Wednesday 23rd November 2016
For the last two weeks Heads of State, Government, and Delegations gathered in Marrakech 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 meeting was a follow on from the landmark COP21 Paris Climate Change meeting, where the target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels was agreed. The agreement was ratified by Australia earlier this month, and entered in to force on the 4th November 2016. The ratification of the agreement was an important step for progress in Climate Change globally, especially after the election of President Elect Donald Trump; who has in the past threatened to repeal the United States commitment to the Paris Agreement.
The task in Marrakesh was to rapidly build on the momentum gained in Paris and to put in place a coherent plan 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.
The United Nation called on the highest political commitment to combat Climate Change, as a matter of urgent priority. Furthermore, they called 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. Developed Country Parties were asked to reaffirm their USD $100 billion mobilization goal which they pledged by during the Paris talks in order to support developing nations, who are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and will find it more difficult to industrialise without having an intensive emissions footprint.
Another goal was to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture. Furthermore, the forum was asked to commit to an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including the distribution of this technology from developed to developing countries.
The United Nations Climate agreements such as COP21 and COP22 are hugely important in the fight to stave off the effects of what the World Economic Forum has described as the greatest threat to mankind, Climate Change. The agreements bring governments to account for their environmental policy development and implementation. This will mean encouragement and legal directives for business from respective governments, ensuring that they adopt positive sustainability policies like waste and greenhouse gas emissions reduction and a shift to renewable energy. There is a significant economic opportunity in this transition for businesses like Re-Pal, which proactively look to reduce the environmental impacts of companies and increase sustainability within supply chains. The ambitious targets will require much commitment but it is an exciting time for innovation and creativity in finding solutions for such an important issue.