IndustriALL's director for sustainability Brian Kohler blogs from day two of the twenty-second Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), 8 November in Marrakesh, Morocco.
A generally optimistic mood prevailed for most of Tuesday as talks commenced or continued on a number of fronts, including agriculture.
The mitigation efforts under the Paris Agreement, rely on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The intent is to build commitments from the bottom up that will keep the world on track to limiting global warming to 2 Celsius degrees, or less. So far, the total of NDCs is inadequate to do this and that means that a good deal of attention must be dedicated to looking for political, financial and technical means to arrive at the necessary level of greenhouse gas reduction commitments.
This of course makes it more difficult, but at the same time more crucial, to keep our demand for Just Transition measures front and centre. One proposal that is under consideration is the establishment of an expert committee on Just Transition measures. Whether this will be supported has yet to be seen.
A disturbing trend early in this COP has been the closing of an increasing number of meetings to observers, undermining the general principle of inclusiveness and transparency. We have protested this and asked the COP secretariat to explain this development.
Trade union delegates attempt to distribute ourselves to cover as many meetings as possible. Yesterday, I sat in on two meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice as it discussed voluntary and cooperative mechanisms to meet NDC targets. Aspects of Just Transition fall under this heading, as well as several other work streams. My observation from yesterday is that many of the delegates have not fully prepared themselves for the discussion they are charged with.
Of course much of the early optimism about COP22 has evaporated as the results of Tuesday night’s USA election begin to sink in. More on this later.