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Action at COP22

Dozens of heads of state and government to attend UN climate conference
Action at COP22

Ten days after the entry into force of the landmark Paris Agreement, dozens of heads of state and government are expected today (15 November) at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP22), which started in Marrakech, Morocco, on 7 November 2016.

Before the Conference wraps up on 18 November, state parties hope to define the rules for the accord and to lay out a viable plan for providing at least $100 billion a year to developing countries to support climate action.

The Paris Agreement

Adopted by 196 state parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December, the Paris Agreement has been created to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change.

Its goal is to keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It entered into force in record time on 4 November 2016.

The Marrakech Conference includes a number of meetings and high-level events, including the high-level segment to be attended by dozens of heads of state and government today.

During the first week of COP 22, in parallel with the negotiations between the Parties, a series of thematic days on forests, water, cities, energy and transport highlighted the crucial role of non-state actors, including businesses, cities and non-governmental organisations, to implement the Agreement.

Staying the course

On Saturday, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, co-host of COP22, welcomed the fact that 105 countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement, saying ‘it gives the Agreement a lot of weight and a lot of credibility.’

The President of COP22, Salaheddine Mezouar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, stressed that the main priorities of the Moroccan Presidency of COP22 are to create a bridge between ‘the world of negotiations and the world of action’, to get parties to increase their national commitments, to focus on climate finance and to transform climate initiatives launched at COP21 into concrete projects.

Asked about the uncertainties raised by the US presidential election, Mr Mezouar said that the participants of the Marrakech Conference remained ‘confident’ and that it was necessary ‘to stay the course’ and ‘keep this extraordinary momentum.’

‘[The Paris Agreement] is supported not only as a result of negotiation but in many ways is the result of a broad movement that has taken place globally. It remains a treaty that is in force.’

PATRICIA ESPINOSA
UN climate chief

Click here for news and updates on COP22 in Marrakech.

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