Unease over ‘Marrakech Call for Action’ doc on anvil

Marrakech (Hilary Chiew) – Unease has emerged among some developing countries over the content of a confidential document being prepared behind closed doors by the Moroccan Presidency of the UN climate talks billed the ‘Marrakech Call for Action’.
News about the call was formally announced at the end of a midday stocktaking plenary of the climate talks held on 12 Nov. The talks began on 7 Nov.
The President of the 22nd meeting of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) Salaheddine Mezouar, who is also the Moroccan Foreign Minister, issued an appeal to Parties to support the ‘Marrakech Call’ and said that it was meant to “send a message to the international community.”Mezour said that he did not want to open up the document to a “complicated debate at this point because it could bog us down but I launch an appeal now to be supported by all delegations.”
He did not reveal the contents of the ‘Marrakech Call’ but has made it available to some Parties and is expected to present the document and obtain the endorsement of the Heads of States and ministers who are arriving for the traditional high-level segment of the talks that begin on 15 Nov.
According to sources, the Moroccan Presidency has been conducting consultations behind the scene on the four-page document with groupings of Parties during which he sought inputs from Parties and listened to their concerns.
Some developing country Parties have expressed their grave concerns over the document to the COP Presidency and are deeply troubled by the lack of balance in the document which they claim did not make any reference to the UNFCCC, its principles and provisions; and did not stress the importance of pre-2020 actions.
The secret-text was leaked to the media and has also alarmed observers who warned that such a move is highly unwise and failed to appreciate the delicate political balance achieved among Parties at the Paris COP barely a year ago which resulted in the Paris Agreement and its accompanying set of decisions.
They are wondering how the COP President intends to get the endorsement of Parties of a non-negotiated text.
At the halfway stocktake, the COP President provided an opportunity to Parties to hear report backs from the various bodies who have been conducting negotiations over the course of the week.
Following the report backs, Parties provided their views on the process and divergent views were heard over whether to continue the work of the Ad hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) during the second week of the talks.
All subsidiary bodies including the APA are supposed to conclude their work with their respective closing plenaries scheduled on 14 Nov, before the commencement of the high-level segment.
A large number of developing country Parties opposed the idea of continuing the work of the APA in the second week while some developed countries as well as developing countries wanted to ‘engage in the coming week to move forward with essential work to implement the Paris Agreement’. (See exchanges of Parties below.)
[During the first week, Parties also conducted work at the 45th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI45) and the 45th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA45).]
Mezouar also informed Parties that the historical first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1) will be declared open late morning on 15 Nov.
He said Heads of governments are arriving to participate in the high-level segment to celebrate the entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement as well as the opening of the CMA1 and “everything we have achieved including under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.”
He also noted the key events for the coming week: the second part of the ‘facilitative dialogue on enhancing ambition and support’, the ‘second biennial ministerial high-level on climate finance’, the high-level event on ‘sustainable economic transition and economic diversification’, and, the high-level on ‘global climate action’.
The COP 22 President informed Parties that consultations are still underway on several matters: the adoption of the CMA rules of procedure; vulnerability of Africa; access to support to the Green Climate Fund and Climate Technology Centre and Network by those Parties with special circumstances; and the platform for local communities and indigenous peoples (under paragraph 135 of the Paris decision 1/CP21).
(Paragraph 135 reads:Recognizes the need to strengthen knowledge, technologies, practices and efforts of local communities and indigenous peoples related to addressing and responding to climate change, and establishes a platform for the exchange of experiences and sharing of best practices on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner.)
On the consultations on the preparation for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and CMA1, the COP President stressed that they were going well and he anticipated a smooth launch of CMA1. The consultations in this regard are being led by Ambassador Aziz Mekouar.
The COP President Mezouar then invited SBI, SBSTA and APA Chairs to provide update on their respective work. – Third World Network