Europe ‘Ready to Lead’ as COP22 Summit Moves Into Fourth Day – As it Happened

A delegate holds up a solar lantern during the summit's opening ceremony. Photo: COP22
A delegate holds up a solar lantern during the summit's opening ceremony. Photo: COP22

Welcome to the Thursday, 10 November 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s COP22 live blog.

  • Europe says it will continue to lead on climate change
  • “Energy” is the official theme at the conference in Marrakesh today
  • Side-event shows how fintech start-ups move into climate finance
  • Catch up with the Thursday edition of the Daily Planet’s COP22 newsletter

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.

The atmosphere is ‘electric’ at COP22 on day four

9:33 GMT by Molly Redmond

Good morning and welcome to day four of COP22. Today’s theme at the conference is Energy.

I’ve just spoken with Kelsey Hunter who is representing Climate-KIC in Marrakesh and tells me the atmosphere in the green zone today is ‘electric’ with all the talk on energy! Numerous side events are also taking place promoting solar energy, and scaling up renewable energy usage.

Selfie for the Planet

9:40 GMT by Molly Redmond

After the shock of yesterday’s US elections let’s start the day with something a bit lighter. The COP22 organisers have been asking for people to submit their “Selfies for the Planet” on Twitter. Check out this Twitter Moment with some of the selfies that have been sent in – including one from Bertrand Piccard, the pilot of Solar Impulse.

Want to submit your own selfie? Tweet @COP22 using the hashtags #ActionTime #COP22.

World Water Action Day

9:58 GMT by Molly Redmond

The impact of climate change on water resources was identified for the very first time at COP21, says Bertrand Camus CEO of SUEZ. This year at COP22 there was, for the first time, an entire day dedicated to finding solutions for people who live in areas with severe water shortages.

Europe’s #BestClimateVenture winner speaks at COP22

14:40 GMT by Molly Redmond

Fintech startup Carbon Delta joined the 2° Investing Initiative and the European Commission for Energy to speak at COP22 about climate finance and managing climate risks.

Earlier this week Carbon Delta won the title of Europe’s best climate venture at the Climate Innovation Summit, a COP22 side-event in Frankfurt, Germany organised by Climate-KIC.

Australia boosts COP22’s confidence

14:53 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Hello from Toronto, as I’m taking over the blog from Molly in London this afternoon there’s some good news to report from another country in the Anglosphere, albeit in a different hemisphere.

Australia has provided a big boost of confidence to the COP22 conference today by ratifying the Paris climate accord. “Almost a year from the Paris conference, it is clear the agreement was a watershed, a turning point and the adoption of a comprehensive strategy has galvanised the international community and spurred on global action,” prime minister Malcolm Turnbull – a conservative politician – said according to Australia’s 9News.

“This is a global agreement. When Australia commits to a global agreement, we follow through,” he said. A little over a week ago, Australia’s business and academic community already launched Climate-KIC Australia to boost the country’s competitiveness in climate innovation.

The initiative was launched in collaboration with and based on the model successfully implemented in Europe by the original Climate-KIC. Professor Greg Morrison of Curtin University in Perth, one of the partners, said: “Australian businesses that learn how to win and thrive in the innovative, new low-carbon economy will be positioned to succeed in a world in transition.”


15:48 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Sustainable chocolate is a thing at COP22 thanks to the “The Change Chocolate” branded welcome treat, and delegates are tweeting about it.

Caitlin Petersen, from Queensland, Australia, tweeted she is using the chocolate bar to celebrate Australia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement.

PhD Students from the University of Reading’s meteorology department attending the summit also got their hands on the chocolate, calling it a “great arrival gift.”

New Zealand’s COP22 Youth Delegation tweeted “Interesting theory of change on the #COPCHOC Change Chocolate….. it has the power to plant trees!”

Lina M. Quiñones, an engineer and economist from Colombia, tweeted that “with free chocolate” is how you make the world a better place.

Ave… Leonardo?

16:05 GMT by Peter Koekoek

“It’s not very often that you hear Ave Maria sang in a COP with Leonardo DiCpario in the background,”tweeted Tomás Insua of the Catholic Climate Movement.

Pope Francis was one of the people to feature in DiCaprio’s new climate change documentary Before the Flood, which is shown in the backround of the video of the performance tweeted by Insua.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest US Muslim umbrella organisation, just announced it will divest from fossil fuels.

Azhar Azeez, ISNA’s president, said: “According to Islam’s most basic and fundamental teachings, human beings have been uniquely charged with the great responsibility of being Guardians and Caretakers of the Earth. It goes against the overall service based mission ISNA, to invest in fossil fuel companies whose operations and products cause such grave harm to humanity and to Creation and ISNA commits herself to this cause.”

Upcoming investments could benefit cities and sub-national governments

16:23 GMT by Peter Koekoek

A new report launched at the COP22 summit in Marrakesh today explains how cities and other sub-national bodies can take advantage of upcoming investments.

“We have a unique window of opportunity, with large investments in infrastructure and housing to be made in the coming years to cater for needs of the growing number of urbanites,” said Martina Otto, who heads the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) work on Cities and Lifestyles. The report by the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA) and its partners, including Climate-KIC and UNEP, looks at climate finance activities and pinpoints gaps that require urgent attention.

“Policy makers, cities, developers, public and private investors need practical information about the growing number of initiatives addressing the funding gap for low carbon urban action,” explains Victor Gancel, “This first mapping serves a dual purpose by engaging practitioners and laying out foundations for a global coordination (…)”. Gancel runs Climate-KIC’s Low Carbon City Lab.

Bringing the world’s ocean rules into the 21st century

17:17 GMT by Peter Koekoek

The European Commission today proposed “50 actions for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans in Europe and around the world.”

The global ocean economy is estimated at €1.3 trillion, according to the Commission, which aims to combat climate change, poverty and food security with its new proposal. Karmenu Vella the EU commissioner responsible for the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, wrote an opinon piece for EurActive to explain the commission’s three priority areas.

Vella says Europe wants to update the international framework for managing oceans, reduce the effects of human pressure on the oceans and invest more in ocean science. The European Commission website has a page with all the details.

Earlier this week Canada, the country with the longest coastline in the world, also launched a new Oceans Protection Plan. Prime minister Justin Trudeau said the $1.5 billion plan “takes a powerful step toward co-management of our coasts with Indigenous and coastal communities, together making sure they remain healthy, clean, and safe for generations to come,” while pointing out “Canada’s economy, environment and history are inextricably linked to our coastal regions.”

The future is still electric

17:57 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Former US energy department employee Kartikeya Singh tweets: “Don’t worry, the future is still electric,” alluding to the uncertainty following the US election.

Today’s official theme at the COP22 summit is “Energy,” and Singh tweeted a collage of photos of electricity-powered vehicles exhibited at the conference in Marrakesh.

Singh also tweeted a video of the Japan Pavilion’s model trains, which are proving to be quite the hit with COP22 delegates.

That’s it!

18:53 GMT by Peter Koekoek

That’s a wrap for today, we’re back tomorrow for the last work day of this week when more companies are expected to announce their commitment to 100 per cent renewable energy.

High-level diplomats and government ministers will arrive after the weekend, and Canada’s climate change minister is already looking forward to it. “Canada’s COP22 delegation is focused on results! Look forward to seeing you at COP22 next week!” she tweeted.

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