COP22 in Marrakech was overshadowed by the election of Donald Trump on day two (a development which continues to impact on discussions, as the US continues to negotiate despite its planned withdrawal from the Paris Agreement). However, progress was still made with key outcomes1 and announcements being made, including: a five-year work plan on Loss and Damage; guidance and questions for work-plans; agreement to a statement of the need for action and countries’ will to act (the Marrakech Action Proclamation for Our Climate and Sustainable Development); commitment by The Climate Vulnerable Forum to update its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) before 2020; and the launch of a roadmap to 2020 for developed countries to reach the goal of providing $100 billion per year in climate finance for developing countries.
A further important development, in terms of what to expect in Katowice this year, was that countries gave themselves until 2018 to agree on the "rule book" for the Paris Agreement (the Paris Agreement Work Programme or PAWP).
That milestone was confirmed at COP23 by the Fiji Momentum for Implementation decision, which also set out the design of the facilitative dialogue (the Talanoa dialogue) and clarified that "global stocktakes" on pre-2020 efforts would take place both this year at COP24 and at COP252. The aim of these stocktakes is to create a "ratchet mechanism" to increase ambition every five years3. In addition, a mandate was issued for the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to prepare an informal document for the three components of article 6 ahead of SBSTA 48 this year.
Topics discussed at COP23 included the role of technology in sustainable farming, and how to mitigate the significant amounts of greenhouse gases produced by the agricultural sector. COP23 also resolved a long-standing deadlock on agriculture and food security.
A key issue at COP23, as ever, was finance. Developing countries maintained that they were not receiving enough financial support from developed countries, which in turn makes it harder for them to implement their NDCs. Once again, resolution of this topic was deferred to a later date, and stock-taking sessions on these issues have also been added to the agenda for COP24 and COP25.
A number of partnerships and resources were launched, including the InsurReliance Global Partnership, Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer, NDC Regional Hub, and the Ocean Pathway Partnership. Countries also adopted a Gender Action Plan and established a Local Communities and Indigenous People’s platform, which aim, respectively, to ensure roles for women and indigenous communities in the climate change response. The COP23 Presidency presided over the first Open Dialogue between governments and observers (from civil society, municipal governments and business) within the formal climate negotiations.
And last but not least, a delegation of sub-national US leaders presented a report on the ongoing efforts by American states, cities, businesses and civil society to uphold the emissions reduction target of the US under the Paris Agreement.