The Marrakech climate conference concluded today with concrete results to put the Paris Agreement on climate change into action.
Almost 200 countries met in Morocco for the annual UN gathering, against the backdrop of the rapid ratification and entry into force of the landmark deal. The Paris Agreement became international law on 4 November 2016, less than a year after it was adopted. This enabled the Marrakech conference to convene the first ever meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The progress here in Marrakech is the clearest proof that the world is forging ahead on global climate action. Climate change is bigger than any one country, any one election. And despite all the current uncertainties, this is our clear message from Marrakech: We will stand by Paris, we will defend Paris, and we will implement Paris. The global clean energy transition is here to stay, and Europe will continue to lead the way towards a more sustainable and competitive economy."
The Marrakech climate conference (COP22), dubbed the Action and Implementation COP, set out to demonstrate that commitments made in Paris last year are being put into practice, and to act as a catalyst for further action. There were a number of concrete outcomes:
One of the key deliverables from COP22, the Marrakech Action Proclamation, is a call by heads of state and government for the highest political commitment to tackle climate change. It sends a message of global unity and continued resolve to deliver on the Paris objectives and the transition to a global low-carbon economy.
Parties made good progress on the elements of the Paris rule book which will guide the implementation of the agreement - in particular on transparency and the five-year ambition cycle. Parties agreed a clear way forward that will ensure the rule book will be ready by 2018.
Climate Finance including the 2020 Roadmap: All Parties welcomed the further efforts by the developed countries in increasing their public climate finance contributions. Under long-term finance discussions, the Parties welcomed the progress by donors towards reaching the goal of jointly mobilising USD 100 billion annually by 2020 and urged them to continue to scale-up mobilised climate finance. The conference also noted with appreciation the 2016 biennial assessment by the Standing Committee on Finance, which highlighted an increase in climate finance flows.
Adaptation Fund: EU countries showed their commitment to supporting their most vulnerable partners in dealing with the impacts of climate change. Several EU Member States (Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Italy) announced new contributions to the Fund which now stands at USD 81 million. The EU pledges account for more than 90% of the total amount available under the Adaptation Fund, which directly supports developing countries in their efforts to cope with the effects of climate change.
Capacity Building: The final elements were agreed to enable the Paris Committee on Capacity Building to begin its work in 2017. The work of the committee will play an important part in helping to develop and strengthen the skills and expertise needed in developing countries to implement their domestic climate plans.
Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage: A Decision was adopted on the review of the mechanism addressing the issues related to loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. This will result in increasing its potential and effectiveness, for example through collaboration with a wide range of bodies and entities inside and outside the UNFCCC process. The Decision confirms the shared commitment of Parties to address the concerns of the most vulnerable countries.
In Marrakech countries, states, regions, cities and companies together came together under the Global Climate Action Agenda to showcase inspiring climate action initiatives.
The European Union made a number of announcements during the two week conference including a contribution of EUR 40 million from Germany and EUR 20 million from the European Commission to the InsuResilience initiative. This G7 initiative aims to increase access to direct or indirect insurance coverage against the impacts of climate change for up to 400 million of the most vulnerable people in developing countries by 2020.
The European Union reaffirmed its leading role in supporting the African continent in the fight against climate change and in the promotion of renewable energies. By 2020, the EU has promised to facilitate investments that will increase the renewable electricity generation capacity of at least 5 GW. This is already half of the 10 GW goal of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative for 2020.
Morocco, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal signed a roadmap for sustainable electricity trade which aims to identify barriers to trade in renewable electricity between the five signatory countries and suggest ways to overcome these barriers.
The EU continues to make significant efforts to scale up support to climate-relevant action. In 2015, the EU and its Member States provided EUR 17.6 billion to help developing countries tackle climate change.
The European External Investment Plan, announced this autumn, is expected to trigger public and private investments of up to EUR 44 billion in African and in the EU Neighbourhood area.
The Parties to the Paris Agreement will meet again in 2017 to review progress and outcomes on the implementation of the work programme. The deadline for completion of the work is 2018.