Informal pre-COP talks started in Morocco, urging action for Africa and vulnerable countries

On Thursday (Sept. 8) preparation to the first after-Paris climate conference started in Skhirat, Morocco, at the invitation of the Moroccan COP22 Presidency. According to the official press release, around 140 delegates and climate negotiators representing over fifty countries participated in a two-day session of closed-door informal meetings. During the first day, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar welcomed UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in her first official visit to the country.

Mr. Mezouar holds talks with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Preliminary technical, security and logistical issues have already being debated during previous meetings including organizers and international ambassadors. On thursday Mezouar asked the world delegates to focus their attention on setting a roadmap for the $100 billion climate finance goal reaffirmed last year at COP21 . As for many other core issues – such as the technology transfer, transparency and compliance mechanisms – the Paris Agreement does not provide practical instruments or tools on how to implement the long-term goals; it is therefore up to the next UNFCCC conferences and side technical meetings to decide how to develop the new climate regime. Other goals of the informal meeting included the expected outcomes for the COP22 conference in Marrakech, the Pre-2020 Agenda and the status of ratifications and possible early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

During his remarks, President Mezouar stressed the need for the next COP to also be an opportunity to focus the attention on Africa and most vulnerable countries. To date, only two African countries have ratified the Paris Agreement (Somalia and Cameroon), accounting together for nearly the 0.50% of global emissions. Despite low emissions levels, the contribution of Africa could be crucial, numerically speaking, to reach the 55 countries threshold necessary for the Agreement to enter into force. In July, oil-driven Nigeria declared its commitment to sign and ratify the agreement in September, local press reported. Nigeria, accounting for 0.57% of global emissions, was one of the few countries which did not sign the Paris Agreement at the official signing ceremony in April, 2016. This new commitment could therefore represent a further step towards African participation and an early ratification of the Paris Agreement.


(Image: Marrakesh, Morocco. Photo credit: Adam Tibbals / Flickr