The twenty-second edition of the UN Climate Conference, COP22, drew to a close in Marrakesh, with the decision by the 196 participating countries to outline by 2018 a ruling to implement the Paris Agreement, in particular by defining how the commitments of the respective countries in terms of the reduction of CO2 emissions (Nationally Determined Contributions) will be monitored.
A predictable "non-conclusion", without any particular new commitments, for a conference that had the difficult task of following up the historic Paris COP21 where, last year, the climate agreement that came into force on November 4 this year, was ratified by 111 countries.
The "spectre" of the new president of the United States, Donald Trump, and his program for a return to traditional energy sources, as announced during his controversial election campaign, weighed heavily over the entire proceedings.
That held in Marrakech, hence, was a Conference defined by many as "transitionary", that strove to set up the complex mechanism of the Paris agreements. More specifically, the final wording invites the richer countries to contribute economically to funds such as the Green Climate Fund, to support developing nations in the fight against climate change. Yet the road ahead is a long one: Of the $100 billion needed each year to implement the green policies of developing nations, only $81 million have been mustered to date, and almost exclusively from the EU.
One of the most urgent issues faced at Marrakesh, at any rate, was the future participation of the United States as part of the COP. A USA exit is almost certain, given the well-known anti-environmentalist stance of the President Elect, and would mean a huge setback to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Prospect that led the Moroccan foreign minister and president of COP22 Salaheddine Mezouar, to make an appeal to the US President Elect, asking him to join the international effort. "We count on his pragmatism as well as his commitment towards the spirit of the international community, that is engaged in a great battle for our future, for the planet, for humanity and the dignity of millions and millions of people, both for what our planet will be tomorrow, and to what we leave behind us."