COP22, the United Nations annual climate conference, kicked off Monday in Marrakech, Morocco with delegations lighting solar lanterns to represent unity for a clean energy future, essential to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
Ségolène Royal, French Environment Minister opened the meeting highlighting that this year is the African COP and the COP of action, she pointed out that we must focus on renewable energy, gender and climate justice.
Royal said, “African States are the most mobilized & committed of all, they are re-inventing the world of tomorrow. Our generation should not reproduce mistakes of the previous fossil based economies.”
Also in the opening session, Morocco’s Foreign Minister and the new president of COP22 Salaheddine Mezouar said, “Climate change is not the only thing at stake now, but it is also the question of civilization and economic development. We must promote sustainable development and the transformation all of our economies.”
With the Paris Agreement entering into force just days ago, the international community is showing their commitment to rapidly address climate change and keep global temperature rise to 2°C or less. The energy sector accounts for two-thirds of global emissions, and so a transition to a clean energy future with renewable energy at the forefront is key.
In her opening statement, Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change said, “Marrakech is our moment to take forward climate action at the international and national levels as a central pillar of the successful realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is our opportunity to take the next steps towards an inclusive, sustainable path for every man, woman and child.”
The Renewable Energy Track at COP22
Highlighting the centrality of renewables at this year’s conference, the RE-energising the Future Renewable Energy Track at COP22 now consists of over 30 events from a range of organisers including national governments, associations, companies, IGOs, NGOs and universities — and more are being added every day! This concerted attention to renewables is truly a signal that renewable energy is taking centre stage at COP22.
The Renewable Energy Track aims to showcase events linked through a common narrative: renewable energy as the solution to climate change. If you are organizing a renewable energy event at COP22, submit your event at the RE-energising website.
Follow the renewable energy discussion at COP22 using the #REenergise hashtag.
We look forward to welcoming you at one of the many events in Marrakech as we work to chart the course towards a renewable energy future. Continue to follow the IRENA newsroom or on Twitter for updates throughout the two weeks.