International climate conference 2016, Marrakech

For two weeks around mid-November, climate policy wonks, negotiators and ministers flocked to Marrakech for the annual international climate conference. It was not long before the elation due to the early ratification of the Paris Agreement (just ahead of the start of COP22) gave way to dismay at the news of the US election results, which left many in doubt as to what President Trump's election would mean for global momentum on climate action. The COP22 in Marrakesh was dubbed the ‘COP of implementation’, referring both to the drafting of the landmark Paris ‘rulebook’ and the implementation of national climate ambitions. Despite the US election results, speakers at CEPS’ post-COP22 event agreed that all countries in Marrakesh showed defiant resolve and determination to continue to implement the Paris Agreement of 2015 and the associated national climate plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions. Non-state actors are also playing a greater role as the issue of climate is ‘mainstreamed’ into other policy fields such as trade, finance, and development. On the EU’s ambition as enshrined in the 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy and the Energy Union (and recently boosted by the release of the Winter Package), it was noted that earlier concerns about the ‘EU leading, but with no-one following’ no longer held. Elsewhere in the world, other countries, cities, and regions are also taking major steps towards renewable energy, energy efficiency and decarbonising their economies. For the EU this means that its role in international climate policy should be geared increasingly towards facilitating climate diplomacy and reaching consensus on issues such as climate finance, which should help developing countries to reach their climate objectives.