The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, is to lead the South African delegation at the High Level Segment of the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco, from 12 to 18 November 2016.
COP22 takes place only days after the Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted at COP21 in Paris, France in December 2015, entered into force on 4 November 2016.
Marrakech is thus a turning point in the international climate action, as this is the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement since its adoption and entering into force. The Marrakech Climate Change negotiations also mark the first meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body, the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1). The CMA meeting will take place in Marrakech in conjunction with COP22 and CMP12 (the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) from 7 to 18 November 2016.
In addition, the 45th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 45) and of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 45), as well as the second part of the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1-2) will take place during the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, thirty days after the date on which at least 5 Parties to the Convention, accounting for an estimated 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, have deposited their instruments of ratification with the United Nations Secretary-General. This is ahead of the scheduled implementation of the Agreement by 2020.
South Africa ratified the Paris Agreement on 2 November 2016. The South African-led Durban international climate change talks in 2011 marked the beginning of the 4-year negotiating process that culminated in the Paris Agreement.
South Africa played a leading role at COP 21 in Paris, as the Chair of the Group of 77 and China, a group of 134 developing countries that are worst affected by climate change. South Africa was also the lead negotiator for the African Group as well as a member of the Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) configuration.
What South Africa seeks to achieve in Marrakech.
Morocco COP 22 is an action and implementation COP. It should send a signal to the world that global climate action is being accelerated. Specifically South Africa would like to see good progress in:
- Operationalising the Pre-2020 implementation agenda (2016 to 2020 period);
- Addressing the pre-2020 ambition gap; and
- Making good progress in developing the rule book for operationalising the Paris Agreement post 2020.
In addition, South Africa looks forward to a successful first and historic meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties for the Paris Agreement, following the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November 2016.
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