COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech Blog, Development News, Events, SDGs

As early December approached in 2015, all eyes were on Paris for the UN’s climate change conference, COP21. A minimum of 55 countries were required to sign the Paris agreement, which aimed to introduce proposals to the tune of reducing worldwide carbon remissions, as well as provide a framework for increased reliance on alternative energy.

The following conference, held between November 7-18 in Marrakesh, was more about the detail than idea generation. At the beginning of COP22, the direction of the conference was heavily influenced by president-elect Trump’s surprising victory in the U.S. presidential election. Talks over the next few days revolved around the possibility of the U.S. pulling out, but with the president-elect not to take office until January 2017, such talks could only amount to simple speculation. Countries like China, Brazil and Mexico agreed to undertake the carbon-reduction goals regardless of the U.S.’ decision.

By the end of COP22, 111 countries had signed the agreement. The main objective of the conference was to increase the number of pledges to legislation first conceptualized during the Paris conference. For instance, 47 of the most vulnerable countries pledged to go fully renewable by the year 2050, in the hopes of being able to reduce global temperatures to only 2 degree Celsius above global temperature before the industrial revolution.

Issued on Tuesday was the Marrakech Action Proclamation of Our Climate and Sustainable Development, which addressed the belief that the world was reaching in inflection point in climate change, and had generated momentum in the direction of spreading sustainable and renewable energy since the Paris conference of last year. The proclamation reads, “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 benefitting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.”

The proclamation isn’t the only product of the two-week conference, however. The Doha Amendments of the Kyoto Protocol, introduced in 2012, were to extend greenhouse gas-cutting targets among participating countries up until the year 2020 (the original target was 2012). Participating nations at COP22 are still setting the groundwork for the ratification of the Doha Amendments down, thereby securing a binding commitment to carbon reduction for the coming 4 years.