UN ‘climate champions’ prioritise developing nations in COP22 roadmap

The United Nations (UN) has unveiled a new roadmap for the upcoming COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, setting out a detailed agenda to boost cooperation between governments, cities and businesses and to help developing countries rapidly cut emissions.

Led by French climate change Ambassador Laurence Tubiana and the Moroccan Minister Delegate to the Minister of Energy Hakima El Haite, the new strategy document calls for “contributions from actors in all sectors” to generate solutions that can help governments to implement and extend commitments made at the Paris Agreement last December.

Tubiana and El Haite – referred to by the UN as ‘global climate champions’ – said: “This is the first opportunity that we have, as high-level champions, to address parties and non-party stakeholders and engage them in the tasks that have been entrusted to us by the COP21 Presidency and the COP22 incoming Presidency.

“We believe that more can be done, in particular, to actively include in this process more representatives from national and local governments, businesses and civil society from developing countries. We intend to ensure that they are fully engaged and represented in the global climate action agenda.”

‘Maintain momentum’

More than 175 countries came together at the UN headquarters in New York to officially sign the Paris Agreement in April.

Since then, there has been intense discussions between political leaders and green groups about whether the COP21 climate deal could be brought into force earlier than the start date of 2020. The UN roadmap underlines a widespread belief that the global momentum to tackle climate change must increase in the build-up to the next climate summit.

Tubiana and El Haite added: “There is a need to quick-start implementation with a sense of urgency and ambition; create an interface with the real world and solutions, particularly the involvement of non-Party stakeholders; and maintain the political momentum.

“We also wish to ensure that, in line with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, we bring in more initiatives and proposals focusing on adaptation and climate resilience, as well as on the reorientation of financial flows.”

‘Leading role’

France and Morocco’s ‘global climate champions’ have launched a consultative process in order to seek the views of governments and non-state stakeholders on how to move forward with appropriate arrangements for institutional support of the global climate action agenda.

The role of non-state actors in facilitating an improved long-term outlook on climate change has received heightened scrutiny in recent weeks and months in the wake of the signing of the Paris Agreement.

A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week called on cities to play a “leading role” in the global low-carbon transition, predicting that two-thirds of the growth in global final energy demand will come from urban areas in emerging and developing economies by 2050.

Meanwhile, a collection of 110 businesses and organisations including IKEA, Starbucks and Unilever recently released a statement highlighting the numerous benefits of investment in the global carbon economy such as clarity for economic decision-makers and a boost in confidence for investors worldwide.

George Ogleby

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