The Marrakech climate talks closed early on Saturday (Nov. 19) after two weeks of subtle diplomacy and technical discussions.
Soon after its start, what was meant to be the “COP of action” was overshadowed by the results of US presidential election of Nov. 8 and by uncertainties over the potential U-turn the world’s second largest emitter might take under the new administration.
After a first week played on the defensive, government representatives and climate delegates on Thursday (Nov. 17) issued a joint statement, the Marrakech Action Proclamation, calling for “the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority”. Although nothing really new is in the contents (the proclamation basically retraces the commitments and targets included in the Paris Agreement, pushes for raising ambition to achieve the Paris long term goals and ratifying the Doha Amendment by those countries who have not done it yet), the statement was interpreted as a signal of unity and determination in sticking to the path set at COP21 in Paris last year, despite the new US presidency.
After Paris, the focus has shifted to implementing action, and COP22 was the first important moment to start defining mechanisms and rules to achieve the Paris targets (which are still out of reach, according to several experts and studies. Also the latest World Energy Outlook just issued by IEA highlights that implementing current international pledges will only slow down the projected rise in energy-related carbon emissions). No conclusive developments were expected at the Marrakech talks, but some starting advancements on key issues. These are reported in a set of 35 decisions adopted at the end of the Conference.