17 November 2016: On Thursday morning at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference, the High-Level Event on Accelerating Climate Action highlighted outcomes from the Conference ‘Action Days’ and launched the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action. In addition to the Event, contact groups on climate finance under the Conference of the Parties (COP) convened. In the afternoon, informal consultations took place under the COP Presidency on the convening of the first session of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1), and under the COP on entry into force of the Paris Agreement. In the evening, the first parts of the COP and the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) closing plenaries took place. The joint high-level segment also continued throughout the day.

Contact groups and informal consultations met under the COP on matters relating to finance. On the report of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) and review of the functions of the SCF, parties found a way forward on the remaining unresolved paragraph, related to the SCF integrating financing for forests-related considerations into its 2017 workplan. The draft decision was then forwarded to the COP.

On the report of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to the COP and guidance to the GEF, parties forwarded a draft decision to the COP after agreeing to: delete a paragraph on any additional, newly mandated transparency and capacity building support not being diverted from existing programmes; remove brackets from a paragraph on following policies and procedures in the review of funding proposals; and clarify a paragraph welcoming the GEF Council’s decision to ensure that support for the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) will be included in the seventh replenishment.

On long-term climate finance, parties focused on paragraphs under “scaling up” in particular, with some issues remaining unresolved. The draft decision was then delivered to the COP Presidency as the “final product” of the contact group, along with the remaining unresolved issues.

During the first part of the closing COP plenary, COP 22 President Salaheddine Mezouar introduced the ‘Marrakech Action Proclamation for Our Climate and Sustainable Development.’ The Proclamation was read aloud and received a standing ovation.

COP 22 President Salaheddine Mezouar introduced the ‘Marrakech Action Proclamation for Our Climate and Sustainable Development,’ which was read aloud and received a standing ovation.

Reporting on consultations on CMA 1 and preparations for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, COP President Mezouar noted that consultations would continue and that proposals for decisions that integrate the viewpoints of all delegations would be prepared and presented to parties for consideration.

The COP also adopted decisions on many agenda items and agreed to continue consideration of others at future meetings.

During the first part of the CMP closing plenary, decisions were adopted on many agenda items, while others will continue to be considered at future meetings. [IISD RS Coverage of COP 22]

During the High-Level Event on Accelerating Climate Action, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored “the power of partnership” in multilateral climate negotiations and commended the work of the two Global Climate Action Champions. He said he was pleased to see so many African countries mobilizing climate action, noting that Morocco has worked with an alliance of 30 African countries and development institutions to “spearhead” the Adaptation of African Agriculture initiative, which will help create more resilient food systems on the continent and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He urged prioritizing adaptation alongside mitigation in the Action Agenda, stressing that adaptation is “a prudent investment in our future.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored “the power of partnership” in climate negotiations and stressed that adaptation is “a prudent investment in our future.”

Global Climate Action Champions Hakima El Haité and Laurence Tubiana announced the launch of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, to provide a stable basis for governments and non-state actors to align their efforts in 2017-2020. Tubiana said the Partnership aims to make the Action Agenda more coherent, robust and organized, including through a structured plan of meetings to yield tangible results. El Haité welcomed the new Global Climate Action Champion Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji.

During the second part of the event, on recognizing progress and identifying opportunities, rapporteurs and panelists shared results from the Action Days held during COP 22, including on: forests; water; agriculture and food security; oceans; business and industry; transport; cities and human settlements; and energy. Delegates announced: the European Fund for Sustainable Development; an initiative for scaling up renewable energy in SIDS; a partnership for sustainable electricity trade between Germany, France, Morocco, Portugal and Spain; and a pledge by Rwanda to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in early 2017.

The third part of the event, on providing and mobilizing finance for climate action, was opened by Nicholas Stern, New Climate Economy, who underscored that the next 20 years are the defining decades for sustainable, inclusive growth. Country representatives highlighted: the US$27 billion Dubai Green Fund; Hungary’s support to partner countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDC) implementation; and Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 and a new US$50 million contribution to the Adaptation Fund.

In closing, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa emphasized that “governments alone cannot deliver the Paris agenda” and called for wide dissemination of success stories. Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister, Fiji, said he is aware of the responsibility his country is entrusted with in assuming the COP 23 Presidency. [Statement of the UN Secretary-General on accelerating climate action] [UN Press Release]

During a separate event, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon bid farewell to members of civil society, noting it was his last COP as Secretary-General. He said that civil society is “the heart and soul of the climate movement,” and “helped us cross the finish line with the Paris Agreement.” He thanked them for their outstanding contributions and said he would seek their views on the way forward. [Statement of the UN Secretary-General to Civil Society]

Panelists during a side event on realizing the potential of the Paris Agreement: drew attention to outstanding issues to be addressed in the Agreement including what type of rules address specific issues and to whom do they apply; highlighted scenarios for US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC and potential implications for the UNFCCC and climate change mitigation more broadly; emphasized policy instruments to establish linkages to heterogeneous regional, national and sub-national policies; said the crucial question is how the Paris Agreement will solve the public goods problem of international cooperation; and said that agreements among smaller, like-minded sets of countries are the “new imperative.”

An event on the Research for Climate Action (RCA) partnership emphasized: the importance of embedding research into policymaking; vast research needs for meeting mid-century climate targets; the RCA’s role in providing applied research to help decision makers address specific climate change problems; that the RCA should have a complementary role to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); academics must provide answers in time frames relevant for policymakers and communicate more effectively; and more research is needed on the transition to low-carbon pathways.

A side event on rights and equity in climate policy celebrated the first-ever climate justice day at a COP. Panelists emphasized: the inclusion of human rights in the Paris Agreement; that human rights include women’s rights; designing mitigation and adaptation actions without consulting indigenous peoples is likely to affect their human rights; the urgent need for alliances between civil society organizations and human rights institutions; the need for dedicated funding with direct access by indigenous peoples’ organizations; the need for guidance on including human rights in NDCs and adaptation communications; that NDCs relate to all 17 SDGs and must be considered through the lenses of poverty, gender, energy access and human rights.

Another side event on a platform for ethics and justice on climate change policies addressed the bio-geophysical space, defined as a ‘Safe Operating Space of Humankind,’ as a new subject of law, enabling the inclusion of all positive and negative externalities in a fair and equitable accounting system. Yet another event focused on the private sector’s role in climate adaptation. [IISD RS Coverage of Side Events]

A US Center event on making agriculture smarter, more efficient and resilient in a changing climate explored the nexus between climate science and agriculture and focused on three aspects of a resilient and emissions-efficient global food system: methods to create the business case for climate smart agriculture; data improvement, notably in climate vulnerable areas; and enabling conditions to scale-up climate smart agriculture. Panelists highlighted: that 20 years ago agriculture did not focus on reducing emissions; challenges to mainstreaming climate change in agriculture, such as different cropping, climatic and soil systems; the importance of mainstreaming food security, agricultural adaptation and women’s empowerment into climate action at the global level; science clarity regarding the negative effects of climate change on food security; and soil and water management as key actions to make agriculture smarter. [IISD RS Coverage of US Center Events]

On 16 November, more than 100 business leaders and investors met with leaders from government, civil society and the UN during the High-Level Caring for Climate Meeting, during which participants detailed how they will accelerate climate action and increase low-carbon investments at the country level. Businesses put forward proposals regarding how the private sector can support national climate priorities and highlighted the “inextricable link” between addressing climate change and achieving the SDGs.

During the event, the UN Global Compact announced a solutions platform, ‘Pathway to Low-Carbon & Resilient Development,’ to mobilize the private sector to catalyze country-level action and to help companies scale up climate action that contributes to NDCs and national SDG plans. The UN Global Compact also released the 2016 Status Report on the Business Contribution to Global Climate Action, an assessment of the impact of business initiatives on achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.

Speakers at the event included: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Peter Thomson, UN General Assembly (UNGA) President; Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary; and Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment. [Global Compact Press Release] [Meeting Agenda]

In other news, more than 365 businesses and investors drafted a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump, US President Barack Obama and other elected US officials and global leaders calling on elected US leaders to support: the continuation of low-carbon policies to enable the US to meet or exceed its national commitments; investment in the low-carbon economy to give financial decision makers clarity and increase investor confidence; and continued US participation in the Paris Agreement. Businesses signing the letter include DuPont, Gap Inc., General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hilton, Kellogg Company, Schneider Electric, Starbucks and Unilever. [Letter from Business Leaders] [Webcast of Press Event]