Morocco getting ready for climate conference

Sunday 02/10/2016
Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar delivers a speech during a Global Climate Action Forum meeting last June in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

London - Morocco is increas­ing preparations for a round of interna­tional negotiations on climate change to convene November 7th-18th in Marrakech.

Cherki Draisa, minister delegate to Morocco’s Interior minister, de­clared that the country would have all of its preparations complete ahead of the biggest international event on climate change.

“Morocco is within the deadline. All the arrangements have been made and preparations are under way to host the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22),” said Draisa.

Morocco and France have been working since COP 21 climate con­ference in Paris on the finances for developing countries to make Mar­rakech a conference of action rather than words.

French Foreign Minister Ségolène Royal said Moroccan and French of­ficials were working to integrate renewable energy into develop­ment policies and speed up the process of ratification of the Paris agreement.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Sala­heddine Mezouar, who serves as COP 22 president, said he expects to announce at the conference that countries accounting for more than 55% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have formally joined the treaty. That percentage is the threshold needed to trigger the Paris agreement, which calls on all countries to curb the rise in tem­peratures.

The agreement asks governments to present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global tempera­ture rise to less than 2 degrees Cel­sius.

Morocco is making important strides in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by building the world’s largest solar power plant, which will help provide almost half of the Morocco’s energy needs by 2020. It also banned the production and selling of plastic bags.

Hakima el-Haite, special envoy for the mobilisation of COP 22 and minister delegate in charge of envi­ronment of the Ministry of Energy, Mining, Water and Environment of Morocco, said the priority of the Moroccan presidency of COP 22 was to increase the proportion of the financial flow dedicated to the adaptation to climate change.

“This fraction of financing is be­tween 16% and 18% of global cli­mate financial flows and we hope it will be increased to 30% and that this decision will be taken at the end of COP 22,” said Haite in a statement at the end of two-day informal consultations between chief negotiators of foreign delega­tions in preparation for the climate change conference.

Rich countries are expected to come up with $100 billion a year by 2020 in climate financing. Half of the amount would be dedicated to helping countries adapt to green energy and the other half to miti­gating the effects of climate change. Non-governmental organisations and developing countries, how­ever, say four times that amount is needed to stop climate change.

She said that a consensus has been reached on the pre-2020 agenda, which should be realised in the form of a decree of the ap­plication of the Paris agreement in Marrakech. This agenda is crucial for the most vulnerable countries, especially those in Africa.

The Paris agreement, which must be ratified by 55 countries responsi­ble for 55% of greenhouse gas emis­sions to take effect, would enter into force the following year, an un­precedented move that would signif­icantly help curb carbon pollution.

More than 140 delegates from 50 countries took part in closed infor­mal consultations in Skhirat, near Rabat, to discuss priority issues to better prepare the early work in Marrakech and the success of COP 22.

They also discussed issues re­lated to the implementation of the Paris agreement and the accelera­tion of climate action by 2020.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Sala­heddine Mezouar, president of COP 22, and Richard Kinley, UN Framework Convention on Cli­mate Change deputy executive secretary, led a two-day session in August in Rabat aimed at “harmo­nising and refining” collaboration between the two bodies and boost­ing political momentum ahead of the event.

The overall budget of COP 22 is estimated at $82 million-$87 mil­lion, according to a source in the COP 22 Steering Committee. About $32 million has been allocated from the state budget and $20.6 million was expected from the private sec­tor. The rest is to be financed from abroad.

Morocco, which foiled several terrorist attacks in recent months, has taken extra security measures to ensure a safe COP 22 meeting.

Draisa said Morocco was well-prepared to ensure the security of this global event.

“The Moroccan security services have been facing, for quite some time, terrorist projects and we are well-equipped to ensure a normal running of the COP 22,” he said, adding that “all measures, scenar­ios and challenges we could face have been considered by the Mo­roccan security services”.