COP22 lauds success of Paris Agreement

The Global Carbon Project report says ‘practically every coal power plant in the world will need to be switched off by 2050 to avoid global warming of 1.5 degree Celsius

 The ongoing COP22 conference called for the reaffirmation of developed countries for successful implementation of the Paris Agreement, in the context of increased global concern after the win of Donald Trump in presidential election of the USA, the largest contributor to the global greenhouse gas emission.

Throughout the election campaign, climate skeptic Trump repeatedly and ruthlessly threatened to leave the global accord aimed at weaning the world off fossil fuels.

On November 15 at COP22, expressing hope that US president-elect Donald Trump would ultimately drop his threat to quit the agreement, outgoing UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said: “What was once unthinkable has become unstoppable. Dropping his earlier plan, we hope, he will really hear and understand the severity and urgency of addressing climate change”.

Australian climate scientist Dr Bill Hare, however, said: “Has it (Trump’s victory) visibly affected the negotiations? Not really, no, it hasn’t. Momentum has continued. And yes, China, India, France, Germany, Brazil and other climate vulnerable developing countries have already reassured their commitment to the Paris Agreement.”

More than 109 countries including the USA have already adopted the agreement. Although Parties are frantically trying to prepare the road-map for the agreement in COP22, experts stressed the need to do ‘some manoeuvring’ to get as much done as possible in COP22, before Trump takes over.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned that 2016 is ‘very likely’ to beat 2015 as the hottest year in history on record.

The Global Carbon Project report says ‘practically every coal power plant in the world will need to be switched off by 2050 to avoid global warming of 1.5 degree Celsius.’

Jennifer Morgan of the Greenpeace International said, “This is the generation that will end fossil fuels. There is reason to feel optimistic as the carbon emission rate has stayed flat for three years, and more and more countries are recognising that shifting to 100% renewable energy is the only way forward. But much more needs to be done to raise pre-2020 ambition”.

At the second week of COP22, heads of state and ministers including the prime minister of Bangladesh have arrived for attending the high-level talks on climate finance.

As a distinguished member of the High Level Panel on Water, launched earlier this year at World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has proposed the ‘Marrakech Work Programme on Water’ to ‘assess the vulnerability of climate change on water resources; develop policy guidelines; promote action on water related issues at Regional and country level; address water related calamities such as floods, drought and glacier melts; and improve water related aspect of adaptation’.

The COP22 also decided to consider several issues, while implementing the climate actions, like gender responsiveness, use of indigenous peoples’ knowledge, existing human rights obligations and related international principles, such as the SDGs.

Negotiators have already concluded a review on loss and damages and overcome divergent positions among developed and developing countries. However, it is crucial to progress on finance provided by developed countries, to initiating the work of the task force on climate displacement and deliver concrete solutions under the recently declared ‘Roadmap to $100bn’.

Regarding climate finance, in the draft of the Marrakesh Declaration, decision has not been made to construct the definition of climate finance recognising the only public grant for adaptation.

Moreover, developed countries are reluctant to include the Adaptation Fund (AF) in the Paris Agreement, as the AF Board has more members from the developing countries.

Besides, even ‘the doubling of adaptation finance would be only 20% of the total $100bn’, with respect to the requirement and also to meet the balance in mitigation and adaptation.

More justifiably vulnerable G77 or LDCs are asking for quadrupling of adaptation finance.

Unfortunately, the draft of the Marrakech declaration only welcomes the $100bn roadmap, but fails to push for adaptation finance.

King of Morocco Mohammed VI highlighted COP 22 as a ‘decisive turning point’ in regard of implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Insisting not to press countries to agree to decisions they may be unable to comply with, he urged the developed countries to honour their commitment of supplying $100bn by 2020, and called all countries for facilitating technology transfer.

“We believe that recalling the UNSG’s advice to ‘act with courage, tenacity and wisdom’ in COP22, the Parties would able to prepare the realistic and credible Roadmap of the Paris Agreement which is required to keep the planet safe, especially for the most vulnerable people,” he added.

This article was originally published in Dhaka Tribune and has published here with author’s permission.

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