The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakesh Morocco started off this week with African countries making a strong case for the continent to lead in actualising the Paris Agreement signed last year in France.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the COP 21 in Paris and adopted by consensus on December 12. Its goal is to see global temperature lowered to habitable 1.5 degrees Celcius.
President Peter Mutharika ratified the agreement during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September this year. Speaking during the opening of the conference on Wednesday, COP22 president Salahedinne Mezouar called on all participants to commit to concrete climate initiatives and actions to support the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change especially in Africa, least developed and small island developing States.
He also announced that during COP22, Morocco, along with other partners, will launch the National Determined Contributions (NDC) Partnership to build capacity and direct climate finance flows towards the most vulnerable.
He reiterated the importance of accelerating climate finance, innovation, transfer and capacity building to create the low-carbon economy the planet needs to stay below the two degree Celsius mark of global warming.
“Paris gave us a global commitment to climate change and COP22 in Marrakesh will give us more ambitious climate action. We must all rise to the challenge in support of the most vulnerable countries in the fight against climate change,” he said.
So far a delegation of 15 people, led by the Environmental Affairs Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, is representing Malawi’s interest at this year’s COP.
It includes government officials, development partners and civil society organisations.