UN climate negotiators will have an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate global climate action when they meet just days after the world’s first universal climate deal becomes a legally binding global agreement.
The talks, which must now clarify rules for implementation and clear the way for ambitious, accelerated climate commitments, begins in Marrakech, Morocco on 7 November.
“Marrakech is about getting down to business, clarifying the Paris Agreement’s rules of engagement, and empowering governments, businesses, cities, and other sectors to make increasingly ambitious commitments. We must leave these negotiations having a more solid framework, but knowing we already have all the power to create the world we need,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF International’s Climate and Energy Practice.
The Paris Agreement is now the global roadmap for climate action. We have moved from a period of promise to an era of action. Now, we must hold leaders accountable for delivering on commitments to limit rising global temperatures. The UN's latest emission gap report notes that global warming is still expected to hit 2.9 to 3.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
“Decisions made in the next few years will largely determine if we’re able to achieve the 1.5°C warming threshold agreed in Paris or if we take the unthinkable option of blowing right past it,” said Pulgar-Vidal.
"That’s the what the next round of climate talks in Morocco are all about," said Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, World Wildlife Fund’s senior director of international climate cooperation. "Just like investments, emissions cuts we make today will yield higher dividends 30 years from now than those we put off until a later date. And the longer we wait, the steeper and more costly those later cuts would need to be.”
In Marrakech, negotiators must focus on:
- Creating clearer guidelines for this new global agreement: With the Paris Agreement we have a plan of action but we have not finalised the rules that will govern this plan. All Parties involved need to leave COP22 with greater clarity on process and how they can meet and improve on their current climate pledges, so we can successfully deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement.
- Highlighting the role of collaboration between State and non-State actors: Many non-State actors are taking action now and this must send a signal to countries to take bolder actions themselves, before 2020, and build on this progress in subsequent years.
- Underscoring the importance of the 2018 moment, and the need to ramp up the ambition before that date: 2018 is the next global opportunity to take stock of progress towards meeting the Paris goals and to mobilise for more ambitious climate plans (NDCs). There are additional opportunities to be capitalised on that depend on individual country leadership and cooperation among countries, critical to unleashing additional mitigation potential. Ramping up ambition before 2020 - when the next round of climate commitments take effect - will be crucial to closing the gap between existing pledges for climate action and what we need do to reduce emissions to keep warming below 1.5°C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.