COP22 concludes with adoption of Marrakech Action Proclamation

By Torben Nilsson and Christopher Neglia

The 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted by Morocco in Marrakech from 7-18 November 2016, was concluded with the issuance of a “Marrakech Action Proclamation” by the participating Heads of State, Government, and Delegations.

The Marrakech Action Proclamation welcomes the Paris Agreement, adopted under the Convention, already ratified by over 111 Parties, and entered into force on 4 November 2016.

The Proclamation refers to the ambitious goals and inclusive nature of the Paris agreement, reiterates its reflection of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, and reaffirms the strong – and irreversible – commitment of all Parties to take action on climate and sustainable development, moving forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Developed Country Parties reaffirmed their goal to mobilize USD $100 billion annually from 2020 in climate finance, while the Parties unanimously called for further climate action and support well before 2020. The call was extended to non-state actors, noting in particular the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

Importantly, the Parties emphasized the need to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security, and take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture. The importance of climate action in agriculture features strongly in the NDCs and was more prominent at COP22 than in the past, with particular emphasis on the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) initiative launched through the signing a “Marrakech Declaration” by African Ministers of Agriculture on 30 September 2016.

Inside the Conference, despite appreciable concern with the election of Donald Trump in the United States, world leaders and delegates maintained that there is no going back on the commitments of the Paris agreement; and as the President of COP22, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar warned, “governments must face up to their responsibilities.”

IFAD engaged through numerous side events, media relations, participation in the high-level segment, and issuance of a statement on the importance of improving the climate resilience of smallholder farmers in developing countries.

Fiji was elected to serve as President of COP23 to be held from 6 to 17 November 2017 at the seat of the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn. COP23 will primarily serve to take stock of progress on the implementation of the work programme under the Paris Agreement.