Marrakech Climate Conference Focuses on Finance
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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At the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, the second part of the facilitative dialogue on enhancing ambition and support took place in the morning on Wednesday, while in the afternoon, the second biennial high-level dialogue on climate finance convened.

Naoko Ishii, CEO, Global Environment Facility (GEF), announced that donors have pledged more than US$50 million to the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency.

The NDC Partnership also launched the NDC Funding & Initiatives Navigator, an online database of climate finance and support initiatives that will help guide users to relevant funding opportunities and initiatives for capacity building, technical assistance, and other types of support.

16 November 2016: At the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, the second part of the facilitative dialogue on enhancing ambition and support took place in the morning on Wednesday, while in the afternoon, the second biennial high-level dialogue on climate finance convened.

Contact groups and informal consultations met under the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP). The joint high-level segment continued. Informals also took place under the COP and the COP Presidency on entry into force of the Paris Agreement and the convening of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). In the evening, the CMA plenary convened, followed by informal consultations, which continued late into the night.

During the CMA plenary, parties adopted the agenda and the organization of work. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa reported that, as of 16 November 2016, 110 parties to the Convention had deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement, representing more than half of Convention parties. Opening statements were then made by groups of countries.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment, underscored that current pledges are insufficient to reach the Paris Agreement’s goals, but cited opportunities to “bend the emissions curve.”

During the facilitative dialogue on enhancing ambition and support, Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment, underscored that current pledges are insufficient to reach the Paris Agreement’s goals, but cited opportunities to “bend the emissions curve.” On ambition, panelists discussed: success factors; immediate domestic steps; and cooperation mechanisms. On domestic steps, participants highlighted carbon pricing, REDD+ and capacity building. On means of implementation, Javier Manzanares, ad interim Executive Director, Green Climate Fund (GCF), highlighted 27 approved projects and programmes, which will leverage an estimated US$9.4 billion in on-the-ground investment. Naoko Ishii, CEO, Global Environment Facility (GEF), announced that donors have pledged more than US$50 million to the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency.

Contact groups and informal consultations under the COP convened. Parties agreed to forward text, with minor adjustments, to the COP for consideration on: the report of the GCF to the COP and guidance to the GCF; and initiation of the process to identify the information to be provided by parties in accordance with Paris Agreement Article 9.5. On the report of the Standing Committee on Finance and review of the functions of the SCF, views diverged regarding a paragraph reiterating that the SCF will integrate financing for forests-related considerations into its 2017 workplan. The co-chairs forwarded the bracketed text to the COP Presidency. On the report of the GEF to the COP and guidance to the GEF, the co-chairs forwarded the text, with numerous brackets, to the COP Presidency for further guidance. On the sixth review of the Financial Mechanism, a draft decision was forwarded to the COP.

On linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, parties agreed to delete a proposed paragraph providing guidance to the GCF and to forward the draft decision to the COP, which includes continuing consideration at COP 24.

Under the CMP and matters relating to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), parties could not reach agreement on: relevance of the CDM in the context of Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches); voluntary cancellation; international aviation issues; references to the GCF; restrictive practices; and length of crediting periods. They agreed to delete bracketed text and forward the “clean” draft decision to the CMP for consideration. [IISD RS Coverage of COP 22]

IISD Reporting Services is producing the ENB and ENV on a daily basis from COP 22, along with ENB on the side (ENBOTS), and coverage of several special Days and other events. [IISD RS Coverage of COP 22] [IISD RS Video Coverage of COP 22]

A ‘High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance: Scaling-up Adaptation Finance to Address the Challenges of Climate and Development’ convened to: provide a vision on how to further the mobilization of climate finance; focus on enabling and delivering initiatives on leveraging and catalyzing public and private finance; and address issues and opportunities related to enhancing access and developing innovative tools to sustain the transformation towards a climate-resilient economy. Opening statements highlighted the need for more than incremental change to mobilize trillions of US dollars to protect lives and communities, and the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Resilience Initiative, ‘A2R’ – Anticipate, Absorb and Reshape, which focuses on climate risk insurance.

The dialogue included two tracks: Financial Policies for Climate Action; and Scaling-up Climate Finance and Widening the Field. The first addressed a multi-stakeholder approach to adaptation finance through financial support and capacities, including the alignment of national financial and budgetary policies to accelerate the delivery on climate action, and the role of Ministers of Finance. The second focused on cooperation on enabling environments and support for readiness activities, and the mobilization of long-term climate finance to enable the transformation toward climate-resilient development.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the Dialogue was delivered by Robert Orr, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Climate Change. In the message, Ban called for strengthening the GEF and the Adaptation Fund, said development banks should continue scaling up their climate-related lending, and urged exploring more ways to realign investment behaviors and integrate resilience across all aspects of economic planning. He mentioned the Climate Resilience Initiative, ‘A2R’ – Anticipate, Absorb and Reshape, that he launched to strengthen efforts to build climate resilience. A2R aims to provide climate risk insurance in cooperation with the insurance sector. He said at least 400 million people should be provided with climate risk insurance coverage, called for more progress towards a global price on carbon, and underscored that results depend on innovative financial solutions, more effective economic governance and new models of cooperation to achieve clean and resilient growth. [High-Level Dialogue Webpage] [Statement of the UN Secretary-General]

Side events took place throughout the day. During a high-level action event on agriculture and food security, panelists underscored: that climate change poses a fundamental threat to food security; that agriculture can simultaneously address poverty, hunger and climate change; that existing climate finance is insufficient to address food insecurity; and agriculture’s dual role in mitigation and adaptation, noting that organic matter in soils both sequesters carbon and increases productivity. Participants also discussed: the Africa Agriculture Adaptation Initiative (AAAI); the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Global Framework for Action to Cope with Water Scarcity in Agriculture in the Context of Climate Change; the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact; the Life Beef Carbon project; and the Promotion of a Climate Smart Agriculture and Agro-Ecology Transition in West Africa Initiative. Panelists also called for an integration of food security and nutrition concerns into climate change policies; noted Uruguay’s initiative on soil management through the universal soil loss equation; and drew attention to the difficulty of measuring and aggregating adaptation.

During a high-level dialogue on provincial and federal climate action in Canada, organized by the International Emissions Trading Association and the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Eric Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment, highlighted that after the US election, uncertainty abounds in the climate arena. Nevertheless, he called for optimism noting that 2015 had the most investment in solar and wind, and said that if the US is unable to lead, China is ready to do so and will need support from countries like Canada. Provincial and federal Canadian representatives noted that: Alberta has its own carbon pricing architecture in place, including tax rebates and investments in renewable energy; partnerships between Quebec and the city of Guadalajara on a cap-and-trade system, as well as with cities in China; Ontario’s actions including the circular economy bill and the cap-and trade-bill; Indigenous Peoples must work with the government on adaptation and mitigation; and local leaders in the US should continue to work on climate change even if the federal government does not. Panelists also noted other local-level efforts in Canada, including the phasing out of coal in Ontario, zero emissions vehicles in Quebec and a proposed cap on oil sands emissions in Alberta.

Other events addressed: an ecosystem-based approach for climate change adaptation in Maldives; and climate resilience for agriculture and food security and zero hunger. The latter session concentrated on efforts combining the fights against hunger and climate change, countries’ experiences, and showcasing the importance of data and financial instruments in facilitating adaptation. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

An event on actions on near-term climate mitigation to protect air quality and achieve the Paris climate goals and the SDGs aimed to provide a platform for discussions on: national practices/experiences in combining efforts on mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs); how SLCPs fit into Nationally Determined Contributions; and the expected or experienced multiple benefits for health and sustainable development. Organized by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), this event discussed the science perspective, political support for reducing SLCPs, and financing SLCP mitigation. [IISD RS Coverage of the Event]

An International Development Research Center (IDRC) event on accelerating implementation, and transitioning to low carbon and climate resilient development pathways highlighted the views of experts, policymakers and private sector representatives on solutions and challenges for a low carbon economy. Debates focused on the urgency of climate action, considering that the Paris Agreement alone is insufficient to achieve established targets on mitigation and adaptation goals. Panelists emphasized, among other things, the importance of innovation that goes beyond technology, such as those related to policy and institutions. [IISD RS Coverage of IDRC Events]

A Gulf Cooperation Council event on energy efficiency improvements with mitigation co-benefits through economic diversification discussed: how as Saudi Arabia’s energy intensity continues to rise, its energy consumption efficiency has worsened; Saudi Aramco’s Lead by Example Initiative as a model of energy efficiency solutions; the Al-Reyadah Project in the United Arab Emirates, a new carbon capture plant that will sequester 800,000 tons of CO2 per year; and Kahramaa’s Tarsheed programme in Qatar, which encourages sustainability in all national energy sectors. [IISD RS Coverage of GCC Events]

During a US Center event on auctions to attract investment, panelists underscored: that many countries are using renewable energy auctions and that feed-in tariffs have not kept up with renewable energy price decreases; the role of reverse auctions as an important instrument to foster competition and investment, and drive down costs; and the importance of contract design, performance-based purchases, long-term contracts, construction contingencies, and contract transferability in case of bankruptcy. One panelist illustrated the design elements and functioning of renewable energy auctions with a game, whereby participants were given chocolates and a live descending clock auction was conducted where the panelist engaged in purchasing a limited amount of chocolate with the public trying to sell their chocolate and maximize their benefit.

Another event on North American mid-century strategies for low-emission development focused on the progress the US, Canada and Mexico have made in developing their mid-century strategies for low-emission development. It relayed their visions for decarbonization for the 21st century, and how such collaboration is needed in long-term planning crucial to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Panelists presented on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change; drew attention to Mexico’s establishment of a carbon tax in 2014; and explained that the US strategy does not contain prescriptive policy for any specific administration or set targets or predict the world of 2050. [IISD RS Coverage of US Center Events]

On 15 November, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Partnership was launched to empower developing countries to achieve national climate commitments under the Paris Agreement and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Partnership, co-chaired by Morocco and Germany, brings together developed and developing countries and international institutions to enhance cooperation among partners, to better align global and country-led efforts, and to raise awareness and understanding of the available resources for finance and capacity building. The members of the Partnership will collaborate on creating and disseminating knowledge products, facilitating technical assistance and capacity building; and enhancing financial support for NDC implementation. [IISD SDG Knowledge Hub Story on NDC Launch]

The NDC Partnership also launched the NDC Funding & Initiatives Navigator, an online database of climate finance and support initiatives that will help guide users to relevant funding opportunities and initiatives for capacity building, technical assistance, and other types of support. It will enable recipient countries to identify funds and initiatives that can accelerate climate and development action, as well as help donors make their programmes more responsive and effective. [NDC Press Release] [WRI Press Release] [UNFCCC Press Release] [European Bank and Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Press Release announcing its Accession to the Partnership] [NDC Partnership Website] [NDC Funding & Initiatives Navigator] [IISD SDG Knowledge Hub Story on NDC Launch]

A side event on ‘Joining Forces to Achieve Sustainable Development Goal 15 (SDG15): Delivering on the Global Agenda for Forests, Climate and Development’ focused on SDG 15 (protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss). The event showcased how initiatives in land-use sectors, especially REDD+ implementation, can be catalytic in strengthening efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; strategized the way forward on the agriculture-forestry nexus in the context of deforestation and delivering on SDG15 and other SDGs; and discussed how the momentum created by entry into force of the Paris Agreement can be leveraged to scale up funding for land-use sectors, including forests and climate actions.

In his statement, José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), underscored that promoting sustainable solutions on forests and land use has direct impacts on all SDGs, especially SDG1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere) and SDG2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture), and highlighted the REDD+ mechanism as a catalyst for delivering on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that include land use and forestry.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment, highlighted that the 2016 emissions gap report shows a CO2 gap of 12-14 gigatons, which will need combined actions from state and non-state actors to be addressed, and that that the UN-REDD Programme is supported by 64 tropical forest countries. Other panelists highlighted, inter alia: a shift in mindset around sustainable development, with forests and landscapes now central in the equation; REDD+ as a catalyst that links different funding sources for sustainable rural economies; that the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without forests and proper forest management cannot be attained without the engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs); that very few NDCs include a human rights dimension, let alone address indigenous rights; and that IPLCs know the best way to protect forests and have a direct interest in stopping illegal logging. The event was hosted by FAO and co-hosted by the UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Environment, the UN-REDD Programme and the World Bank Group. [IISD RS Coverage]

An event addressing actions on near-term climate mitigation to protect air quality and achieve the Paris climate goals and the SDGs aimed to provide a platform for discussions on: national practices/experiences in combining efforts on mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs); how SLCPs fit into Nationally Determined Contributions; and the expected or experienced multiple benefits for health and sustainable development. Panelists discussed: near-term actions to accelerate pathways towards the climate target; how SLCPs, including black carbon, methane and HFCs, are responsible for half of current global warming not caused by CO2; the need for public support for drastic actions in order to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement; putting a price on methane and gathering better quality data; a circular economy model to reduce methane emissions in the agricultural sector; SLCP reductions for transport projects; and a World Bank report on ‘The Cost of Air Pollution: Strengthening the Economic Case for Action.’ This event was organized by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants. [IISD RS Coverage]


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