FERN-Comment on COP22: Forest highlights from Marrakech

 

 

The is a one-off article offering a forest perspective on the November Marrakech climate summit. The latest United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summit, held in Marrakech from November 7-18, (known as COP22) was the first official meeting since the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016.

 

Marrakech is the first stop in a three-year process to determine the rules of the Paris Agreement and how it will be implemented, which will be wrapped up by 2018. Given the limited time available to achieve the Agreement’s long-term goal of limiting global warming to well below 2° Celsius, and aiming for 1.5° Celsius, there was widespread concern about the lack of urgency given to making progress on a number of issues, and in particular the failure to increase ambition and scale up 2020 emission reduction targets.

 

There was, however, welcome progress on issues affecting indigenous peoples, with parties agreeing to consider options to establish a platform on indigenous and traditional knowledge. This is an important step towards more formal representation of indigenous peoples in the multi-lateral negotiations. While Bolivia suggested that the platform be a permanent forum, the EU wanted a more cautious approach, meaning there will be further negotiations on the purpose and role of the platform before it is established.

 

Discussions about human rights, food security and biodiversity protection during the two-week long climate summit were scant, although a decision was taken to consider human rights, gender equality and indigenous knowledge in the Paris Committee on Capacity Building, hopefully setting a precedent for other UNFCCC bodies to consider human rights in their work. This update analyses the outcomes from Marrakech related to forests, land-use and rights.

 

Implementing the Paris Agreement

 

Countries discussed some of the key issues that need resolving to finalise what is being referred to as the ‘Paris Rulebook,’ which includes guidance for countries ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs) to global emissions reductions; the ‘Transparency Framework’ which will assess if countries are on track to meet their NDCs; and the ‘Global Stocktake’, which will assess collective progress towards the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement...

 

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