Brussels, 5 October 2016/ ACP: In the lead up to the Marrakech Climate Change Conference (COP 22) this November 2016, representatives of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries gathered in Brussels this week to discuss key climate concerns for the ACP Group of States.

This special session of the ACP Sub-Committee on Sustainable Development aimed to facilitate exchange of views amongst the ACP regions and with partners, in order to agree on an ACP paper which delegates of ACP member states could use during the COP22 negotiations.

>> Download the final Issues Paper inEnglishorFrench

In his welcoming remarks, the Deputy Chair of the Sub-Committee Ambassador Dylan Vernon of Belize said the meeting also sought to establish and strengthen alliances with and among ACP regions, as well as with the different negotiating groups representing ACP countries at the negotiations.

Following the success of the COP21 meeting in Paris in December 2015, which resulted in a legally-binding global agreement being adopted to limit global emissions to avoid dangerous climate change, the ACP Secretariat has been engaged in a series of preparations to ensure that the momentum is maintained at COP22, for the bene.

“Climate change is an existential matter. It is therefore not enough for us to be comfortable with what we achieved in Paris – and we appreciate the support of all our partners in arriving at an agreement – but so much more, it is important for us to see concrete and tangible actions that address not only survival and the livelihood, but protection, and resilience [building]”, said the ACP Secretary General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes in opening the meeting.

“The Paris Agreement is and continues to be a very complex document… the main challenge is how to ensure that there is coherence and balance in the elaboration and operationalisation of the Agreement. The Paris Agreement also strikes a very delicate balance and has laid out a specific timeframe and tasks that have to be achieved in the next few years. Getting all the countries involved and to agree to move together remains a challenge,” added key note speaker, Special Representative of the Chair of the group of 77 on Climate Change, H.E. Mr. Manasvi Srisodapol.

Key development partners and stakeholders such the European Commission’s DG Clima, UNDP, UNEP, UNFCCC, South Centre, the Global Climate Fund, and others, contributed to the discussions, which focused on areas for joint action. Presentations made by experts from the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions gave more insight to the challenges faced on the ground.

Participants debated and adopted the ACP Issues Paper on the Marrakech Climate Change Conference (COP22), which calls for specific actions in various areas, including issues covered by the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement; Adaptation; Loss and Damage; Mitigation; Finance; Technology Development and Transfer; Capacity-building; and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-PLUS).

The issues paper, which captures discussions at several high level meetings organised by the ACP Secretariat throughout the year in the ACP regions and Brussels, reaffirms the position taken by the ACP Group that climate change will remain one of the most serious challenges to the sustainable development of developing countries in the 21st century.

The paper reaffirmed the determination of the ACP Group of States to work in a collective, balanced, fair, efficient and transparent manner during the upcoming negotiations in Marrakesh, while pledging its support to ensuring that COP22 is a success.

It will be submitted for final approval to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in coming weeks.

Download the Issues Paper in English or French

(Photo: Special session of the ACP Sub-Committee on Sustainable Development in preparation for COP22 conference in Marrakech.)

ACP Press