High level Ministerial dialogue at ACF 2015

April 24, 2015

Marrakech, Morocco, 15 April 2015 – The high level ministerial dialogue of the Seventh African Carbon Forum was convened, under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in Marrakesh, Morocco on 15 April 2015. The dialogue was chaired by the H.E. Ms. Hakima El Haite, Delegate Minister in charge of the Environment of Morocco.

H.E. Hakima El Haite, Mr. Richard Kinley, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Ambassador Stephane Gompertz representative of President Designate of COP 21offered welcoming remarks.

24 countries were represented at ministerial or senior official level. Senior representatives of United Nations organizations and other high-level stakeholders also participated in the dialogue.
At the end of the dialogue, H.E. Ms. Hakima El Haite presented the following summary conclusions which represented the consensus of participants at the dialogue.

Given the critical and political significance of the climate negotiations this year, Ministers welcomed the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the Lima Climate Conference and the climate negotiations this year with a view to ensuring an effective and robust climate agreement is achieved in Paris. Ministers welcomed the timely preparation of the draft negotiating text which is now available in all UN languages and noted that this was an important milestone towards a successful outcome at the end of the year.

Ministers reiterated that the African region is one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and noted that, if not addressed in the next few decades, climate change could represent the greatest challenge to Africa. Ministers therefore expressed their determination to work towards adopting an agreement in Paris which will set the world on a course to limiting the global temperature to 2/1,5 degrees Celsius. To this end, Ministers stressed the urgent need to accelerate actions domestically and internationally to close the pre-2020 mitigation gap to facilitate the peaking of global emissions as soon as possible.

Aware of the need for significant economic and social development in the coming years, African Ministers committed to exploring more sustainable and climate-friendly development paths. It was stressed that promoting economic development and addressing climate change are complementary objectives. Adequate financial resources, appropriate technology transfer, and capacity building are needed to stimulate economic growth and drive the transition towards a climate-neutral and climate resilient future. Special needs of post conflict states should be taken into account.

Ministers acknowledged the wealth of experience gained over the last ten years in the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism and stressed the important role that market mechanisms can play in raising the level of ambition as well as climate finance. Ministers therefore encouraged countries to further enhance the domestic component of their intended contributions through the use of effective market-based mechanisms. Ministers noted that putting a price on carbon could facilitate a reduction of emissions and drive investments into cleaner technologies, in all sectors of the economy, though in taking account of different national circumstances.

Ministers called for a Paris agreement that would be supported by market mechanisms with high environmental integrity that contribute to sustainable development, taking into account the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector and setting strong incentives to harness the strength of the private sector.

Ministers acknowledged the strong call made by the private sector for them to put in place robust public policy instruments that can support and underpin investment by the private sector. Ministers were encouraged to signal their intention to use such instruments in their INDCs. Clear signals to private sector would allow prompting early action and mobilizing much needed financial resources.

Ministers look forward to further exchanging views as to how and under which conditions a reformed CDM could be used under the Paris agreement. They expressed the view that the environmental integrity of the future international climate regime and of each nationally determined contribution should be ensured.. For this purpose, provisions for mechanisms to certify mitigation outcomes for use towards contributions need to be ensured. It is also important that the Paris agreement makes provision for setting internationally agreed accounting rules and eligibility requirements.

Ministers emphasized the need to ensure existence of a market for carbon credits generated by projects hosted in Africa. Such preference should be contained in the 2020 agreement.

Ministers also welcomed the pledges made up to the Lima conferences totaling over USD10 billion to the Green Climate Fund. Ministers stressed the need for the Green Climate Fund to disburse these funds as soon as possible to maximize benefits and boost the implementation of mitigation and adaptation projects in Africa. Equal distribution of funds between mitigation and adaptation should be encouraged. Ministers also invited the Green Climate Fund and its accredited entities to use the CDM projects portfolio as candidates for receiving Green Climate Fund funding. Ministers acknowledged the need for a robust global response to address climate change, and stressed that developed countries should take the lead in efforts to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions.

Ministers further acknowledged ongoing national efforts to address climate change. They called for countries to go further and urgently implement action in line with national development priorities and to the full extent of their national capabilities. The importance of including the role of AFOLU in national climate change policies and programmes was highlighted, noting that how this issue should be addressed could also be included in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). They further stressed the need to ensure that the Paris agreement takes into account synergies with other environmental issues such as biodiversity and desertification.

Ministers welcomed the submissions of INDCs and committed to making their submissions prior to the Paris Conference to facilitate preparation of the synthesis report. Ministers called on developed countries and other partners to make available to African countries the timely support needed for preparing and communicating their intended nationally determined contributions. This support should be implemented in a country-driven manner.

Ministers welcomed the initiative of the Government of Egypt and the Kingdom of Morocco to use their Centres of Excellence to facilitate delivery of support to help build the national capacities of African countries in all relevant areas of climate change.

Ministers reiterated the vulnerability of women to the impacts of climate change. They also stressed their important role in combatting climate change, fighting desertification and preserving biodiversity. In this regard they strongly called for the Paris Agreement to contain strong provisions on gender especially in relation to access to climate change finance.

As a concrete step in this direction, Ministers welcomed the initiative of female representatives of CDM Designated National Authorities in the regional African workshop to create a group called “Women for the CDM” that promotes CDM projects which improves the quality of life of women in Africa.

Ministers expressed concern that to date only 27 of the required 144 countries have submitted their instruments of ratification. Minsters committed to accelerate their national ratification processes of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and encouraged other countries that have not yet ratified the Amendment, especially developed countries, to do so as a matter of urgency to allow the Amendment to come into force before the Paris Conference and as a matter of political credibility to support the need for an ambitious international climate regime.

Ministers expressed their full support for the French Presidency to ensure a transparent, inclusive and successful COP21/CMP11, as well as their gratitude to the Kingdom of Morocco to accept the responsibility of the Presidency of COP22/CMP12 next year. They committed to further collaborate to ensure a successful outcome in Paris and beyond in order to make the agreement fully effective by 2020, and look forward to having the COP21 and COP22 Presidencies working hand-in-hand to this end.

Ministers also expressed appreciation to the Kingdom of Morocco for hosting the ministerial session and invited the Kingdom of Morocco to forward the outcomes of the deliberations to African Group as input to the preparation of the African region for the Paris Conference.