I know from my experience as a climate mediator that the talks in Marrakesh will not be simple

The agreement that came into effect just days before the last round of climate talks took place in Marrakesh is only a road map. Marrakesh must turn this roadmap into a reality by adopting rules and procedures before 2018.

The main focus of the summit will, therefore, be the adoption of rules that cover at least ten tracks of negotiation: adaptation to climate change effects, mitigation of further warming, finance and loss and damage, technology, capacity-building, transparency, global inventory, compliance, and cooperative approaches.

The world’s poorest countries are the ones who suffer most from climate change. They are the nations that emit the smallest amounts of greenhouse gases. The negotiating group of the least developed countries includes nations as diverse and large as Bangladesh, with 155,000,000 people, to tiny Timor Leste, with 1.1 million.

For many years, I have been involved in climate negotiations as a representative of Bangladesh. In Paris, I fought to get a universal climate agreement, clear mitigation and adaptation provisions, and adequate financing. We want to see more concrete action in Marrakesh.

Bring the money!

The Paris Agreement establishes an international goal that links the need to adapt to climate change effects to the level of mitigation, i.e., how far we go in preventing it. The Paris Agreement will boost adaptation by assessing global progress every five years.

Climate finance is a major concern for the LDCs, but the Paris Agreement does not offer any better financing than the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted in 1992.

The Paris Agreement fails to mention the principles that have been agreed upon for climate finance. Namely, it must be additional and new money as well as adequate and predictable. Now, there is more concern that adaptation will involve more loans rather than grants.

The Paris Agreement is still the first climate law that ties state financial obligations to the avoidance of a 2degC temperature increase.

Despite the fact that they have been given preferential treatment, only 1/5 of the adaptation finance has gone to them. The negotiators want to see a clear improvement in this area.

It’s a question of trust.

The developed and developing nations are at odds over claims made by the former about the annual provision of climate financing. The LDCs are willing to offer their full cooperation to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical advice to develop a common accounting format to track climate finance. It is crucial for building trust.

The amount of money needed to finance adaptation will be greater than what is currently available in the national budgets. You can find ways to get around this. France is leading an initiative that levies a tax on financial transactions to be used as climate finance. Other industrialized countries, like the UK, contribute 0.7% of their national income to overseas aid.

In Marrakesh, we hope that these countries are willing to implement the long-agreed climate finance principles – new, extra, adequate, and predictable financing. The least developed countries need to build stronger alliances and partnerships with progressive groups in order to secure future climate financing.

Canaries in the coal mine

To achieve a world that is low-carbon and climate-resilient, we must provide poor countries with the capability they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well as adapt themselves to climate impacts.

In the Paris Agreement, the capacity-building provisions include a decision to create a committee for capacity building, an initiative on transparency, and the promotion of education, training, and public awareness of climate change. These issues are fundamental to all institutions, processes, and mechanisms for the least developed countries.

In Western countries, the rule of no harm and basic human rights have been considered sacred for a long time. Holding on to an old view of sovereignty and national interests cannot address global threats such as atmospheric pollution.

Joseph Nye, an American scholar, has argued that although the US has been leading in the global production of public goods since World War II, now, cooperation from other powerful states is needed because power has turned into a game of positive sum.

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