South Africa participates in International Climate Change Talks in Marrakech, Morocco
COP22 takes place only days after the Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted at COP21 in Paris, France in December 2015, entered into force on 4 November 2016. South Africa played a leading role at COP 21 in Paris, as the Chair of the Group of 77 and China, a group of 134 developing countries that are worst affected by climate change.
Marrakech is a turning point in the international climate action, as this is the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement since its adoption and entering into force. The Marrakech Climate Change negotiations also mark the first meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body, the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1). The CMA meeting will take place in Marrakech in conjunction with COP22 and CMP12 (the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) from 7 to 18 November 2016.
In addition, the 45th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 45) and of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 45), as well as the second part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-2) will take place during the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, thirty days after the date on which at least 5 Parties to the Convention, accounting for an estimated 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, have deposited their instruments of ratification with the United Nations Secretary-General. This is ahead of the scheduled implementation of the Agreement by 2020.
South Africa ratified the Paris Agreement on 2 November 2016.
The South African-led Durban international climate change talks in 2011 marked the beginning of the 4-year negotiating process that culminated in the Paris Agreement.
South Africa played a leading role at COP 21 in Paris, as the Chair of the Group of 77 and China, a group of 134 developing countries that are worst affected by climate change. South Africa was also the lead negotiator for the African Group as well as a member of the Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) configuration.
What South Africa seeks to achieve in Marrakech.
Morocco COP 22 is an action and implementation COP. It should send a signal to the world that global climate action is being accelerated. Specifically South Africa would like to see good progress in:
- Operationalising the Pre-2020 implementation agenda (2016 to 2020 period);
- Addressing the pre-2020 ambition gap; and
- Making good progress in developing the rule book for operationalising the Paris Agreement post 2020.
In addition, South Africa looks forward to a successful first and historic meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties for the Paris Agreement, following the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November 2016.
For SalaheddineMezouar, president of the Cop22, this conference is an "opportunity to bring the voices of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, in particular African countries and island states. It is urgent to act before these issues related to stability and security, " he said. Also, the Cop22 wants it to be that of action.
Encourage countries to commit to low-carbon economy
The signatory countries of the Paris agreement must develop their national adaptation plans . For Nizar Baraka, chairman of the scientific committee of the Cop22 , "we need to encourage our countries to engage in a strong way, in sectors related green economy [and also in the blue economy] to take advantage of opportunities term growth and employment associated with them. "
It is also to preserve the sustainability of our development models and to improve access and the conditions of use and development of green technologies.
Driss El Yazami, head of the division of the civil society of the COP22, stresses the importance of "universal solidarity". He added: "the Cop 22 must be that of equality, youth and democracy."
For Driss El Yazami, "even if the historical responsibilities and future effects are unevenly distributed, this well together is that we have to react. The climate emergency requires of us in some way to "find universalism".
Ratification of the Paris Agreement
To enter into force, the Paris Agreement, adopted December 12, 2015 in Paris, had to be ratified by at least 55 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) representing 55% of global gas emissions Greenhouse effect.
September 21, 2016, on the sidelines of the 71 th General Assembly of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, invited Parties to a special event in New York to expedite the entry into force of 'Agreement. That day, 31 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification to cross the first threshold of 55 Parties.
The second threshold for the entry into force (55% of greenhouse gas emissions), was passed October 5, 2016 with the filing with the United Nations, the instruments of ratification of the European Union - which account 1 part, of 7 of its member states (Hungary, France, Slovakia, Austria, Malta, Portugal, Germany) and Nepal.
The Paris Agreement entered into force officially 30 days, on November 4, 2016, on the eve of the 22 th Conference of Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC."
There are some critical aspects that COP 22 should deliver on, if the Paris architecture is to be realised.
- COP should make progress on the features and information contained in the mitigation component of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), including the consideration of common timeframes for NDCs. Solutions to the dichotomy of 5 and 10 year timeframe are possible, South Africa and Brazil submitted a 5+5 NDC, which enables an effective global stocktake
- The definition of minimum information and features for the adaptation component of NDCs is central to the call by a number of developing countries, particularly Africa, for a balanced treatment of mitigation and adaptation, and we believe the Agreement is instructive in that, such should address at least, vulnerability, priorities, plans and actions, implementation and support needs, adaptation efforts for recognition in case of developing countries.
COP 22, amongst others is mandated to start the discussion on information to be provided by developed countries in their Biennial Communications of Indicative Support (BCIS) envisaged in Article 9.5. This is an important assurance in the view of developing countries, as public finance communicated in the BCIS is tangible, as such important in trust building. It would be amiss of Marrakech not to address this APA mandate.
On global stocktake:
- The Global Stocktake agreed in Paris is probably the most innovative aspect of the Paris Agreement in that it is essentially an ambition mechanism to asses both the progress in the implementation, as well as measure up the sum total of ‘undertakings’ on mitigation, finance, adaptation against what science tells us. Progress on the modalities of the stocktake should be made in Marrakech.
On Capacity Building:
- The COP should adopt the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB), and proceed in the PCCB to developing a work plan.
On Early Entry into force:
- COP 22 should built on the spirit of universality and inclusivity fostered in Paris. This spirit is evident in the speed with which the Agreement has entered into force, and as a result, the first session of the Meeting of Parties of the Paris Agreement (CMA) will hold its first meeting in Marrakech.
- In the meantime, given both the work still to be done, and also the importance of including all Parties, the CMA1 should therefore mandate the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) to continue its work,
- Empower the COP to take stock of progress on issues which are critical for post-2020 implementation, and especially on issues which are not necessarily currently mapped out under the APA’s work programme.
- Following this, the CMA should suspend its activities until 2018, by which time all Parties should have ratified.
On Pre-2020 agenda:
- The High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Financing should deliver on adaptation finance. The dialogue should result in scaled-up funding for, and greater emphasis on, adaptation, as part of pre-2020 action, particularly as we are already experiencing the harsh effects of climate change. The Dialogue will give clear, positive direction on the future of the Adaptation Fund, and there is a need for the COP and the CMP to finalise their recommendations on this. Finally, we expect developed country Parties to table a clear pathway to realising the $100 billion of climate finance per annum by 2020 (scaled up thereafter) and on the provision of technology and capacity building.
Marrakech Climate Change conference about operationalising the Paris Agreement
18 November 2016 - The 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) currently underway in Marrakech, Morocco marks ‘a turning point for international climate action.’ This is according to Minister of Environmental Affairs Dr. Edna Molewa, who is leading the South African delegation to COP22. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December last year at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC in Paris. The climate change conference in Marrakesh is the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement since its entry into force on the 4th November 2016.
Press release from Ministers of BASIC countries, Marrakesh, Morocco
17 November 2016 - The Ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) met today in Marrakesh, Morocco, to take stock of the progress achieved thus far in the Marrakesh Climate Conference (COP22/CMP12/CMA1) and to compare notes on further work required as this important conference enters its final days. They conveyed their appreciation to the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the conference and for the warm hospitality.Minister Edna Molewa’s statement at COP22/CMP12/CMA1 Marrakesh, Morocco
Minister Edna Molewa’s statement at COP22/CMP12/CMA1 Marrakesh, Morocco
16 November 2016 - I would like to convey the highest regards of His Excellency President Jacob Zuma and the people of South Africa to His Majesty King Mohammed the Sixth. We express our heartfelt thanks to the Moroccan government and people for their warm hospitality. Shukran Jazeelan!
Minister Molewa speaking notes at the preparatory AMCEN meeting for the UNFCCC COP 16
13 November 2016 - As this is the first time I take the floor, let me congratulate you Minister Fahmy and the AMCEN and AU Secretariat for organizing this annual event. This meeting is very helpful as it provided all of us with the opportunity to coordinate our positions for the COP/CMP sessions and I dare say CMA session. The entry into force of the Paris Agreement on the 4th of November 2016 has necessitated the convening of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA).
Minister Edna Molewa arrives at International Climate Change Talks in Marrakech, Morocco
13 November 2016 - The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, is in Marrakech, Morocco, to lead the South African delegation at the High Level Segment of the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco, from 13 to 18 November 2016.