Now, one year later, governments have met in Marrakech for the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), to begin the complex work of translating the Paris Agreement into a comprehensive, detailed road map for climate action.
I was in Marrakech for the two weeks of discussions at COP22 with BirdLife International, with whom I’m currently completing an internship in Climate Change Policy. BirdLife are the world’s biggest conservation partnership, supporting 120 national NGOs worldwide.
I’ve written about what was achieved at COP22 and whether the conference lived up to the success of Paris here:
And more specifically about the work of BirdLife and other NGOs in promoting ecosystem preservation and restoration as a means to tackle climate change here:
In a conference dominated by the technical work needed to implement the Paris Agreement, many of the most exciting developments happened outside of the negotiating rooms. A few countries announced ambitious pledges – most remarkable of which was a commitment to reach 100% renewable energy production ‘as soon as possible’ from 47 of the poorest countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
However, increasingly we are also seeing real leadership in the private sector. Some major businesses committed to 100% renewable energy production during COP22, including Helvetia Insurance, and the ‘We Mean Business’ coalition highlighted over a thousand commitments to act on climate change from 471 companies. Just a few days after the US election and mid-way through the conference nearly 400 companies, from Ben and Jerry’s to Tiffany & Co, signed a letter calling on Trump to keep the US in the Paris Agreement.
We hope that the University sector, who have provided so much of the scientific background that made the Paris Agreement possible, will also play a leading role in pushing this momentum towards practical action.