World leaders are meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco beginning Monday to advance progress made on Global warming.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is expected to develop a “rule book” for implementing the Paris Agreement.
President of the Conference, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Saleheddine Mezouar told the meeting that the eyes of the world are on those gathered in Marrakesh to come up with urgent, tangible solutions to stem the threats of climate change.
French Environment Minister Segolene Royal said the time is right to “demand climate justice for Africa,” the continent worst hit by climate change.
The Paris Agreement has been ratified by 100 countries including South Africa, China, India and the United States, it sets out global expectations for reducing carbon emissions.
The 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) begins three days after the historic Paris agreement came into force.
About 197 countries signed the agreement in December 2015.
South Africa ratified the agreement last week.
Royal says, “I urge all countries that have not yet ratified the Paris accord to do so as quickly as possible to respond to the climate emergency.”
Not lost on the summit is the fact that the conference is being held in Africa.
Mezouar says, “This is the continent’s contribution to a global challenge. We are telling the world that we are ready to take charge or own destiny and enforce Africa’s resilience.”
Out of the 56 countries worst affected by climate change, 36 are in Sub Saharan Africa.
Royal made a case for developing countries especially the continent.
“We must demand climate justice for Africa, climate change in Africa is the most cruel,” adds Royal.
The summit must now come up with a “rule book” on how to define issues raised in the Paris Agreement, including how to monitor each other’s climate action.
For Africa and indeed all developing countries, the issue of raising $100 billion in climate finance by 2020 will be vital.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa says, “Together we can deliver the promise of the Paris Agreement to billions of people on this planet today and to future generations.”
All eyes will be on the summit to see whether they will be political commitment to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degree Celsius to avoid devastating effects of climate change.
Sarah Kimani is reporting from Morocco on a fellowship from the International Reporting Project (IRP).