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COP22 will be a COP of action

The entry into force of the Paris Agreement on November 4th provides a strong signal to governments just before the opening of COP-22 in Marrakech. The Paris Agreement was the culmination of many years of work to fashion a treaty that could be signed by all nations, and that commits countries to setting plans and undertaking actions to control and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. COP-22 is seen by many as an “action-COP” in which many of the rules and procedures that are needed to implement the Paris Agreement will be discussed and adopted. Amongst other meetings, it will include the 1st Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA-1). This meeting was envisaged to adopt many of the rules and procedures that are essential for the effective operation of the Paris Agreement. However, the rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement means that the preparatory work to draft these vital documents has not yet been started and, as such, it is anticipated that CMA-1 will be suspended until after COP22 to allow such work to be completed under the timetable that had been agreed in Paris.

For COP22, the main work is expected to be clear actions in the areas of transparency with progress towards developing common rules to measure, report and verify commitments. Such rules being vital to helping establish trust and confidence that nations are meeting their commitments. Furthermore, significant progress is expected in the work on the design and development of market and non-market mechanisms to help achieve and potentially increase emissions reductions and work on co-operative approaches (known by insiders as Article 6). For business and the environment, this work is essential as it can stimulate increased investment in both projects and sectors as well as help preserve a global level-playing field and maintain open trade. Business has relevant expertise to contribute to these actions and other topics under the implementation of the Paris Agreement. COP21 in Paris saw a massive mobilization of business and a clear demonstration of the actions that business is taking to tackle climate change plus many ideas on how governments can improve the enabling environments to encourage further actions in research, innovation and the dissemination and deployment of existing and new technologies.

Other highlights to look out for at COP22 will include discussions on the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, tackling what is to be discussed during this important dialogue that will be informed by the forthcoming IPCC Special Report on reaching 1.5°C. Important work on Loss and Damage will be carried out with the scheduled review of the Warsaw International Mechanism, further work will be carried out on the elaboration of the Technology Framework (continuing work from the June Subsidiary Body meeting) and there will be developments in the establishing of the terms of reference for the Paris Committee on Capacity Building. Finance will remain an underlying theme with continued discussion on the mobilization of $100 billion by 2020 as well as how to count the current levels of financing provided.

For those with time outside of the negotiations, there will be several hundred side events both in the Blue (United Nations) zone as well as the Green (Public) zone with a number of themed sessions including finance and innovation as well as a Business and Industry day, and hundreds of merchants in the souks offering carpets and other Moroccan goods. COP22 must be a COP of “action” and  rapidly take forward the implementation of the Paris Agreement providing more clarity on global rules that were agreed in Paris. The business community looks forward to working with the governments to develop the rules and procedures that underpin the actions to be taken. This will reinforce the signal that the world is moving towards a low-carbon future and encourage increased investment from the business community.

Nick Campbell is former chairman of BusinessEurope’s energy and climate working group. He is currently environment manager at Arkema SA and holds a number of other positions, including co-chairman of the European chemical industry council for climate change (Cefic).

BusinessEurope will be co-hosting a number of side events, including one on Circular economy, business and local initiatives on 11 November from 17:00-18:30. Please click here for more details.

Last updated: 7 November 2016