WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - November 17, 2016) - Calling the Marrakesh Conference "a decisive turning point in the implementation" of the Paris Agreement, this week King Mohammed VI urged participants at the COP22 meeting to move beyond promises to "tangible initiatives and practical steps" -- initiatives that, most importantly, respect and support the priorities and resources of developing countries.
The King noted that Morocco's commitment began in 1992 -- when, as Crown Prince, he headed his country's delegation to the Rio Earth Summit -- and continues today: "Morocco, which was among the first countries to announce their intended Nationally Determined Contributions, has pledged recently to reduce the rate of emissions. In addition, it has taken concrete steps to ensure that 52% of the national energy supply comes from clean sources by the year 2030. By the same token, we have proposed a set of initiatives as part of implementing the Paris Agreement, especially with respect to adaptation and financing. These include the initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture."
"Holding this conference in Africa," he said, "is an incentive for us to give priority to tackling the adverse repercussions of climate change, which are growing worse and worse in the countries of the South and in insular states whose very existence is in jeopardy." "The environmental issue is a critical problem which must be tackled in the most serious and responsible way," he told the assembled world leaders. He continued, "What is at stake is the very existence of man. It is therefore our joint duty to work hand in hand to protect him. Accordingly, countries must not be pressed from the start into accepting decisions they will be unable to comply with. This is not to say that they reject them. It only means that they do not have the necessary means to implement them."
The King urged "all parties to work on translating our commitment to the values of justice and solidarity into actions, by:
- Providing the countries of the South, especially the least developed, as well as insular states, with such urgent financial and technical support as will enhance their capacities and enable them to adapt to climate change;
- Advanced countries honoring their commitments and mobilizing 100 billion dollars at least, by 2020, which was the key to the Paris Agreement;
- All the parties being involved in facilitating the transfer of technology, and working for the development of research and innovation in the field of climate;
- Non-Governmental players, including companies, local communities, NGOs from civil society, giving strong impetus to the Global Climate Action Agenda."
"The time has come to redress the situation," the King concluded. "We have no alternative but to work to make up for lost time, through continued, comprehensive mobilization and positive harmonization, so that the coming generations may lead an enjoyable and dignified life together."
At a press conference earlier this week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his gratitude to King Mohammed VI for convening the Marrakesh conference -- and for Morocco's ongoing leadership. "I am grateful for His Majesty convening this very important COP meeting, immediately after the Paris Agreement," he said. ". . . Morocco is a very important country, Member State of the United Nations, not only on the African continent or in the Middle East but as a whole, providing many young men and women to keep peace and security around the world. And Morocco has been showing a great example based on democratic institutions, making sustainable development and championing climate change actions. Now I sincerely hope that here in Marrakech, we will set another very important commitment, a passionate commitment, to make this world better for all -- and I count on His Majesty's continuing leadership and guidance on this matter."
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