Under the sound of drums,nthe Cop22 was inaugurated in Marrakech this morning, 7 November 2016. Just three days after the Paris Agreement entered into force, the COP22 started with a mixed mood between an enthusiastic and hopeful spirit and a more realistic one about the work ahead.
The first to have the floor was Morocco’s Foreign Minister and newly-elected COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar. The President expressed the willingness of Morocco and Africa to join the efforts to tackle climate change and the desire to take African destiny in hand, to reduce its vulnerability and strengthen its resilience.
The Minister also pointed out the unprecedented momentum around the world about the Climate Change issue: things are being done and problems are being put on the table to be discussed. But he also recognized that, still, there is a long road to go to meet the 2 degrees or even 1.5 target agreed in Paris. He invited the representatives of the governments “to be more ambitious than ever in their commitments. All over the world, public opinion must perceive the change. It has to be a change at all levels, from local projects through to those that cross international borders and it must create genuine win-win partnerships”. We hope that the parties will listen to the COP22 President.
Mezouar was followed by Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the same mood, she claimed that after the enter info force of the last year agreement, we have to celebrate but we have a lot to do. “Achieving the aims and ambitions of the Paris Agreement is not a given,” she said. The challenge is to change the course of two centuries of carbon-intense development, and it is not little work to do. She identified some key areas in which work need to be done:
-Finance to allow developing countries to green their economies and build resilience;
– National climate action plans;
– Adaptation which needs high priority, and progress on the loss and damagen mechanism to safeguard development gains in the most vulnerable communities;
– Capacity building for developing countries in a manner that is both tailored and specific to their needs.
She concluded saying: “Our work here in Marrakech must reflect our new reality.No politician or citizen, no business manager or investor can doubt that the transformation to a low-emission, resilient society, and economy is the singular determination of the community of nations”.
We, the youth, are also a part of this transformation. We are the majority of the population. We need to listen and learn to really take our future in our hands. But most of all, we need to be part and participate asnwell, by been young, creative, energetic and real rebels to challenge and change the system once for good.