The challenge facing COP 22 (Marrakech) was to resolve many climate change issues not settled at COP 21 by The Paris Agreement. The hope was that the US and China would again provide the leadership at Marrakech that they had shown at COP21.
That hope was seriously undermined by the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the US. During the US Presidential campaign Trump called climate change “a hoax”, perpetrated by China, in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive. He stated that he would rip up the Paris Agreement and rescind any promises made by the US to contribute to the UN Green Climate Fund.
Over the next eight days the COP 22 meetings continued with the intended business. A leader of the US Delegation, John Kerry, attempted to re-assure delegates that the American people agreed with the UN goals. China continued to participate in the COP 21, but, like other countries, its overall approach was “wait and see.
Caanada continued to play a supportive role, emphasizing our continuing commitment to advance $2.65 billion to the Green Climate Fund. Canada also submitted 2050 targets for reducing GHG emissions.
Regretably the whole UN process has been undermined by US politics. Trump can exercise a Presidential power to reduce legislative and financial support of climate change measures. He can count on the assistance of the Republican Party that now controls the Houses of Congress.
If the US withdraws its financial support of the Green Climate Fund as previously promised . . . that could be the kiss of death for the UN process.
The best prospect is a change of Government in the US at the next election. Let’s cross our fingers that the lack of international progress on climate change over the next four years is not fatal.