World leaders gathered at the COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh for the last two weeks to negotiate how to implement the priorities of the Paris agreement. Today nearly 200 countries have backed a proclamation declaring implementing them an "urgent duty". The European Parliament was present at the conference with a delegation composed of 12 MEPs. We asked delegation head Giovanni La Via, an Italian member of the EPP group, about the next steps and the Parliament’s role.
How was the COP22 conference in Marrakesh different from the COP21 one in Paris?
COP21 was about the main objectives: the big principles on how to save the planet. COP22 is about implementing it, turning the climate commitments into action.
What were the most important topics discussed in Marrakech?
One of the most important topics was climate finance. Developing countries want to be sure - and rightly so - that the money needed for them to adapt to the consequences of climate change will be delivered. However, this cannot be only public money.
What was the Parliament delegation pushing for in Marrakech?
We were mainly there to ensure that people continued to have trust in the process. This is a trust-building exercise. We are therefore here to reaffirm that the EU will deliver on its commitments whatever happens.
What is the main achievement of the COP22?
I would say the Marrakesh Action Proclamation that reaffirms the willingness of all countries to fight against climate change and to support sustainable development. By 2020 countries should reveal their 2050 long-term commitments to address climate change.
What is the Parliament already working on in order to implement the Paris agreement?
We will already be delivering concrete policies next month when we vote on the reform of the EU's carbon market. We will soon start work on reducting emissions from individual EU countries. Tthis is the so-called effort sharing legislation and there is also a new legislative proposal on land-use, land-use change and forestry.
What has the EU already done? How advanced are we in implementing the Paris agreement?
We are on track to implement our initial 2030 commitments. We are also set to surpass our 2020 goal of a 20% cut in emissions and are now aiming even higher.
What could be the biggest challenge for the EU during the implementation process of the Paris agreement?
That could be consolidating the trust that allowed 197 countries to agree on a common declaration in Marrakesh. This is why it is so important that we reaffirm, in spite of the many political uncertainties we face, that the EU will deliver on its commitments.
The target is decarbonisation. The question is only about how much the EU itself wants to lead this revolution and push other global actors to follow this path.
Source: European Parliament
Date: Nov 18, 2016