(November 23, Marrakech) – As U.N. climate change negotiations concluded several hours over time after countries grappled with how to work out the rule book for the Paris Agreement, climate justice advocates issued the following reactions. “At the end of these two weeks we just want to express our extreme disappointment that no clear and concrete increases in climate finance pledges have been put forward by developed country governments,” said Lidy Nacpil of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development.
“We’ve heard so much talk about leveraging private sector funds to address climate finance needs, but private sector involvement is not a substitute for public finance. Substantive amounts of public finance are urgently needed – this is especially true for adapting to climate change and addressing the impacts on communities. In Marrakech, all the developed countries did was try to evade and postpone their responsibilities, insisting on highly questionable methods for calculating their financial contributions to mask the paltry reality.”
“After the jubilation over the Paris Agreement’s entry into force, in Marrakech countries found themselves at loggerheads over what was actually agreed,” said Meena Raman of Third World Network. “The Agreement is very clear that addressing climate change is about much more than emissions reductions-it is also about finance and technology to support those efforts, as well as adaptation.
“Throughout the meeting we witnessed a flat-out refusal by developed countries, led by the U.S., to only progress on mitigation-related issues while letting others fall by the way”.
Referring to initiatives which took place almost in spite of the negotiations themselves, Azeb Girmai of LDC Watch said “One glimmer of hope from what was otherwise a lacklustre COP was the launch of the Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, a prime example of the power of cooperation between developing countries.”
“1.5 degrees means 100% renewable energy, so it is heartening to see developing countries taking the reigns, building off the ongoing success of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative while developed countries drag their heels. Our challenge as civil society now is to ensure local communities are actively shaping people-centered, smart, decentralised energy systems-which is the key to securing a prosperous and sustainable future.”
A critical item of discussion during the session was supposed to be the adequacy of countries’ pre-2020 actions, however the outcome of Marrakech offered no increase of these short-term targets.
Said Asad Rehman of Friends of the Earth England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, “the science is clear, we only have 3 years before the Paris Agreement’s goal of 1.5 is beyond our reach. The pledges on the table for those 3 years will not deliver this goal, effectively condemning millions more people to pay the cost of inaction.”
Referring to speculation that the U.S. will drop from the Paris Agreement or even the Convention itself, Raman added, “If the U.S. leaves the climate change convention, the world will leave the U.S. behind. For years the U.S. has been a free rider, undermining global ambition-with the climate change denying Mr. Trump in office the rest of the world must move beyondthe Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and transition quickly to sustainable energy sources, with acordon sanitairearound the U.S.”
“The outcome of Marrakech failed to change the dangerous course we are on- no matter how it’s spun it’s real cuts in carbon pollution that matter. Now as we look towards 2018, we have a last throw of the dice to beef up those climate targets. Failure is simply not an option if we value our planet and the lives of our fellow citizens”