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Road to Paris: The Marrakesh Call for Climate Action

(Photo: nph Deutschland/

April 2015 - At this year’s Africa Carbon Forum held in Marrakesh from April 13 – 15 there were clear signs that there is room for reformed use of the CDM and linking it with African NAMAs. The issue of how to generate demand must, however, be answered by the EU. As a result, many of the questions put forward by the African representatives focused on using the EU’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) as a basis for the emission reduction targets to be set out in the Paris Agreement. They also called for the EU to issue a binding statement on use of international certificates.

When developing NAMAs on the basis of programmatic CDM projects (PoAs), organisational and institutional problems had been experienced with both mechanisms. By way of contrast, the system for using PoAs in top-down development of NAMAs was seen as easier.

Building on the Lima Call for Climate Action, the three-day conference ended with the adoption of the Marrakesh Call for Climate Action, which was presented by Moroccan Environment Minister Hakima El Haite. The key summary conclusions include:

  • Timely preparation of the draft negotiating text which is now available in all UN languages and is an important milestone towards a successful outcome for an effective and robust climate change agreement in Paris.
  • Africa will play a pro-active role in achieving the agreement.
  • There is an urgent need to accelerate actions to close the pre-2020 mitigation gap.
  • Market mechanisms can play an important role in raising the level of ambition. The same applies to climate finance.
  • Putting a price on carbon could facilitate a reduction of emissions and drive investments into cleaner technologies in all sectors of the economy.
  • Market mechanisms with high environmental integrity should contribute to sustainable development.
  • For Africa, the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector , which is to benefit from use of the market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement, plays a key role.
  • For Africa, CDM reform is of immense importance.
  • African countries need access to carbon markets, including beyond 2020.
  • Binding international accounting rules and eligibility requirements are indispensible in the use of market mechanisms.
  • Actual emission reductions must continue to be certified if they are to be counted towards reduction targets.
  • The rules are also necessary in order to secure the environmental integrity of national contributions to the global climate change effort.

A key policy vision of the African countries is for CDM projects to be eligible for financing under the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The initiative of female representatives of the African CDM Designated National Authorities was expressly welcomed. They want to establish a group entitled Women for the CDM, which is designed to promote CDM projects aimed at improving the quality of African women’s lives. This will include projects involving cooking and water treatment, whose implementation should not only contribute to climate change mitigation, but prevent damage to human health and give women more free time to establish self-determined lifestyles (education and social participation).