How well is the COP22 negotiation going so far?
After the first week of the negotiations and well into the second week there are some good and some less encouraging news about the mentioned issues. However, while it is probably too early to call it already a success, things are looking promising.
During the first week another 7 countries signed ratified the Paris agreement raising the total number to 110 countries that ratified the agreement out of 193 signatories. Amongst the latest countries that ratified the agreement where e.g. Australia (Nov. 9) and Finland (Nov. 14).
On further ambitions in the ratchet mechanism China stated that it would continue with its ambitious climate policy and try to accelerate decarbonization despite a potentially unwilling US Presidency. The High Ambition Coalition, a group of 35 states including Pacific islands, African and Caribbean governments, EU member states, the US, Mexico, Canada, and Brazil, that has formed during the Paris COP, gave a similar statement, alas without the US. In the second week, however, pace will have to pick up as current technical discussions around NDCs, baselines, and methodologies progress slowly and many countries criticised the COP Presidency for this slow progress.
The progress on the facilitative dialogue (FD) 2016 has been quite slow so far. The FD describes a process in which parties will reconvene regularly to take stock of their collective efforts. The FD will review progress made towards the long-term Paris Agreement goal to peak emissions and achieve net-zero emissions and based on the respective outcomes parties will either submit new NDCs or update their existing ones. During the first week of the COP22 in Marrakech many parties seemed to be quite unprepared for this debate (FD 2016), especially in technical discussions. For the Paris agreement the most important FD will be the one in 2018 as it depicts the key moment to raise ambition levels. However, the rules and guidelines on how this FD 2018 will be conducted will be a direct result of COP22 and COP23 next year and hence preparations will have to improve.
On the adaptation and L&D debate unfortunately not much has happened. Since Paris adaptation is a central part of the UNFCCC regime and it is part of the FD 2018 draft. However, there are concerns who will step up to finance adaptation should the USA under Trump decide to cut their funding. On L&D the discussions are expected to get far more political in the second week. As good news can be seen that a new roadmap has been introduced shortly before the COP and agreed on during the first days of the COP22 to utilise the $100 bn. per year promise of the developed nations.
As Ministers and heads of states arrive for week 2 of the negotiations some major pain points remain to be solved over the coming days. Some remaining countries still have to ratify the Doha Amendment, NDC partnerships will be announced and CMA1, the first conference of the Paris Agreement signatories, will take place. While the COP officially ends on Friday some other side-conferences, e.g. SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice), SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation), and APA (Ad-hoc working group on the Paris Agreement), close later so prolonged negotiations are expected well into the nights on Saturday and Sunday.
Last but not least it is unclear how the parties will react to the “Marrakech Call”. This call is a declaration that has been prepared by the Moroccan COP Presidency without consultation with the parties. It doesn’t contain any references to gender equity, Just Transition, or human rights. It is currently unclear how the other parties will react to this declaration and whether they will accept this lack of inclusiveness.
Week two remains exciting!