A Taste of COP

I have recently participated in Alter COP22, an event parallel to COP22 (Conference of the Parties) organised by the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) with the aim of giving a better perspective of what’s happening at the negotiations. The event was held during the last week of COP (13th to 19th November) in Marrakesh.

To start with, this edition of COP has focused on the implementation of the Paris agreement (COP21), with the following targets for 2018:

  1. A rulebook for implementation of the Paris Agreement by 2018
  2. National climate action plans to help countries achieve the target of less than 2⁰C global warming by 2050
  3. Who will make up for climate funding and how.

The possible consequence of Trump’s election has been raised in several discussions throughout the weekend. Despite Trump being virtually unable to withdraw from the Paris agreement in his first and hopefully last presidency, the agreement has lost a key leader. Europe should take back the lead if we are to meet our target. On a more positive note, China’s emissions have now stabilised.

15046891_1233465760051724_2378866111899762688_nAnother interesting note is that developing countries are investing more in renewables. It’s up to developed countries to do the same while funding developing countries’ mitigation and adaptation plans. It was also nice to see what civil society activists from the global south had to say – while investment in renewables is good news, the illegal occupation of Western Sahara is not. For this reason, global south natives should be included in the negotiations. Shockingly, the Moroccan regime has jailed poor people on the streets prior to hosting COP22. Moreover, as Europeans we should seek not to create a new debt with the global south, through trade deals like CETA and TTIP that would allow for the transportation of fossil fuels even if governments take sensible action.

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On Thursday 17th, we have performed an action in front of the COP22 Green Zone, in order to highlight the greenwashing at COP, especially with the influence big polluters like Shell and BP still enjoy, and the need for funds necessary for developing countries.

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The negotiations have made some progress with $100 billion to be provided to developing countries and increased focus on adaptation. However, big polluters need to be kicked out or encouraged to become cleaner, human rights infringements in the global south in the name of clean energy need to be addressed, the aviation industry’s emissions should be regulated and Europe should regain its lead.

Daniel Desira – ADZ Public Relations Officer

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