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Marrakesh Action Proclamation (Hmmm, No Mention of Water)


Ambassador Aziz Mekouar yesterday (November 17th) issued COP22’s “Marrakech Action Proclamation For Our Climate And Sustainable Development” on behalf of 196 countries participating in the annual UNFCCC climate conference.

Mekouar is Morocco’s “Ambassador to Multilateral Negotiations of COP22” having been appointed to the position by King Mohammed VI earlier this year. He read out the proclamation to a high level plenary on the next to last day of the Marrakesh COP. The statement calls for the “highest political commitment” to tackling climate change.

The forcefulness of the declaration is being viewed by many as a rebuke to incoming US President Donald Trump, who has often expressed scepticism about accepted climate change science.

Some observers in Marrakesh from world water communities had held a little hope that the Proclamation might contain some reference to global water challenges and their intersection with climate, however the Marrakesh Action Proclamation does not mention water.

There have been concerted efforts to raise the profile of water as it relates to climate, particularly in the months preceding COP22 and during the Marrakesh event.

A water specialist source familiar with COP processes said “having water would have been fantastic of course, but I think we need COP23 to get it there.

"This is the statement of the Presidency but texts are still in negotiations and we have to wait and see the final documents and decisions made under COP/CMA and other key bodies…I have heard and read that negotiations might go on late today (November 18th) and they are looking into solutions to continue work in 2017”.

COP23 will be presided over by Fiji, and will physically convene in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

The full text of the Marrakesh Proclamation follows below:

“We, Heads of State, Government, and Delegations, gathered in Marrakech, on African soil, for the High-Level Segment of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 12th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and the 1st Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, at the gracious invitation of His Majesty the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, issue this proclamation to signal a shift towards a new era of implementation and action on climate and sustainable development.

Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond.

We welcome the Paris Agreement, adopted under the Convention, its rapid entry into force, with its ambitious goals, its inclusive nature and its reflection of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and we affirm our commitment to its full implementation.

Indeed, this year, we have seen extraordinary momentum on climate change worldwide, and in many multilateral fora. This momentum is irreversible – it is being driven not only by governments, but by science, business and global action of all types at all levels.

Our task now is to rapidly build on that momentum, together, moving forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.

We call for the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority.

We call for strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and underscore the need to support efforts aimed to enhance their adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability.

We call for all Parties to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture.

We call for urgently raising ambition and strengthening cooperation amongst ourselves to close the gap between current emissions trajectories and the pathway needed to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.

We call for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries.

We the Developed Country Parties reaffirm our USD $100 billion mobilization goal.

We, unanimously, call for further climate action and support, well in advance of 2020, taking into account the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries, the least developed countries and those particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

We who are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol encourage the ratification of the Doha Amendment.

We, collectively, call on all non-state actors to join us for immediate and ambitious action and mobilization, building on their important achievements, noting the many initiatives and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action itself, launched in Marrakech.

The transition in our economies required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement provides a substantial positive opportunity for increased prosperity and sustainable development.

The Marrakech Conference marks an important inflection point in our commitment to bring together the whole international community to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time.

As we now turn towards implementation and action, we reiterate our resolve to inspire solidarity, hope and opportunity for current and future generations”.