Melissa Harward: What is even going on in Marrakech?

This conference is a meeting of the parties for not only the Paris Agreement, but also the Kyoto Protocol, the Warsaw Mechanism of Loss and Damage, and other climate discussions.

The Paris Agreement was the Treaty created by the parties at COP21 in Paris, last year. It aims to keep the effects of global warming “well below 2 degrees”. It includes clauses on how developed countries will help fund the developing to industrialise and also work to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

109 countries have now ratified (adopted the agreement in domestic law) and it has officially come into force. Once a party to the Treaty, countries must submit what they plan to do to cut emissions. As the treaty is legally binding, states must stick to their plans or find themselves in an awkward position internationally.

Discussions in Marrakech over the past week have covered varying topics from climate finance to including indigenous knowledge and women’s inputs in decision making.

The Warsaw Mechanism is a hot topic here. Discussion of common but differentiated responsibility has been the argument pushed by the developing nations. Developing countries contribute the least to climate change but are affected the most. Everyone has different responsibilities to act on Climate Change. Those that have been polluting since the industrial revolution (UK and US) have a much higher responsibility to invest, encourage ambition and be global leaders.

The discussions on the Paris Agreement started on the second Tuesday of the conference, but the other discussions have wrapped up, without issue.


All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

Posted on November 18, 2016 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2016.