UN COP22 closes with work plan to implement Paris climate pact | News | DW | 19.11.2016
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UN COP22 closes with work plan to implement Paris climate pact

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco, has been gaveled out with the approval of a work plan to combat climate change. The parties have agreed to meet again in 2017 to "review progress."

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Around midnight on Friday, nearly 200 nations agreed to work on a rule book for the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

Showing their determination to keep the Paris Agreement on track, the countries said the list of rules will be finished at the latest by December 2018. The deal agreed by United Nations negotiators closes out a two-week round of talks in Marrakesh, Morocco. The parties also agreed in the document to meet again in 2017 in order to "review progress."

The guiding rules will help clear up many details left vague in the Paris Agreement, such as how countries will monitor their national pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions and how they will report their progress.

The final version of Friday's agreed text also implored economically wealthy nations to commit to the goal of providing $100 billion (94.4 billion euros) of climate finance per year to developing countries by 2020.

"We will continue on the path," Moroccan Foreign Minister and conference president Salaheddine Mezouar told a news conference.

Appeals to Trump

Mezouar also urged US President-elect Donald Trump to join other nations in their commitment to actively limit emissions.

"We count on your pragmatism and your spirit of commitment," he said on Friday.

Trump has made comments opposing the pact and has threatened to tear up the agreement. He has also called climate change a hoax which was invented by the Chinese. Moreover, the president-elect has promised to boost oil, gas and coal energy over renewable energy sources and threatened to halt US taxpayer funds for UN climate programs.

The prime minister of Fiji, an island nation threatened by rising sea levels, made an appeal to Trump on Friday, inviting him to see the effects of climate change for himself.

"As the second-biggest carbon emitter on earth, the United States must take responsibility for contributing to our collective response to this crisis and show leadership at this critical stage," Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said.

'Full implementation'

Yesterday, the governments gathered in Morocco reaffirmed their commitment to the global climate pact. Their "Marrakesh Action Proclamation" urged the "highest political commitment" to fight climate change as well as the "full implementation" of the Paris Agreement.

Although the two-year deadline on coming up with a rule book for the Paris Agreement may sound long, it took four years to agree the detailed rules for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. That agreement obliged developed countries to cut their emissions, but the Paris Agreement requires committed action from all nations.

The Paris Agreement became international law on November 4 but will go into effect in 2020. Although the countries submitted national plans to lower emissions, those plans do not currently reach the goal of limiting temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The annual UN climate conference is set to take place in Bonn, Germany, next year.

rs/kl (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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