Nearly 200 countries, including India, on Friday adopted a work plan for the implementation of Paris climate agreement by 2018 during a key UN summit here overshadowed by Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw the US from the historic pact. After two weeks of negotiations, the Marrakesh climate change summit also underscored the urgent need for early action on part of developed countries to make emission cuts in accordance to their commitments in the Kyoto protocol which still has four years to go before its expiry in 2020.
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With discussions centred mainly on procedural issues, the Marrakesh meeting went into over time last night with many countries including India raising some concerns over a few draft proposals.
The decision sets up the stage for an early implementation of the Paris agreement which was negotiated as a successor regime to the Kyoto protocol for the post 2020 period.
Paris agreement finalised in December last year entered into force in less than a year.
The conference which was dominated by reports that US under its President-elect Trump threat to pull out from the pact, conference president Salaheddine Mezouar brought down the gavel, passing a document in which parties agree to meet again in 2017 to “review progress”.
The conference saw a political call being given yesterday asking countries to combat climate change as a matter of “urgent priority” while noting that climate is warming at an “alarming and unprecedented” rate.
“Meanwhile governments set a rapid deadline of 2018 to complete the rule book for operationalising the Paris Agreement to ensure confidence, cooperation and its success over the years and decades to come,” an UNFCCC statement said.
Mezoua said the Kingdom of Morocco is fully engaged in the success of this COP and will energetically carry out its role as President.
At the outcome of the last fifteen days, our vision has been consolidated and we are working to make concrete progress and to carry out breakthrough actions from now until the end of 2017, he said.
“It will be necessary to respect the commitment of USD 100 billion dollars from now until 2020. Faced with the magnitude of what is required for dealing with the impacts of climate change, turning billions into trillions is indispensable.
“2017 must be the year of large scale projects, of mobilising finance and accessing financial facilities that will be necessary for adaptation,” Mezoua said.
“The Marrakesh climate talks affirmed the world’s strong commitment to international climate action. Delegates in Marrakesh made crucial progress in building the foundation to support the Paris Agreement, which went into force just days before COP22.
“Most importantly, negotiators agreed to finalise the rules of the Paris Agreement by 2018 and developed a clear road map to meet that deadline. With a final rulebook in hand, the 2018 climate summit will set the stage for countries to put forward their enhanced national climate plans in 2020,” said Paula Caballero, Global Director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute.
Indian climate experts, however, said that the conference ended without making any breakthrough under critical agenda items including agriculture, finance, adaptation and pre-2020 actions.
They said that COP22 was named as ‘COP of Action’ but ended up being ‘COP of Distraction’ primarily because of US elections results.
“Parties were not prepared for this meeting as Paris Agreement got operationalised on November 4 much ahead of what was anticipated. Therefore, there has not been much progress on modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPG) to operationalise the Paris Agreement with discussions being shifted to the next climate talks,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE.
As far as India was concerned, he said that the country had no clear position regarding issues affecting its poor, including agriculture, adaptation and loss and damage.
The focus was on procedural issues such as transparency framework, global stocktake, market mechanisms and on sustainable lifestyle and environmental justice, he added.