Continued global momentum for climate action on display in Marrakesh as countries agree on broad roadmap to implement Paris accord

Environmental Defense Fund statement from Nathaniel Keohane, Vice President, Global Climate

November 18, 2016
Jennifer Andreassen,, +1-202-572-3387

(MARRAKESH, Morocco – November 18, 2016)  Against a backdrop of concern resulting from the U.S. presidential election, countries at the first major UN climate talks since last year’s historic meeting in Paris laid out a basic roadmap for completing the technical work needed to implement the Paris Agreement, including next steps on the path to completing the agreement’s essential transparency framework. As negotiations on those issues began in earnest, countries in Marrakesh reached agreement on completing the infrastructure of the Paris Agreement by 2018. Alongside the negotiations, Canada and Mexico joined the United States (and Germany days earlier) in submitting long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies

“The Marrakesh talks represented the pivot from agreement to action. The political will and sense of urgency that helped ensure that the Paris Agreement entered into force in record time must now be reflected in meeting the roadmap laid out in Marrakesh, including conclusion of the necessary work to implement the agreement within two years. The continued momentum on climate action on view in Marrakesh will also give a lift to work now underway by the International Civil Aviation Organization and its Member States to develop guidelines needed for the timely implementation of the global market-based measure agreed in October.

“The most striking theme in Marrakesh was the continued commitment by countries around the world to moving forward on climate change despite the uncertainty that resulted from the election of Donald Trump. That continued commitment was clear in public statements and private assurances, in the constructive spirit of the negotiations, and in the actions of the several countries who formally joined the Paris Agreement in the last two weeks. The momentum that generated the Paris Agreement — and ensured that it entered into force in record time — can’t be derailed even by an earthquake as large as last week’s election.

“The next U.S. administration will decide whether to continue to lead that effort — or to sit on the sidelines and lag behind. That decision will have enormous implications for America’s standing in the world — and for the competitiveness of American businesses in the new clean energy economy. But either way, the direction the rest of the world is taking is clearer than ever. People around the globe are already seeing the impacts of climate change every day – from record-breaking heat to floods to costly storm damage — and they’re demanding a safer, cleaner, low-carbon future and the jobs and economic growth that future will entail.”

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