One of the events which I find most helpful amongst the other events I attended and which the conversations I was a part of for day one at COP22 was definitely the speech given by Mr Ravi Prasad, a representative of the government of India for the UN climate talks as he furnished a better sense of the key issues that would be anticipated at this COP. He stated that there is a high expectation in Marrakech after the achievement of the agreement reached in Paris last year at COP21.
Countries show an intention to be bound by the Paris Agreement once they have deposited their signatories. Thus, COP22 is crucial in getting the implementation process and framing of guidelines started.
One of the most pertinent issues that have been highly discussed at the climate talks is the process of entry into force of the Paris Agreement and how it would affect the countries which are still in the process of completing their domestic ratification. In spite of how some countries have yet to complete their domestic processes on time, they are given some leeway in putting these processes in place nonetheless as inclusive decision-making is a hallmark of the Paris Agreement.
The second issue concerns pre-2020 actions whereby although the Paris Agreement comprises mainly post-2020 actions, we were informed that we should not dismiss pre-2020 actions. The regime of pre-2020 actions includes the ratification of the Doha amendment of the Kyoto Protocol and also a revisit of the ambition that the developed countries have taken. However, the intention to provide support to the developing countries in regards to the provision of the means of implementation in terms of finance for adaptation, mitigation, technological transfer and capacity building have not been affected.
Therefore, two facilitative dialogues will be expected of COP22 to accelerate pre-2020 actions i.e. the facilitative dialogue discussion which focuses on 2018, as well as the immediate actions which ought to be taken in hopes of mapping out the necessary pre-2020 actions for countries to bring forth to the table, and consequently, creating a solid foundation for post-2020 operationalisation of the Paris Agreement.
Not forgetting to mention the third aspect of COP22 which is equally as important as the aforementioned issues – the development of technological transfer. As far as this issue is concerned, the crux of it is how developing countries would be able to transform into a long-term low emission development by acquiring technologies which are both affordable and accessible in order for them to achieve such transition. It is worth noting that a gap would be inevitable considering that this is a time-consuming process. There may be difficulties for the developing countries to adopt such technologies as there might be issues in relation to cost, as well as patent and intellectual property rights.
Without adequate clarity on how technology transfer works, it would be very difficult for developing countries to meet their climate action plan. Thus, there is a need to ensure that the groundwork of the transfer of technology is expedited at the climate talks to enable the developing countries to undertake what is expected of them and what they are trying to achieve in terms of their climate target if they are provided with such technology.
There is also the issue of enhancing the existing transparency framework by putting a system of reporting on different actions in place to provide more clarity, and how each transparency of action corresponds with a similar level of transparency of support. This could help the developing countries to plan their actions better if their NDCs project a clear need for support in terms of finance so they could receive the level of support needed by the developed countries to ensure that the developing countries can achieve their climate goals.
All of these are some of the elements to accelerate the momentum of what have been agreed at COP21 in hopes that there would be a fruitful interaction at COP22.
Written by Choy Moon Moon
Edited by Elaine See