COP-22 advances global action on climate change

COP-22 advances global action on climate change

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Published

22 November 2016

Countries accelerated global climate action across a broad range of areas at the 2016 UN climate change conference in Marrakech, which focussed on implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. They set a deadline of 2018 to complete the rulebook for operationalizing the Paris Agreement, which  entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Businesses, investors, cities and local governments also pledged new climate change commitments, Multi-million dollar packages of support for clean technologies; building capacity to report on climate action plans, and initiatives for boosting water and food security in developing countries were also among the many new announcements and initiatives launched during the conference, known as COP22, held from 7 to 18 November.

The COP22 conference also adopted the “Marrakech Action Proclamation for a new era of implementation and action.

UNFCCC press release here

The conference “noted with appreciation” submissions by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as well as the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the World Climate Research Programme, both of which are co-sponsored by WMO

COP-22 approved a text submitted by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which welcomed the submissions from WMO: The Global Climate in 2011–2015 and the WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. It invited WMO “to provide submissions on the state of the global climate on a regular basis, as appropriate, at subsequent sessions of the SBSTA.”

In its submissions, WMO said that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide passed 400 parts per million in 2015; that 2011-2015 was the hottest five-year period on record, with a clear human influence on extreme weather; and that 2016 is very likely to be the hottest year on record, with temperatures approximately 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Paris Agreement aims at limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts towards 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

GCOS Implementation Plan

In its conclusions, SBSTA called for the full implementation of a forward-looking plan by GCOS,  “The Global System for Climate: Implementation Needs.” This will strengthen the ability to monitor the changing climate and provide governments with the information on how to evaluate and respond to climate risks and to assess progress.

Whilst the current observing system has enabled great advances in understanding the climate system and made it possible to confirm the unequivocal reality of human-induced climate change, more understanding and investment is still needed, especially at regional scales.  The GCOS implementation plan responds to the growing need for systematic observations and climate information by the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, other science-based assessments, and operational climate services that provide decision-makers with actionable information on adaptation and mitigation.

SBSTA encouraged Parties and relevant organizations to strengthen and maintain observation networks and capabilities in all countries, especially in developing countries, including the least developed countries and small island developing States. It invited the secretariat of GCOS to report on progress made in the implementation of the GCOS Implementation Plan on a regular basis.

The SBSTA submitted to the COP the decision to encourage Parties to work towards the full implementation of the GCOS plan and to consider what actions they can take to contribute towards implementation. In this decision the COP emphasizes in particular the need to build capacity in developing countries, through existing mechanisms, including the GCOS Cooperation Mechanism.  COP adopted the decision in its plenary session on 17 November 2016. 

The 2016 implementation plan of the Global Climate Observing System can be downloaded from gcos.wmo.int. 

The decision of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention, FCCC/SBSTA/2016/L.26/Add.1, is available here

WMO activities during COP-22 available here

 

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