The energy and climate weekly: at un climate conference in marrakech, bickering over money, blame and oversight is expected
This year’s un climate conference began in marrakech, morocco, on monday. By the end of next week, conferencing will take place, initially among senior officials. On tuesday of next week, the countries will send their respective ministers or secretaries of state.
After the paris agreement entered into force earlier this month, it will also be its first conference of the parties. Since last week, 16 more countries have ratified, bringing the total to 103 – the un has 193 members.
The program and procedure of the meeting is complex, because it also serves as a conference of the parties to the framework convention on climate change and the kyoto protocol. Membership of the three agreements has rough overlaps, but is not identical. The largest is the convention, which has 197 members.
This is more than the number of un members, because the signatories also include the eu and some small, not fully independent pacific island states, such as niue or, since last year, palestine, which is not yet a un member.
In the future, the negotiations under the paris agreement are likely to become the most important for climate protection. The kyoto protocol expires in 2020 anyway and suffers from the fact that many important industrialized countries like canada, the usa and japan ignore it.
In addition, membership in the paris agreement will continue to grow rapidly. In any case, it is unique in the history of climate negotiations that it could enter into force less than eleven months after its conclusion and that the majority of countries ratified it so quickly.
The paris agreement is based primarily on self-commitment declarations by the countries, in which they commit themselves to various measures to be taken within a jointly defined timeframe. The latter is currently the year 2030. Mostly it is about reduction targets, increasing the efficiency in the use of energy and the development of renewable energy sources.
However, the promises made so far are far from sufficient to achieve the target set by the agreement. This currently states that warming should be limited to below two degrees celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. At the same time, however, the agreement also provides for negotiations that could lower the target to 1.5 degrees celsius.
The wrangling over these points will already begin in marrakech and will play a permanent role in the climate negotiations over the next few years. In addition, the main ie is money. The industrialized countries have pledged that, starting in 2020, developing countries will receive 100 billion euros a year to help them industrialize in a climate-friendly way and to combat the damage caused by climate change.
Now there will be wrangling over who will pay, how much each donor country will pay, who will be among the recipients, and who will control the allocation of the funds. The industrialized countries, especially the german government, are once again acting in a very paternalistic manner and do not want to relinquish control.
In particular, they also oppose the approach that it is about a debt incurred by their share in causing climate change. Independently of the 100 billion pot, there is still a burgeoning discussion about how those responsible for the part of climate change that has already occurred or can no longer be stopped can be identified and held liable.
Several island nations have gone on record as saying they will pursue claims to the paris agreement when they submit their instruments of ratification.