Just before the start of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, the Paris Climate Change Agreement entered into force. The international effort to bring the Paris Agreement into force in less than a year — an unexpectedly rapid result — reflects the strong, common political will to shift as quickly as possible towards low-carbon, resilient economies.
“The Paris Agreement’s ambitious and essential goals are now a live reality for every government,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “From today, ever-increasing climate action becomes an accepted responsibility and a central part of the sustainable development plans of all countries.”
The Paris Agreement’s primary goal – to limit global warming to well below 2°C and as close to 1.5°C as possible to prevent dangerous tipping points in the climate system – means that global emissions must peak soon then be driven down very rapidly.
Yet greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and global average temperatures continue rising, underlining the urgent task in front of the two-week COP 22 conference in Marrakech, beginning November 7.
“Climate action – faster, smarter, bigger, and better – reduces the greenhouse gas emissions, which drive climate change and at the same time catalyzes the clean power economies and climate-resilient societies that are the foundation on which the future health, wealth, and well-being of all people now depend,” said Ms. Espinosa.
Last year, countries of the world constructed a fresh, integrated vision for the future that rests firmly on the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework, for Disaster Risk Reduction. The Agreement’s early entry into force has focused minds on completing the fundamental work and confirming the key requirements that will allow countries together to implement Paris’s goals at the required scale and speed. In Marrakech, that includes several important issues.
Marrakech will host the first meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body, known as the CMA. This is a moment of celebration but also of reflection on the task ahead and a point where governments recommit to the new agenda of rapid implementation.
Work will continue in Marrakech to complete the details of a transparent global regime, or rulebook, which will account for, review, and underpin greater action by all sides. The early entry into force of the Agreement calls for a speedy completion of the rulebook, ideally by 2018.
Marrakech also gives developed countries the opportunity to present their roadmap to mobilize the pledged 100 billion dollars in annual support to developing countries by 2020.
To read the provisional agenda and a Q&A on the legal and procedural issues regarding the convening of the CMA 1, please click here.