A summit for action
COP22, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, was the first Conference of the Parties following the adoption and ratification of the Paris Agreement. It was a COP of action and solutions, taking the first steps towards implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Jump to the COP22 Ambassadors | Schedule and highlights
The UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech was the first Conference of the Parties (COP22) following the adoption and ratification of the Paris Agreement, which was undoubtedly a milestone for climate policy internationally.
The entire conference was characterised by a positive atmosphere and strengthened resolve to take action, in spite of Donald Trump’s election. According to Dietmar Mirkes of Climate Alliance Luxembourg, the delegates in Marrakech called the progress on the international climate negotiations irreversible. They unanimously adopted the Marrakech Proclamation for Action on Climate and Sustainable Development, which calls for stronger reduction targets and describes the relationship between climate protection and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Markus Hafner-Auinger, director of Climate Alliance Austria, also came back from the ‘working conference’ satisfied. "Many of the negotiations and working groups arrived at comparatively fast results and we have made some important steps in the practical implementation of the Paris Agreement." A total of 48 developing countries, banded together in the Climate Vulnerable Forum, announced their intention to convert to 100 percent renewable energies, with target years ranging from 2030 to 2050. They see climate adaptation as a key precondition for further development. The financing commitments of many industrialised countries, on the other hand, are not enough to fund the necessary adaptation projects.
The local level
Just as important to acheiving our climate goals is wide-ranging cooperation between national governments and cities, business, investors and citizens. The Global Climate Action Agenda, previously known as the Lima Paris Action Agenda, aims at reinforcing such cooperation with these so-called “non-party actors” and has a huge potential to accelerate climate action. It was reinforced throughout COP22. Really making a success out of this Global Climate Action Agenda though entails more structured processes that involve non-party actors such as local authorities in a more systematic way. Various new structures in the form of thematic work streams were featured at COP22, such as the Work Stream on Human Settlements and Resilience, in which COP 22 ambassador Steen Christiansen played a role. Technical working groups and national level dialogues will be important to ensuring multi-level cooperation throughout the year and not just at the annual COPs. The Slovakian Secretary of State, currently holding the EU Council Presidency, set a prime example when he expressed interest in starting a dialogue with Slovak cities on meeting national determined contributions (NDCs).
More such examples must follow. During our side event on 11 November, proposals for enhancing collaboration and creating further partnerships between US and European cities were raised. The event inspired participants with successful examples of cooperation between the different government levels that accelerate climate action on the ground.
A definite highlight for local level stakeholders during COP22 was the second Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders, co-organised by Climate Alliance. There, COP22 Ambassador Andreas Wolter spoke on behalf of Climate Alliance, stressing the need to ensure sufficient resources to build capacities for the development of local projects that are ‘investment ready’. The summit culminated in the adoption of the Marrakech Roadmap for Action, which launched two new initiatives: Global Campaign for Localising Climate Finance and Global Action Framework towards Localising Climate Finance. We are eager to see these initiatives implemented.
Kids for climate action
And finally, no COP would be complete without taking children’s efforts into account via the Climate Alliance ZOOM campaign. On 14 November, we presented over 1.7 million “green footprints” earned by some 175,000 children in 10 countries for making climate-friendly trips to school and other sustainable behaviours to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.
For further Climate Alliance activities, see our schedule and highlights below.
Climate Alliance COP22 Ambassadors
Climate Alliance sent two special ambassadors to the Summit, to speak on behalf of Climate Alliance members and drive home the importance of the local level in international climate action.
Steen Christiansen, Mayor of Albertslund, Denmark
“Cities represent both challenges and possibilities for the green transition and climate action. I am honoured to be appointed Ambassador of the Climate Alliance and I very much look forward to reaffirming our local ambitions and commitments to driving the green transition forward so that we can reach the targets of the COP21 Climate Agreement, to sharing ideas and learning from other green champions – and to celebrating the ratification of the Paris agreement.” Christiansen's video message
Andreas Wolter, Deputy Mayor of the City of Cologne, Germany
“The Paris agreement was an important step forward to fight global warming. It is now time to set up specific goals in order to implement the agreement and support each other with all our strength. It is a great honor to represent Climate Alliance in Marrakech. The City of Cologne is strongly committed to the goals of the Paris agreement and will use all of its strength to help make the Paris agreement and the Marrakech negotiations a success.”
Schedule and highlights
Climate Alliance was present throughout the Summit at a variety of key events.
- 16:45 – 18:15: NDC Peru and indigenous alternatives about mega-drivers, REDD+, MRV, Zero net deforestation
- 13.30 – 18.00: Global Climate Action Agenda: Dialogue with cities on buildings and resilience | Final report of Resilience Work Stream (pdf) | UNFCCC Press Coverage
- 15:00 - 16:30: Progress in indigenous REDD+ alternative in Peru
- 16:00 - 17:30: Financing the Paris Agreement: Harnessing Crowdfunding Platforms for Low-Carbon Development
- 18.30 – 20.00: Local and national climate action in a governance perspective | view on YouTube | Final results (pdf) | Presentations from Austria and Luxembourg (pdfs)
- 10:20: Handover of Green Footprints to UNFCCC secretariat | View on YouTube, UNFCCC Press Coverage
- All day: Second Climate Summit For Local and Regional Leaders | Summit for local leaders roadmap