Background to COP 22
The United Nations (UN) Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty to which almost every country in the world has signed up. Countries meet every year to assess progress and negotiate further agreements. These 2 week events are called the Conferences of the Parties (COP) and 2016 will be the twenty-second time that they have met.
COP 21 in Paris last year was an historic meeting in that it set out for the first time a univeral 'legally binding' agreement that would commit all countries to cutting greenhouse gases and so keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. This 2 degrees target has been agreed in previous UN conferences as the only way to put the world on track to a low-emission, sustainable future.
For the Paris Agreement to really become legally binding, countries had to go back home and have it endorsed by their own governments. In total, 55% countries have to agree it back home and as well, at least 55% of all global emissions have to be covered by those countries signed up. In the past few weeks USA and China have both ratified the agreement and between them, they emit 40% of global emissions. There is every hope, then, that the Paris Agreement can 'enter into force' which will be a real cause for celebration.
Background to COP 22, Morocco - Aiming for Triple 'A's !
The next climate talks, COP22, will take place in Marakkech, Morocco in November (7 - 18). Countries meeting there from across the world will be looking to achieve progress in each of these three 'A's ...
Action: The Moroccan Government team who are organising COP 22 have said that they want the 2 weeks to be the 'action and implementation' Conference; less talk more action.
Africa: It is being seen as an “African” COP and countries from across Africa and the developing world will be determined to use the opportunity of it being hosted in Morocco. They will put pressure on to their more developed partners elsewhere in the world to put their promises into action - in terms of money and technical support - to help them in their, already pressing, adaptation to climate change.
Ambition: Attention is also turning in COP 22 to ratcheting up ambition. Big steps in policy and action across all parts of government are at the heart of each country's national plans. But major cities across the world as well as the wider business and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are pressing for a greater part in the process, whilst simply getting on and showing what can be done to really make a difference in carbon-reduction.