Business Leaders to Climate Summit: ‘Speed up Decarbonisation’ – As it Happened

EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete took part in a bike event in Marrakesh. Photo: European Commission
EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete took part in a bike event in Marrakesh. Photo: European Commission

dpcover-17-november-landscapeWelcome to the Thursday, 17 November 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s COP22 live blog.

Drawing on our team on the ground in Marrakesh, social media and press coverage around the world, our digital reporters keep you updated on the latest efforts to accelerate the Paris Agreement’s implementation at the twenty-second UN climate conference in Morocco.


9:37 GMT by Molly Redmond

Good morning and welcome to the penultimate day of the COP22 liveblog – can you believe it’s almost over now?

It looks like Morocco will be handing the COP baton over to Fiji for next year’s meeting. Yesterday Patricia Espinosa, head of UNFCCC, tweeted that she’s had an excellent meeting with the Prime Minister of Fiji and is ready to “fully support” their presidency.

However, don’t start booking out beach houses just yet. Although Fiji may chair COP23, it looks like it will be held in Bonn, Germany according to Gerrit Hansen, research scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, a Climate-KIC partner.

It also looks like COP24 will be held in Poland and COP25 in Latin America/Carribean says Leo Hickman, Director of Carbon Brief, a UK-based climate reporting website.

Full details on dates and venues of future COPs can be found in the draft decision document released last night.

Empowering Through Education

12:05 GMT by Molly Redmond

Education is key when it comes to tacking climate action. “Education empowers people” says Patrcia Espinosa, the head of UNFCCC, at the opening of Education Day at COP22.

Find out how education has been discussed at COP22 with this video from UNFCCC.

HRH Princess Lalla Hasna was proud to talk about the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment establishing a partnership with the Ministry of National Education to help raise environmental awareness in the younger generations.

Also interviewed are Max and Martijn who are Dutch Youth Representatives. They discuss the ‘green footsteps’ event which is aimed at engaging young people with climate change through reward-based activities.

Connecting green energy from both sides of the Mediterranean

14:42 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Good afternoon from Toronto – just as I’m taking over from Molly in London, there’s some good news to report about sustainable electricity trade in the Mediterranean region.

“Today, the growth of renewables no longer hinges on reducing their costs or securing funding, but the challenge of integrating electricity sources which are as variable as the weather into the electricity system,” said EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

Morocco, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal have agreed to identify barriers to trade in renewable electricity between their countries and to come with ways to overcome these barriers. Interconnecting electricity systems allow surplus renewable electricity produced in one country to be exported to a nearby country with lower production levels, smoothing out fluctuating supply and demand, the European Commission explains.

Germany becomes third nation to submit long-term strategy

14:51 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Germany just became the third country to submit its long term decarbonisation strategy to the UN. Yesterday, the Obama administration and Mexico already submitted their plans.

The strategy details Germany’s goal of “extensive greenhouse gas neutrality” by 2050. The United States has presented a plan for emissions reductions of 80 per cent or more below 2005 levels by 2050, although it will remain to be seen if Obama’s successor will stick to this. Mexico’s plan entails a 50 per cent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050 compared to the year 2000.

The UNFCCC has published an executive summary of the Germany plan on its website along with the plans of Mexico and the United States. More long-term climate change strategies are expected to be published by countries in the “near future.”

Leonardo DiCaprio spotted in… Scotland

15:01 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Is he still coming to COP22? We’re not sure, but Leonardo DiCaprio has just been spotted in Scotland where he reportedly arrived by bus. Celebrity has compiled the evidence in a Twitter moment and reports the climate change activist is scheduled to speak at the Scottish Business Awards.

Earlier this week, UNFCCC chief Patricia Espinosa congratulated Scotland on meeting its 2020 emission targets six years early.


15:23 GMT by Peter Koekoek

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon – also known as “Supermoon” – has been running the United Nations since 2007 and is bowing out in December. At COP22, civil society groups honoured the UN’s eight secretary general with a goodbye in style today.

UK ratifies Paris Agreement

15:40 GMT by Peter Koekoek

The UK has become the latest country to ratify the Paris Agreement following the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Industry minister Nick Hurd announced the news at COP22, according to a tweet by an adviser to the Norwegian government.

Brexit leader Boris Johnson, now the UK’s foreign secretary, signed the agreement earlier today, according to a UK government tweet.

Although some Twitter users were quick to cast some doubt on the matter.

Over 100 business leaders presented their climate plans

15:57 GMT by Peter Koekoek

More than 100 high-level business leaders and investors met with #COP22 negotiators yesterday in a show of resounding support and commitment to taking action against climate change.

During the meeting, UN and national negotiators mapped out how they plan to accelerate climate action and increase low-carbon investments at the country level. Business representatives shared proposals on how the private sector can support and reinforce national climate priorities on mitigation and adaptation. The UN has published a list of attendees on the Global Compact website.

Meanwhile not at COP22

16:27 GMT by Peter Koekoek

A lot of declarations and initiatives have already been launched in Marrakesh this week. But if you haven’t seen Maroš Šefčovič over the last few days, it’s because the EU commission vice-president repsonsible for both energy and space policy was busy launching something else entirely.

Four new EU satellites were launched from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana this morning, adding to Europe’s growing Galileo constellation known as ‘the EU’s GPS.’ Data from the satellites will also help understand the impact of climate change.

Internal carbon pricing

16:45 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Here’s some good news in case you’re disappointed that Leonardo has chosen Edinburgh over Marrakesh today (see earlier post). You could meet Tamara DiCaprio instead! DiCaprio is taking part in discussions at COP22 as the chief architect responsible for designing and managing Microsoft’s internal carbon fee model.

Corporate use of an internal price on carbon nearly tripled in 2015 to 437 companies, and more than 500 additional companies plan to implement a price by 2017, according to CDP. The widespread adoption of internal carbon prices illustrates the ‘mainstreaming’ of climate change concerns as a line item in public companies’ budgeting and strategic planning CDP explains.

In other good news for Leonardo DiCaprio fans, US talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres recently learned that the environmentalist is able to show up at short notice.

High-level tweeting

17:06 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Social media has transformed the role of communications in business and politics alike. The stream of information coming out of the climate summits is unprecedented, and no less because of the updates from the most senior delegates themselves.

If you think all tweets are posted by professional social media strategists: think again. French climate minister Ségolène Royal was spotted using her smartphone this week to take a photo at a meeting with high-level African leaders. The photo of Royal in action was posted on the COP22 Flickr account.

African Action Summit

You can find the resulting tweet on the minister’s Twitter account which includes the message “Courage, Imagination and climate justice.”

Marrakesh Proclamation

20:43 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Countries have unanimousely called for more climate action, sooner. You can download a copy of the Marrakesh Action Proclamation from the UNFCCC website.

That’s it for today, we’re back tomorrow!


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