From November 7 to 18, approximately 20 thousand participants – including over 70 heads of State and Government – gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, for COP 22 (United Nations Conference of the Parties). During the first global meeting after the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the effects of the election of Donald Trump for the presidency of the Unites States were felt – but in a positive manner: negotiations moved faster and the parties came to the conclusion that the Paris Agreement regulation ought to be ready by 2018. Instituto Clima e Sociedade was an active participant in the discussions, together with grantees such as Observatório do Clima, Greenpeace, WRI, Centro Brasil no Clima, Painel Brasileiro de Mudanças Climáticas, Engajamundo and CEBDS (Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development), and partners such as EPE (Empresa de Pesquisa Energética) and WWF.
Ana Toni, the executive director of Clima e Sociedade, stressed that it was very important to witness the presentations given by the grantees, especially because certain results were presented internationally even before their release in Brazil. That was the case of EPE, which presented its projections and future scenarios during COP before doing so in Brazil.
“The involvement of civil society in Morocco was of fundamental importance to provide a measure of reality between the discourse that Brazil adopts before the world in the International Conference and what is actually being done in the country. This may be one of the most important matters: to ensure that what is being said out there is in line with what is being done in here”, she said.
During the Conference, a donor meeting took place between Clima e Sociedade and ClimateWorks, one of its donors. Such meeting, which was also attended by the other organizations that are part of the global network, was the official meeting between the U.S. NGO and its grantees.
“It is also important to note that, among the Clima e Sociedade grantees that attended the COP, there were mainly representatives of the Climate Policy portfolio. It is relevant to consider the reasons that still cause the conference to be a space for a single type of organization, instead of also being a space for organizations dealing with power and urban mobility, for example”, said Ana Toni.
With regard to official negotiations, Toni emphasized the efforts of the current U.S. government to maintain long-term plans to reduce emissions (80% by 2050), in order to reduce the potential impacts of four years of Trump administration. China also appeared as a highlight, due to its internal awareness of the country’s need to enter a path of decarbonization of the economy.
Brazil is still diplomatically very important for the debate due to the quality of its arguments, although the country’s internal conditions are not favorable. Examples of the country’s importance were the three meetings held by ministers José Sarney Filho (Environment) and Blairo Maggi (Agriculture, Livestock and Supply) with civil society in Morocco, as well as meetings organized by the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change, led by Alfredo Sirkis, the executive secretary of the Forum and head of CBC, a grantee of Clima e Sociedade.