10 November 2016
First-ever Water Action Day Convenes in Marrakech, GCC Events Kick Off
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

Day three took place following the news of the election of a new US President who, once in office, will be the only world leader who has denied the existence of climate change and who has vowed to "renegotiate" the Paris Agreement.

Fiji offered to preside over COP 23, to be held at UNFCCC headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and COP 22 President Mezouar invited proposals for hosting COP 24.

Mesouar reported that 103 countries have deposited their instruments to join the Paris Agreement.

9 November 2016: On the third day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) resumed their plenaries, while contact groups under the COP and CMP met in the afternoon. Informal consultations under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) met throughout the day.

Day three took place following the news of the election of a new US President who, once in office, will be the only world leader who has denied the existence of climate change and who has vowed to “renegotiate” the Paris Agreement. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) reports that many participants expressed concerns about how this will affect the implementation of the Agreement and pre-2020 action and support. But others said that the global climate regime is no longer as dependent on the actions of one large country, and the world’s economy has changed, shifting toward ever more affordable renewable energy. Still, civil society members said their role had become “doubly important overnight,” ENB reported.

During the COP Plenary, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council, said the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is “global civil aviation’s Paris moment,” and that more than 86% of international aviation traffic has committed to participate in the scheme. Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, said the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will prevent an additional half-degree of warming by the end of the century.

Tina Birmpili said the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will prevent an additional half-degree of warming by the end of the century.

Saudi Arabia, for the Asia-Pacific Region, said Fiji offered to preside over COP 23, to be held at UNFCCC headquarters in Bonn, Germany, while COP 22 President Mezouar invited proposals for hosting COP 24. Mesouar also reported that 103 countries have deposited their instruments to join the Paris Agreement.

On finance, the COP discussed: long-term climate finance; report of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF); report of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and guidance to the GCF; report of the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and guidance to the GEF; sixth review of the Financial Mechanism; and initiation of the process to identify information to be provided by parties in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

On administrative, financial and institutional matters, the COP discussed decision making in the UNFCCC process, and review of the process established by Decision 14/CP.1 relating to the selection and nomination of the Executive Secretary and the Deputy Executive Secretary. On proposals for amendments to the Convention, informal consultations will take place on proposals by the Russian Federation, and by Papua New Guinea and Mexico. Parties also discussed development and transfer of technologies, including the Joint annual report of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN), and linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention.

In the CMP plenary, it was reported that 72 parties had ratified the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. The CMP discussed: matters relating to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); matters relating to Joint Implementation (JI): report of the Compliance Committee; and matters relating to the Adaptation Fund and the report of its Board. Regarding the report on the high-level ministerial roundtable on increased ambition of Kyoto Protocol commitments, COP 22 President Mezouar reported lack of consensus on the way forward and continuation of informal consultations.

In informal consultations under the APA on further guidance regarding the mitigation section of Decision 1/CP.21 (Adoption of the Paris Agreement), parties exchanged views on guidance, linkages between sub-items, expectations regarding the outcome and options for work in 2017. Many countries stressed that features of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) should be rooted in the Paris Agreement.

Informal consultations on further guidance in relation to adaptation communications, including as a component of NDCs, aimed to: develop a common understanding on the scope of work; isolate issues and challenges; and identify questions and options to be addressed over the next year. A table was presented capturing parties’ views on purpose, features, linkages, vehicles and flexibility of adaptation communications as guidance for further deliberations.

In consultations on modalities, procedures and guidelines for the transparency framework for action and support, many supported a clearly outlined work plan by the end of the Marrakech meeting, though opinions varied on the need for and type of further submissions, technical workshops and/or technical papers. On the global stockstake, parties continued exchanging views on: the generic/overarching and specific sources of input; modalities; and the outcome of the global stocktake.

During consultations on preparing for the convening of the COP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1), some stressed that the Adaptation Fund is contributing to the operationalization of the Paris Agreement and supported a procedural decision on this issue, while others supported considering this issue in the context of the broader global climate finance architecture.

On procedural matters in preparation for CMA 1, APA Co-Chair Jo Tyndall proposed that a draft text be prepared addressing credentials of parties, admission of observer organizations, and election of officers of the COP, CMP and CMA bureaux. She said a draft decision will be required on this sub-item in the long-term, while the COP Presidency’s consultations address a short-term solution regarding the convening of CMA 1 at COP 22. [IISD RS Coverage of COP 22]

A side event on climate change action plans for cities and city-to-city collaboration through the Joint Crediting Mechanism and utilization of the Asia-Pacific Integrated Model discussed: the feasibility and implementation of low carbon development projects in Asia, particularly in cities; the important role cities play in implementing NDCs; the Kuala Lumpur Low Carbon Society 2030 Blueprint; and a green economic guideline to support businesses in transitioning to low carbon development.

Another event addressed the work of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network and how it has contributed to effective NAP processes through sustained peer learning, coordinated bilateral support and targeted technical assistance. Panelists provided an overview of the NAP process and the support provided by the Network, mentioning that, inter alia: NAP processes must have ownership outside of environment departments; NAPs should be linked to national planning; NAPs can be used to approach donors; and resource mobilization must be key.

An event on the economic advantage of agriculture in NDCs: examined new financial evidence and analysis on the likely returns on investment for smallholder farmers; underscored that most countries have agriculture as part of their NDCs; and emphasized corresponding financial support. A report, titled ‘The Economic Advantage: Assessing the Value of Climate-Change Actions in Agriculture,’ was introduced, which finds that, inter alia, economic assessments must be mainstreamed into development and climate policies including in agriculture, and a mix of farm- and landscape-level actions is needed.

Other side events focused on: health and adaptation under the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP); hydroclimate services; and the role of the Technology Mechanism in enhancing climate technology development and transfer. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

A US Center side event focused on building scientific and political capacity to respond to ocean acidification, discussing, among other things: the Global Ocean Acidification-Observing Network; the Ocean Acidification (OA) Africa Network’s aim of improving understanding of the ecosystem response to OA; South Africa’s perspective on globally integrated OA observation; the need for a better understanding of ecological, evolutionary and physiological responses of OA on marine species in the Mediterranean and Red Seas; and the International Alliance to Combat OA, to advance scientific understanding and translate it for policy makers.

Another event provided an overview of jurisdictional REDD+ programmes to reduce deforestation and address climate change, while assisting private sector companies to meet their sustainability goals. Panelists discussed: an initiative launched at COP 21 to support jurisdictional approaches for reducing deforestation in commodity supply chains; criteria for “a good REDD+ programme” that includes locating it in a country with an ambitious NDC; and that the approach helps the private sector engage in a manner that recognizes the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and attracts investment in line with addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [IISD RS Coverage of the US Center]

A Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) event addressed the role of technology and innovation, relevant to research on climate change. Panelists discussed: efforts in Saudi Arabia to increase the use of renewable energy via research and development at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); a data-driven modeling system for studying and forecasting the climate of the Red Sea; and high-performance, low-cost perovskite semiconductors for solar cells and optoelectronics. [IISD RS Coverage of GCC Events]

Water Action Day, organized for the first time during a UN Climate Change Conference, aimed to increase the prominence of water issues and support implementation of the Paris Agreement. Countries identified water as important to adaptation in 93% of NDCs, with many mitigation efforts depending on reliable access to water resources. The Government of Morocco launched the ‘Blue Book on Water and Climate,’ which compiles recommendations from the international water community to support implementation of climate commitments. It proposes solutions related to adaptation and resilience through water management. The Day also launched the initiatives ‘Water for Africa,’ ‘The Parliamentary Initiative’ and ‘The Delta Coalition’; provided an update on already launched water-related initiatives; and submitted a proposal to the UNFCCC on improving existing financial mechanisms.

Water Action Day also focused on climate justice. It launched the ‘Water for Africa’ initiative, which will mobilize partners to improve water and sanitation services and management in Africa. In addition, alliances for basins, megacities and businesses, representing more than 450 organizations worldwide, committed to support the development of new projects by actors on the ground that are engaged in water sector adaptation and resilience. [Water Action Day News Story] [Water Action Day Programme]

High-Level Climate Champions Hakima El Haité and Laurence Tubiana held a press conference to outline their climate action plans during COP 22 and beyond. They recalled their detailed roadmap, the ‘Global Climate Action Agenda,’ which emphasizes the critical role that civil society plays in implementation of the Paris Agreement, and aims to increase cooperation between governments, cities, business, investors and citizens to cut emissions and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts and build sustainable futures. They have also launched a consultative process on these issues, as non-state actors are responsible for the implementation of 80% of climate actions, and stressed the link between climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [UNFCCC Press Release] [Global Climate Action Agenda]

In IISD’s video coverage of Day Three in Marrakech, participants reflected on Trump’s US election victory and implications for the Paris Agreement and domestic US policy. [ENV 9 November]

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]

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