What was achieved at the COP22 climate conference

L’ombra di Trump compatta il resto del mondo che fa fronte comune contro i cambiamenti climatici. Nuove promesse di riduzione previste entro la Cop 24 del 2018.

The 22nd United Nations climate change conference (COP22) ended in the night between 18 and 19 November. The climate negotiators from 193 countries – 111 of which have already ratified the Paris Agreement – have concluded two weeks of work with mildly positive results. No extraordinary progresses have been made, but there haven’t been stalemates either.

Among the decisions made during COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, is a crucial step forward: countries must take stock of their CO2 emissions by the end of next year. This is aimed to review the INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions), which are the pledges made to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by 2018, rather than 2020 as defined during COP21 in Paris.

New pledges to cut emissions, in view of IPCC’s latest report

“The event in Marrakech has served as a further call to action,” Mariagrazia Midulla, head of the climate and energy division of WWF Italy, told LifeGate. “In 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a report that outlines the actions needed to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels”. Therefore, governments’ commitments will need to adapt to it, for the current INDCs are not enough to meet the objective. In fact, they would bring to an increase in temperatures of 3 degrees, which means the Earth will face a catastrophe.

Unsatisfying results related to funds

Results related to agriculture are unsatisfying, though. The agricultural industry is highly affected by climate change and the survival of millions of people depends on it. Developments in this field are not enough: no agreement has been reached between the north and south of the world on the aids the most vulnerable countries need to adapt to climate change. “We need to counterbalance the resources destined to mitigating climate change and those used to adapt to it,” Mauro Albrizio, head of the European office of Italian environmental organisation Legambiente, told LifeGate. “20 per cent of the funds allocated go to adaptation policies. If we don’t overcome this problem, the international community is likely to become divided”.

The issue of funds was one of the most important at COP22. However, negotiations led to meagre results. Except for the 81 million dollars promised by Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Belgium, talks haven’t advanced. “Most of industrialised countries have arrived at COP22 empty-handed, with no solid announcement even in terms of funding,” pointed out Lucile Dufour, head of international policies at Réseau Action Climat.

Donald Trump’s shadow unites the rest of the world

“We will see what the next administration of the United States will do, as it could decide to cut the funds promised by Obama so far,” added Albrizio. The shadow of US President-elect Donald J. Trump seemed to be looming over the last moments of the conference. However, it was a shadow that had the effect of uniting the rest of the world to act against the most urgent threat of our time. In fact, 48 countries, the most vulnerable to climate change (Climate vulnerable forum), said they want to run 100% on renewable energy by 2020 and, therefore, update their INDCs.

The chairman of Cop22 © Marrakech, Getty Images

COP22 chairman, Salaheddine Mezouar, responded to Trump: “We count on your pragmatism and your spirit of commitment, for the international community is fighting an important battle for the future of the Planet and for the dignity of millions of people”.

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, was crystal clear: “I renew my offer to President-elect Trump to come to Fiji and see the effects of climate change”. Fiji will held presidency of COP23, which will be held in Bonn, Germany. It’s the first time for an island country. “We looked to America during the dark days of World War II,” Bainimarama ended. “And I say to the American people that you came to save us then and it is time for you to help us save now”.

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