COP 22 UN Climate Change Conference

At the COP22 UN Climate Change Conference in Morocco nearly 200 nations made an urgent appeal for the “highest political commitment” to combat climate change. We call for the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority, the 197 parties to the UN’s climate convention stated in the Marrakesh Action Proclamation issued at the annual UN Climate Conference. The nations warned that our climate was warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we had an urgent duty to respond.

COP22, held from 7 to 18 November, saw the participation of over 70 world leaders, including His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Moreover, over 30,000 representatives of NGOs and delegations of 197 countries, as well as celebrities took part in the event.

Activists are concerned by US President-elect Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, thus undercutting years of painstaking negotiations. Participants also fear that the goal of avoiding the worst case scenarios of global warming may not be possible without US backing. Trump has described climate change as a “hoax” perpetrated by China and has appointed climate change sceptic Myron Bell as the head of his EPA transition team.

After the success of last year’s climate forum COP21in Paris, organisers were tasked with drafting a roadmap for its execution. But campaigners in Marrakesh say that the process is not moving fast enough. There is no serious energy on the part of the negotiators. They are doing their best but we think it’s not good enough,” said Rita Uwaka, from Friends of the Earth’s Nigeria branch.

During his campaign, Trump described the issue of climate change as a “hoax” and vowed to cancel various actions taken by the Obama administration, including the US ratification of the Paris Agreement. The statement also reaffirmed the goal of mobilizing 100 billion US dollars to help developing countries cope with climate change, but it doesn’t mention any clear timeline or roadmap for developed countries to provide this funding as promised in 2009.  According to the US special envoy for climate change Jonathan Pershing, developed countries have pledged more than 60 million dollars to help developing countries build their capacity to report on their efforts in addressing climate change.

Earlier Thursday, EU commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Canete applauded the host country’s proposal for the UN conference to issue the proclamation.

“This presidential initiative would send an important and timely political signal, with the proclamation as a powerful expression of the continued resolve to follow through on our Paris commitment to the decarbonization of the global economy,” he told a press conference.”The European Union’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is not in question,” he said.

The Marrakech action proclamation for our climate and sustainable development states, we, Heads of State, Government, and Delegations, gathered in Marrakech, on African soil, for the High-Level Segment of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 12th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and the 1st Session of the

Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, at the gracious invitation of His Majestythe King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, issue this 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, adopted under the Convention, 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.

Indeed, this year, we have seen extraordinary momentum on climate change worldwide, and in many multilateral fora. This momentum is irreversible, it is being driven not only by governments, but by science, business and global action of all types at all levels. Our task now is to rapidly build on that momentum, together, moving forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.

We call for the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority.We call for strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and underscore the need to support efforts aimed to enhance their adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability. We call for all Parties to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture.

We call for urgently raising ambition and strengthening cooperation amongst ourselves to close the gap between current emissions trajectories and the pathway needed to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. We call for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries. We the Developed Country Parties reaffirm our USD $100 billion mobilization goal.

We, unanimously, call for further climate action and support, well in advance of 2020, taking into account the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries, the least developed countries and those particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. We who are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol encourage the ratification of the Doha Amendment. We, collectively, call on all non-state actors to join us for immediate and ambitious action and mobilization, building on their important achievements, noting the many initiatives and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action itself, launched in Marrakech.

The transition in our economies required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement provides a substantial positive opportunity for increased prosperity and sustainable development. The Marrakech Conference marks an important inflection point in our commitment to bring together the whole international community to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time. As we now turn towards implementation and action, we reiterate our resolve to inspire solidarity, hope and opportunity for current and future generations.

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