• Caterina Sullivan

COP 22 Overview

Updated: Nov 4, 2018



COP 22 has just come to an end in Morocco. Unfortunately, we were not able to be there this year; however, we kept up-to-date with all the happenings on social media and online. We’ve collected some of our favourite moments – just for you!

Let’s start off by looking at what COP 22 aimed to do.

By now, we should all know about the Paris Climate Agreement, from last year’s COP 21. This year, COP 22 aimed to create an action plan for the Paris Agreement.

You can read the Marrakech Action Proclamation for more information.

You can also read the Marrakech Vision.

During COP 22, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Environment Minister gathered at Parliament House to announce the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement.

This was followed by Australia joining the NDC Partnership. This partnership, comprising both developed and developing countries, aims to assist countries in achieving their NDCs (nationally determined contributions) to Goal 13: Climate Action. It also manages the delivery of financial and technical assistance. Read more.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news for Australia at COP 22. Two reports released over the conference ranked Australia among the worst developed countries when it comes to Goal 13. One report ranked Australia has fifth-worst out of the developing countries; another sixth-worst out of the G20 countries. The reports looked at measurable such as emissions levels, use of renewables and action to combat global warming. Read more.

However, during the conference, the Australian Capital Territory became one of 29 new signatories on the Under2 Coalition, the leading highly ambitious sub-national government coalition working towards the achievement of Goal 13. Read more.

Sadly, there weren’t too many more achievements for Australia to celebrate at COP 22. We hope, with the Global Goals Australia Campaign, we are able to grow the presence of Australia over the coming years, not only at COP 22, but at many other international conferences and summits, which focus on the achievement on one or more of the Global Goals.

As COP 22 was held in Morocco, the country danced in the green spotlight as the government had a chance to show off some of their amazing contributions to Goal 13.

These were our three favourites:

#1 – Morocco turns mosques green

Morocco’s mosques are turning green as the country begins the process of retrofitting 600 of its mosques with renewable energy. Set to be completed in early 2019, this vision is for all 15,000 of the country’s mosques to become green.

#2 – Morocco to become solar superpower

Noor-1, sitting on the outskirts of the Sahara Desert, will power one million homes upon completion in 2018, making Morocco a solar superpower. This will allow Morocco to generate 40% of its energy from renewables by 2020, which is a long way from their 2013 reliance on energy imports, estimated by the World Bank to be up around 90%.

#3 – Morocco harvests clouds for drinking water

While it was the Chilean government who initiated the technique for harvesting fog for drinking water, 13 villages in Morocco are now drinking water from clouds sitting at the summit of the Boutmezguida Mountain. Up to 30 litres of water reach up to 500 people each day.

We saw the launch of three new initiatives, championed by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) during COP22:

  1. The Adaption of African Agriculture (AAA)

  2. The Global Framework on Water Scarcity

  3. The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

We also enjoyed listening to and reading some of the speeches made over the conference about international progress towards the Paris Climate Agreement.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change highlighted five key areas of engagement to ensure the Paris Climate Agreement and the climate-related targets of the Global Goals are achieved. These included the following:

  1. Finance for developing countries

  2. Nationally-determined contributions

  3. Support for the most vulnerable

  4. Capacity-building in developing countries

  5. Engagement of civil society and other non-party stakeholders

Read more.

Ms Espinosa spoke at length about the need to finance the Paris Climate Agreement as well as the Global Goals. A full year after COP 21, climate-related and SDG-related financing accounts for less than one per cent of the total financing of global infrastructure and bond issuances, around $110 trillion. The financing of the Global Goals will cost approximately $5 trillion to $7 trillion each year.

During COP 22, the first of the long-term climate strategies to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement were submitted to the United Nations. The United States, Mexico, Germany and Canada all submitted their proposed action plans to achieve the 1.5°C to 2°C target signed up to in Paris last year. You can read more about each country’s plan online.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) reinforced what we already knew: that climate action needs to be taken NOW. In a report they released at COP 22, WMO confirmed that the 5 year period between 2011 and 2015 was the hottest on record and that this increase was very much due to the increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. WMO is also predicting that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, with 2016’s global temperatures expected to reach approximately 1.2°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. Of the 79 studies conducted by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society between 2011 and 2014, over half of these found that human-induced climate change contributed to the extreme weather event in question.

We were excited to read over a dozen commitments made during the Forest Action Day. You can read some of these commitments online.

For the first time in history of UN Climate Change Conferences, participants celebrated the Action Day for Water. Did you know that countries have identified water as a key to adaption in 93% of their national climate action plans? This highlights the interconnectedness between the goals as Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation is also essential for Goal 2: Zero Hunger; Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being; Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy; Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 15: Life On Land, just to name a few!

During the Global Climate Action Day on Cities and Human Settlements, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) highlighted the importance of local governments taking action on the Global Goals to ensure the achievement of Goal 13: Climate Action. This also reinforces the work of Global Goals Australia Campaign in our dealings with both state and local government.

Some inspiring ideas to achieve the goals on a state or local level can be found by reading through some of the GCAA Transport initiatives which have launched since COP 21 last year. With transport contributing to a quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, clean transport is a fantastic way to make significant progress towards the achievement of the climate-related targets of the Global Goals.

We were also excited to see the launch of the World Alliance for Clean Technologies. An initiative of the Solar Impulse Foundation, this alliance serves as a legacy to the first-ever solar flight around the world. The aim of the alliance is to federate leading players in the development of clean technologies in order to create synergies, align visions and promote profitable solutions to environmental issues.

UNESCO also highlighted the need for the inclusion of climate change-related issues in school curricula throughout the world. In a survey recently conducted by UNESCO, it was found that less than 40% of the countries surveyed mandated the teaching of climate change-related issues in school curricula. In Australia, one of our cross-curriculum priorities is ‘sustainability’. Next year, in partnership with the World’s Largest Lesson, we will be launching a series of curriculum-aligned lesson plans to teach the Global Goals. Sign up now to receive updates on these lesson plans!

We look forward to working with the Australian government to prepare Australia’s climate action strategy. Hopefully, we will see everyone at COP 23 in Bonn next year!

This article was originally published on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website.

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Authorised by Caterina Sullivan (2018)

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