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View on Climate Chance 2016: Review of the COP22
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5 December 2016

The Transitions team, in line with its involvement on the subjects of adaptation and resilience to climate change, took part in COP22 which was held in Marrakech, Morocco.

COP22 was met with high expectations, since it was to be the COP of the action, as a natural continuation of COP21 in Paris.

COP21 has made it possible to define a framework with a common objective of -2°C to mobilize the international community. The Paris Agreement, for its part, notified the redistribution of roles in the fight against climate change: henceforth universal and based on the voluntary efforts of each State, whatever its level of development, this struggle is also in the hands of non-state actors, whose essential role has been formally recognized and confirmed.
In addition to being positioned as the COP of implementation, COP22 opened at a time when the Paris Agreement had just been ratified, in record time, never before seen in the history of negotiations. A strong signal was given. COP22 was also marked by a strong political mobilization, with the presence of some forty Heads of State, mainly from the African continent.
From this COP22, we have chosen a very dynamic Green Zone (civil society zone open to the public) which has aroused a strong affluence and interest from the public. This phenomenon was reinforced by the fact that the Green Zone was adjacent to the Blue Zone (United Nations/negotiators zone) and open to the public. The Green Zone has brought together many actors from civil society, the private sector, NGOs, associations and local authorities in a strong mobilization and around many side-events with quality content. The importance of the role of non-state actors has only been reinforced. Transitions works in this logic, accompanying Climate Chance Association in the organization of its annual climate action summits of non-state actors. Climate Chance took part in numerous side-events alongside other non-state actors and organized its own side-event in the Green Zone to take stock of the 2016 edition of the Climate Chance Summit situation, giving voice to some of its most important partners.


However, this good momentum suffered a hard blow to negotiators and civil society largely mobilized for the event, when the news of Donald Trump's election as president of the United States  the rounds during the first week of negotiations. Even if we don’t know yet whether the new US President will actually withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement, the negative political signal in this direction has been given and can by itself seriously undermine the new momentum that the USA and China have injected in the past two years by cooperating on the climate front.
The Blue Zone, for its part, continued to allow for the progress of negotiations between States. The negotiations sometimes cause frustration because of their slowness. The transition between the pre- and post-Paris Agreement appears to be more difficult than expected. The documents "CMA decision" and "COP 22 decision" call for accelerated work, but few concrete decisions were taken at COP22. The main outcome of this COP was the definition of the agenda for the next two years. 2018 will therefore be a crucial year as the targets for GHG reductions could be revised upwards by developed countries.
As far as financing is concerned, while the allocation of the Green Climate Fund's $100 billion envelope is increasing to $10 billion, the modalities for using the funds remain difficult to set. Discrepancies persist between the priority for mitigation (requirement of developed countries) and the priority for adaptation (requirement of developing countries).
The other source of frustration lies in the absence of a discussion on the gap to be filled between the contributions determined at national level (NDCs) and the efforts that are still to be made to achieve the 2°C limitation target - or even the hypothetical 1.5°C limit - set out in the Paris Agreement. UNEP recalled in a recent report that NDCs as they stand place us on a way of +2.9°C to +3.4°C by the end of the century. As a consolation, COP22 nevertheless allowed a positive evolution of the Agenda for Action (Global Climate Action) and the consolidation of the role of the Climate Champions.



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