The Proclamation further states “Our task now is to rapidly build on that momentum, together, moving forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Development Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.” We the global community believe that this is not a hidden message from the united global community to the US president-elect Donald Trump, but also a positive approach towards action on climate and sustainable development as well as a glimpse of hope for climate vulnerable countries.
It is well-known that the UN climate summit, COP22, started following the result of the US Presidential elections. The victor Trump’s dismissal of climate change as a hoax has shaded the COP22 with much uncertainty and anxiety.
However, in the Marrakesh Action Proclamation, recognizing the extraordinary momentum of irreversible, worldwide climate change, the Parties have called for the highest political commitment to combat climate change.
Leaders across the developed and developing countries together welcomed the Paris Agreement and its rapid entry into force, with its ambitious goals, its inclusive nature, and its principle of common but differentiated responsibility in light of different national circumstances. Considering this positive tune about the Paris Agreement, Climate Focus has commented that it is “a line that keeps developing countries happy and ensures this document does not tread new ground or make new promises”.
Though the COP22 has called for strong solidarity with the most vulnerable countries and underscored the need to support efforts aimed at enhancing their adaptive capacity and reselience, a CSO has been critical and mentioned that “Nix this and you’re screwing the poor”.
“While representatives from climate vulnerable countries, cities, and civil society organisations are fighting to keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground, as well as preventing the expansion of polluting airports (hat-tip to France), Turkey, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan and Indonesia still aim to increase their domestic fossil fuel extraction. This is completely counterproductive to keeping global warming below the critical threshold of 1.5°C. We strongly believe that Parties will be more careful and need some legal instruments under Paris Agreement to make them accountable.” (ECO 11, COP22, 2016)
This Proclamation has called for all Parties to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture.
It has also called for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries.
It is a matter of hope that the Developed Country Parties reaffirmed to mobilize the US $100 billion goal. Moreover, Parties, unanimously, called for further climate action and support well in advance of 2020, taking into account the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries, the LDCs and SIDS.
However, the Road map to the US$100 billion didn’t ensure to mobilize the required adaptation funds for developing countries and also left much to be clarified about how the balance for adaptation and mitigation will be ensured, the means of scaling up the adaptation finance and whether the finance would be ‘new’ and ‘additional’, grant or loan.
Besides, the Adaptation Fund has not been included to serve under the Paris Agreement yet due to opposition from some developed countries.
Certain industrialized countries are reluctant to provide the adequate public funds as a grant for adaptation in developing countries, claiming unavailability. However, the reality is different.
According to Parties’ own biennial reporting, G7 governments plus Australia are providing roughly $3.4 billion per year in public finance for adaptation activities in developing countries whereas they are providing nearly $67 billion per year in subsidies and public finance to support oil, gas, and coal production, both domestically and abroad. This is contradictory to the above commitment of the developed country Parties.
Fight never ends! Noting the many initiatives reiterated by the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, outgoing UNSG Ban Ki-moon called the CSO leaders to move more forcefully for immediate action to keep global temperatures increase below 1.5C, building on their achievements. Hope for the global community needs be united against all odds for successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. After all no pain, no gain!