CIEL Statement on the Outcome of COP22: Momentum holds for climate action, but ambition and finance must be urgently ratcheted up

November 14, 2016

The negotiators meeting in Marrakech for the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) of the UNFCCC had an important mission: keep up momentum generated by the adoption of the Paris Agreement and prove that the international community is serious about implementing the goals and commitments defined in Paris. COP22 demonstrates that countries DO want the Paris Agreement to be successful, and the United States election results did not distract from this mission.

Showing real leadership, the 47 countries in the climate vulnerable forum (CVF) announced they will rely on 100% renewable energy by 2030 or 2050 at the latest. Historic polluters must follow their lead and support these countries in meeting this commitment, including by offering the necessary funds.

Overall however, the progress made at COP22 was slow. In real terms, this leaves the planet – and all its inhabitants – in the same position as last year, with the scale of ambition and commitments too low to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

Unless countries increase the pace of the negotiation over the next two years and deliver strong rules for implementation, people across the globe will experience the increasingly severe impacts of a changing climate and the harmful impacts of poorly implemented climate mitigation projects. Governments must increase ambition and strengthen the rules around public accountability and transparency for climate actions taken by governments and companies.

Human rights obligations require governments to make science-based emissions reductions, and they require historic emitters to provide the necessary finance to meet the 1.5 degree goal.

We witnessed some progress on the integration of gender equality, the recognition of the value of traditional and indigenous knowledge in designing the methods of implementation of the Paris Agreement, and increasing emphasis on the importance of building the capacity of developing countries to integrate human rights into the core of their climate responses. In 2017, we expect further progress on addressing climate-induced migration, gender equality, and indigenous and traditional knowledge.

We urge parties to use the next six months to think critically about the role the public can and should play in developing national climate policies, strengthening transparency and accountability, and in assessing good practices and progress on meeting the 1.5 objective necessary to ensure the survival of people, species, and the planet.