The Moroccan Presidency of the 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) yesterday hosted the start of the Pre-COP Ministerial Meeting (October 18 &19), in preparation for the COP22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference, November 7 to 18.
The opening plenary of the Pre-COP was chaired by Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco and COP22 President and Segolene Royal, Minister of the Environment of France and COP21 President, along with the participation of Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. Ministers, Special Envoys, Ambassadors and Representatives from over 70 countries are present to participate in this two-day meeting in Marrakech.
Salaheddine Mezouar welcomed all those in attendance and congratulated the international community for the recent major successes achieved in fighting climate change which include triggering the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the ICAO agreement to curb CO2 emissions from the international aviation sector and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). He also underscored the urgency to act as the world witnesses increasing cases of extreme weather. “I would like to take the time to convey my thoughts to all of those terribly affected in Haiti as a result of Hurricane Matthew,” he added.
The Pre-COP Ministerial Meeting is designed to finalize preparations for the COP22 agenda including organizing the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement (November 4) and the holding of the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1) during COP22 in Marrakech. The agenda will also include discussions on means of implementation of the Paris Agreement before and after 2020 such as capacity building and finance packages as well as developing a Paris Agreement rulebook to implement the various components. An emphasis will also be put on sharing perspectives on the Global Climate Action Agenda as presented by the Moroccan and French High-level Climate Champions, Hakima El Haite and Laurence Tubiana, and promoting ways to foster climate ambition at all levels of society.
During his opening remarks Salaheddine Mezouar presented Morocco’s vision for COP22 that includes the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and its first meeting in Marrakech (CMA1), an objective, which thanks to international mobilization has already been met. He encouraged all Parties that have not yet ratified to do so. “CMA1 in Marrakech will be an inclusive moment”, he added. The second pillar of the plan is to encourage Parties to implement and strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). According to Minister Mezouar, “Morocco wanted to set the example and therefore we have revised our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal from 32% to 42% by 2030.” And the final pillar is to mobilize non-state actors with the goal of institutionalizing their actions under the Global Climate Action Agenda. COP22 will be a COP of action with a special focus on the important contributions of civil society. The Moroccan Presidency will take stock with civil society during the Marrakech climate change conference and chart a common agenda together.
During her remarks, COP21 President Segolene Royal emphatically assured that “all the elements are in place for a successful COP22 in Marrakech.”
In her statement, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa welcomed the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and its first meeting in Marrakech as an “historic moment for people everywhere and for multilateralism.” Executive Secretary Espinosa announced that the UNFCCC Secretariat will make arrangements to open CMA1 on the morning of Tuesday, November 15, with a brief opening plenary meeting. The joint High-Level segment of the COP, CMP and CMA would be convened immediately after the CMA1 opening, where all Parties will make their national statements. She added that, “the presence of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the UN Secretary-General and Heads of State and Government on that occasion will amplify the historic significance of the moment.”
The Pre-COP in Marrakech continues tomorrow with closed-door working sessions. The Ochre City of Marrakech will be host to COP22, November 7 to 18.