undeniable air of positive forward momentum in the fight against climate change.

Some key achievements include: the first meeting of Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1), the agreement by Parties to set a fast track for the completion of the Paris Agreement rulebook by 2018, the delivery by the UK and Australia of the $100 billion dollar annual climate finance roadmap by 2020, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency backed by 11 developed country donors providing $50 million-worth of funding, Parties pledged more than $81 million to the Adaptation Fund and $23 million to the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the $500 million Marrakech Investment Committee for Adaptation Fund was launched in partnership with The Lightsmith Group, based in the United States, BeyA Capital, based in Africa, and the Global Environment Facility, the NDC Partnership on capacity building was launched as well as the Secretariat in Morocco of the International Climate Change Center of Excellence and Think Tanks for Capacity Building (INCCCETT 4CB), the Climate Vulnerable Forum declaration calling to limit global temperature rise to as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible, the Water for Africa initiative established by the Kingdom of Morocco and supported by the African Development Bank. The Kingdom of Morocco also announced its Blue Belt Initiative aimed at building the resilience of coastal communities and promoting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture as well as the launch of the Adaptation for African Agriculture (AAA) initiative aimed at building resilience among small-holder farmers in Africa by promoting sustainable soil, water and risk management through capacity development, policies and funding mechanisms.

More than 110 Parties have now ratified the Paris Agreement providing a key political signal towards global commitment to climate action. In a clear effort to bolster Nationally Determined Contributions with sub-national and civil society action, Hakima El Haite and Laurence Tubiana, Morocco and France’s Climate Champions held a series of thematic days (Energy, Transport, Oceans, Cities, Forests, Industry & Business, Agriculture) made up of showcase events and dialogues featuring over 150 speakers and 5,600 participants that concluded with the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action. Key achievements also included the signing and endorsement of the Marrakech Pledge for Fostering Green Capital Markets in Africa 9 African Capital Markets Authorities and Exchanges, accounting for 26 African countries.

In terms of civil society participation, COP22 was a success based on important contributions by a wide array of stakeholders. More than 600 events were held in the Green Zone. The Conference of Youth (COY12) welcomed more than 2,000 participants. The 2nd Regional and Local Leaders Summit held on the margins of the COP, brought together more than 1,000 participants from 114 countries including 780 local and regional elected officials. An important international meeting between 37 National Human Rights Institutions also occurred, focusing on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. An important meeting of labor unions featuring 40 from Africa and the International Trade Union Confederation was also held during COP22. For the first time in COP history a meeting will take place this upcoming January between the COP22 Presidency and civil society to take stock and chart a roadmap for collaboration over the next year.

COP23 will be presided over by Fiji and held in Bonn, Germany in 2017 and COP24 will take place in Poland.