After five days of activities touching on a range of issues, ranging from human settlements to transport to energy, the Global Climate Action (GCA) program at COP23 closed with a high-level ceremony, where the most relevant outcomes of the five days were presented.
Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor of Bonn and First Vice President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, spoke on behalf of the local and regional governments constituency.
“Over 330 local and regional leaders from more than 60 countries and all levels of government – 1,000 participants in total- have adopted the Bonn-Fiji Commitment, last Sunday, at the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. With the Bonn-Fiji -Commitment we express our willingness to be full partners in the process to come – before and beyond 2020,” said Mayor Sridharan.
At the ceremony, Mayor Sridharan also delivered the Bonn-Fiji Commitment of Local and Regional Leaders to Deliver the Paris Agreement At All Levels to António Guterres, the UN Secretary General. The Bonn-Fiji Commitment was adopted by hundreds of local and regional governments at the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders on the 12 of November.
“Local and regional climate action will help close the gap between existing national commitments and needed reductions,” said Mayor Sridharan. “This is a promise.”
Nicola Sturgeon, Prime Minister of Scotland, made clear that climate justice and early action need to guide the next steps of climate action globally and especially at the level of local and regional governments. “We must now urgently meet the specific requirements of the Paris Agreement. This entails not only more ambitious goals in the next two decades, but also immediate action in the next two years. Addressing climate change is a moral obligation” said Sturgeon.
The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action organizes actions across seven thematic areas, namely – land use (agriculture, forestry and other land use), water, oceans and coastal zones, energy, industry, human settlements and transport.
The five-day program of events at COP23 demonstrated how cities, regions, businesses, and investors are working, in partnership with governments, to implement the Paris Agreement. There were over 100 events: plenaries, roundtable discussions, press conferences and digital dialogues.
At the high-level closing, the COP23 Presidency and High-Level Climate Champions also presented the first Yearbook of Global Climate Action. The Yearbook aims to inform countries about 2017 achievements and showcasing progress in the run-up to the Talanoa Dialogue – also known as the Facilitative Dialogue.
As the five days of COP23 events under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action demonstrated, projects and initiatives by a grand coalition of climate stakeholders other than national governments are showing the way for the next steps on how to implement the Paris Agreement.
Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco and President of COP22 summed it up: “The organizations who are contributing to the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action are the real guardians of the Paris Agreement.”
His words were echoed by Frank Bainimarana, Prime Minister of Fiji and COP23 President: “This partnership for climate action was forged in Marrakech. We’re now going to take it forward. Further, faster, together”.