SPECIAL COP22 – Paris deal governing body takes office at the “COP of Action”

The first session of the  Paris Agreement’s governing body opens today (Nov. 15) in Marrakech, with heads of state and government, ministers and heads of delegations. Prior to the opening ceremony of the CMA1 (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement), some organizational and procedural issues are to be resolved according to the provisional agenda.

The President of COP22 and of CMA1, Morocco’s foreign minister Salaheddine Mezouar, opens the CMA1 in the morning. The technical items that have to be concluded include for instance the adoption of the agenda itself.

The representatives of countries are scheduled to issue national statements in a joint plenary meeting of the COP22, the CMP12 (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) and CMA1. This will continue through Wednesday, Nov. 16 and 17.

It is planned that negotiations will end on Thursday, Nov. 17, in order for the CMA1 and COP22 to adopt decisions and reach conclusions by the closing date of COP22 on Nov. 18. Thereby, the unexpected taking place of CMA1 after the surprising fast entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement has caused some procedural difficulties. According to the agreement reached last year in Paris, the CMA1 is expected to consider and adopt modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) for the Paris Agreement to take form and getting implemented.

However, the elaboration of these MPGs is complex and takes some more time. Therefore, it is expected that the CMA1 will be suspended and resumed at a later point again, as it is proposed by the Moroccan COP Presidency. This means that the bodies which were charged to work out the rule book of the Paris Agreement are supposed to continue their work in technical negotiations. In 2017, the CMA1 will shortly resume to take stock of the progress reached.

Consequently, the urgency for completion of the MPGs are stressed. The COP22 might take the decision that the work programme to determine the MPGs shall be finished at the latest at COP24 in 2018. This means that the CMA1 is supposed to be able to decide all the MPGs by then and the Paris Agreement would be consequently fully operational in 2018.

In general, 2018 will probably mark the next important moment of international climate policy. The IPCC will publish a special report on the feasibility and desirability of the 1.5°C target. In addition, a Facilitative Dialogue is scheduled to take place and serve as a stock-taking event building up momentum and incentivizing countries to raise the ambition of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). COP22 might take the decision that this Facilitative Dialogue shall be properly organized throughout 2017.

Moreover, the COP22 is likely to urge countries to ratify the Doha Amendment, the extension of the Kyoto Protocol until 2020. Building on the resolution on climate change of the ICAO and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on HFCs, the Conference in Marrakesh shall focus on implementation with the adoption of the ‘Marrakech Call For Climate Action and Sustainable Development’, that still needs to be agreed.


(Image: Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth)