From the “all aboard that gravy train” department come this self-congratulatory press release from UNFCCC yesterday. I’m not so sure about the word “force” as the agreement is non-binding and entirely voluntary. Even Dr. James Hansen, the man who started this mess, says it’s a fraud.
“It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.” -James Hansen
I have to agree. Plus, when a climate conference has day themes like BINGO Day, Gender Day, and Climate Justice Day (see press release below”, you can be well assured that’s it’s more about tribal squabbling than it is about saving the planet. AND, when they use phrase like “transparent global regime“, once I stopped laughing, I realized they need a better copy writer. Sheesh.
It is worthwhile to look back at how Josh sees these conferences.
Worldwide Green Light for Climate Action as Paris Agreement Enters into Force
(Marrakech, 4 November 2016) – A big green light for faster, stronger climate action was switched on today as the Paris Climate Change Agreement entered into force, only three days before the start of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech.
“The Paris Agreement’s ambitious and essential goals are now a live reality for every government. From today, ever-increasing climate action becomes an accepted responsibility and a central part of the sustainable development plans of all countries,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The international effort to bring the Paris Agreement into force in less than a year – an unexpectedly rapid result – reflects the strong, common political will to shift as quickly as possible towards the low-carbon, resilient economies and societies which are the only way to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
“Climate action – faster, smarter, bigger and better – reduces the greenhouse gas emissions which drive climate change and at the same time catalyzes the clean power economies and climate-resilient societies which are the foundation on which the future health, wealth and well-being of all people now depend,” said Ms. Espinosa.
Last year, countries of the world constructed a fresh, integrated vision for the future which rests firmly on the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
These momentous agreements must succeed together and require unprecedented scale and depth of universal and concerted action involving all governments, local and regional authorities, business and investment actors at all levels and in all countries.
Pressing Timetable and Key Tasks for Marrakech Conference
The timetable is pressing. The Paris Agreement’s primary goal – to limit global warming to well below 2°C and as close to 1.5°C as possible to prevent dangerous tipping points in the climate system – means that global emissions must peak soon then be driven down very rapidly.
Yet greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and global average temperatures continue rising, underlining the urgent task in front of the two-week COP 22 conference in Marrakech, beginning Monday, 7 November.
The Agreement’s early entry into force has focused minds on completing the fundamental work and confirming the key requirements that will allow countries together to implement Paris’s goals at the required scale and speed. In Marrakech, that includes several important issues.
Marrakech will host the first meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body, known as the CMA. This is a moment of celebration but also a moment of reflection on the task ahead and a point where governments recommit to the new agenda of rapid implementation, not least in pressing forward with adequate support for vulnerable countries to take their own action.
To read the provisional agenda and a Q&A on the legal and procedural issues regarding the convening of the CMA 1, please see here.
Meanwhile, work will continue in Marrakech to complete the details of a transparent global regime, or rulebook, which will account for, review and underpin greater action by all sides.
It is the completed rulebook that will make the Paris Agreement work smoothly over the years and decades to come. The early entry into force of the Agreement calls for a speedy completion of the rulebook, ideally by 2018.
Marrakech also gives developed countries the opportunity to present their roadmap to mobilize the pledged 100 billion dollars in annual support to developing countries by 2020.
The Standing Committee on Finance will present its Biennial Assessment report, which provides a picture of climate finance flows for the period 2013-2014. It will do so at a side event on Monday, 7 November at 13:15-14:45.
Governments will also be looking to increase clarity for adaptation finance and for a mechanism to strengthen capacity building, which supports developing countries to build up their internal skills and institutional strengths to build their own clean energy, sustainable futures.
Climate-friendly national policies are central to the successful delivery of the Paris goals. This is especially so because the Agreement’s success rests on full implementation of the global set of national climate action plans.
COP 22 will see initiatives that support the implementation of these so-called Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) and help integrate them into each country’s development agenda alongside the Sustainable Development Goals.
The NDCs coupled with governments’ publicly accepted responsibility to lead climate action under the Agreement, place an emphasis on how countries integrate climate action and implement sustainable development and risk management goals across sectors and ministries.
One initiative to support countries in this is the NDC Partnership. Launching on Tuesday, 15 November, the NDC Partnership is a coalition of developing and developed countries and international institutions working together to ensure countries receive the technical and financial support they need to achieve climate and sustainable development goals as fast and effectively as possible.
Policy, incentives and regulation should all work in a concerted, coherent manner to enable every country to deliver their climate and sustainability contributions and, crucially, to increase exponentially the climate action by cities, states, companies, investors and citizens.
For this reason, Marrakech will provide a Global Climate Action forum over the two weeks to showcase and hear new initiatives from the many public and private partnerships that are driving global climate action to unprecedented levels.
Links to further information on key events and areas of the agenda during COP 22 follow:
Marrakech Climate Change Conference Highlights
Marrakech Climate Change Conference overview schedule.
- Special Days at the Conference
- Tuesday, 8 November, EarthInfo Day
- Wednesday, 9 November, Farmers’ Day
- Thursday, 10 November, Young and Future Generations Day
- Friday, 11 November, BINGO day
- Monday, 14 November, Education Day
- Tuesday, 15 November, Gender Day
- Wednesday, 16 November, Africa Day
- Thursday, 17 November, Climate Justice Day
- Global Climate Action
Mobilizing stronger and more ambitious climate action by all Parties and non-Party stakeholders is urgently required if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved. This is the main objective of the Global Climate Action Championswho with the support of the UNFCCC secretariat have organized a series of thematic events during COP 22.
The events range from agriculture and food security to cities and human settlements, energy, forests, industry and business, oceans, transport and water. This programme will culminate on a High-level Event on Accelerating Climate Action on Thursday, 17 November that will bring together governments, business, investors, subnational leaders and civil society representatives. The event will showcase the enormous groundswell of climate action on the ground and will outline the actions needed to connect the implementation of actions by Parties and by Non-Party Stakeholders.
- Action for Climate Empowerment
Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) – education, training and public awareness on climate change – alongside UN agencies and youth organizations will host two thematic days on youth and education.
The Young and Future Generations Day will be convened on Thursday, 10 November 2016. The Intergenerational Inquiry and the Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change award ceremony are among the variety of events organized for the day.
The Education Day, on Monday, 14 November 2016, will see a High-level Event on education as a driver of change where the new ACE guidelines for focal points will be launched.
- Momentum for Change
Momentum for Change shines a light on some of the most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people are doing to address climate change. Each of this year’s 13 winning activities touches on one of Momentum for Change’s three focus areas: Women for Results, Financing for Climate Friendly Investment and ICT Solutions.
- The Women for Results special event will be held on Tuesday, 15 November.
- The Financing for Climate Friendly Investment special event will be held on Wednesday, 16 November. Also taking place on 16 November is the not-to-be missed Momentum for Change award ceremony.
- The ICT Solutions special event will be held on Thursday, 17 November.
In addition, Momentum for Change will launch two new focus areas at COP 22: Planetary Health (Saturday, 12 November); and Climate Neutral Now (Thursday, 17 November).
- Finally, Momentum for Change is pleased to host a special event on energy efficiency through smart-lighting systems on Saturday, 12 November.
All of the Momentum for Change events listed above will take place in the Climate Action Arena Room Fes.
- Mandated Events
A variety of events mandated by the Parties will take place covering crucial aspects of the ongoing efforts on mitigation and adaptation as well as key issues for an effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The climate finance necessary for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will discussed at an in-session workshop on the modalities for the accounting of public finance on 8 November and a High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance on Wednesday, 16 November.
Assessing and increasing immediate ambition pre-2020 will be also at the center of the discussions in the Facilitative dialogue on enhancing ambition and support on Friday, 11 and Wednesday, 16 November.
Increased transparency of countries’ mitigation efforts will be discussed at the Second workshop of the facilitative sharing of views under the International Consultation and Analysis process on Thursday, 10 and Friday, 11 November.
Also in the spirit of transparency and accountability, on Saturday, 12 and Monday, 14 November, the second round of the multilateral assessment process will give the opportunity to developed country Parties to show progress in their emissions reductions efforts and the provision of support to non-Annex I Parties.
Health and adaptation will be the subject of the 10th Focal Point Forum of the Nairobi work programme on Wednesday, 9 November.
- Side Events and Exhibits
During the conference a large number of official side events will be held under the theme “Accelerating implementation of the Paris Agreement”. Side events include a series of UNFCCC events, as listed in the overview schedule for the conference under “UNFCCC and special events”.