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King Mohammed VI calls for Pact for Action on Climate Change at the COP28

“That is the plan we must embrace if our goal is still to live up to the commitments made at COP 21 in Paris in 2015 and COP 22 in Marrakesh in 2016,” the King  insisted.

In order to address the climate crisis, King Mohammed VI of Morocco has called for a Pact for Action, emphasising that because of it, “humanity can show—through deeds—that the most ambitious goals are not necessarily the least attainable ones.”

“Climate talks are not—and must not become—an aim in themselves, no matter how important they may be. There are two distinct times: when to take action and when to negotiate.

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In his address at the World Climate Action Summit, which was conducted in conjunction with the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which was held in Dubai, the sovereign declared, “And the time for action is now!”

In light of the unstoppable acceleration of climate change, the King proposed that “we adopt a Pact for Action, here and now.” He emphasised that the Conferences of the Parties need to abandon the “small steps” approach that has too long guided COPs and begin changing course immediately.

In this regard, the King emphasised the difference between “small steps” and the impending climatic concerns that require prompt attention.

“Just as we need to believe in climate action, we also have to be convinced that between those who resign themselves to “small steps” and those who believe wholeheartedly in “bigbreaks—driven by ideology and dogma—there is a course of action between the two that is rooted in pragmatism, of course, but also characterised by voluntarism, ambition, and vision,” the King said.

“That is the plan we must embrace if our goal is still to live up to the commitments made at COP 21 in Paris in 2015 and COP 22 in Marrakesh in 2016,” the King  insisted.

While admitting that the conclusions of the First Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement attest to a universal momentum around the climate issue, the King noted that “nevertheless, adaptation efforts remain fragmented, incremental, and unevenly distributed across regions, particularly those most vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change.”

“Half-measures cannot be bold measures. Similarly, a partial vision only exacerbates risks, adds to the damage, and increases material, natural, and human losses,” the Sovereign added, pointing out that “global management of the climate crisis can only proceed from an approach that is better suited to national constraints, that focuses on sustainable qualitative growth, and that is, above all, rooted in a humanist vision.”

“In Morocco, the boom in renewable, sustainable energy, the development of competitive green hydrogen sectors, our growing connectivity with global markets, and the 2023 football World Cup, to be hosted by two continents, attest to the vision we have of regional integration,”the King added.

Noting that it is this action-oriented approach that Morocco has advocated, the Sovereign said that the kingdom’s ambition “manifests itself in concrete, precise sectoral actions. It is expressed through detailed, verifiable action plans for adaptation, mitigation, and decarbonisation.”

“Ambitious as they may be, our stated objectives are never just a whim or an international publicity stunt. On the contrary, they are the result of programmes and projects carried out at the national level, first and foremost for us and by us. I personally attach the greatest importance to their implementation and follow-up,” HM the King underlined.

“In a global system that remains unequal, Africa received USD 30 billion in annual climate financing flows in 2020, representing less than 12% of its needs,” the Sovereign recalled. Despite being penalised and disadvantaged, Africa possesses all the resources required to address the world’s climate crisis and emerge as the answer to the main concerns of the twenty-first century.

Regarding this, the King mentioned that the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, which took place in Marrakesh, came to the conclusion that reforming development financing and multilateralism—two tools humanity devised to address the difficulties of the 20th century—was urgently needed.

As President of the United Nations Environment Assembly, the Sovereign stated, “My country is motivated by this conviction.”

True to its commitment to Africa, the King added, Morocco is “tirelessly pressing ahead with its efforts to implement the decisions of the First Africa Action Summit, held on the sidelines of COP 22, especially the operationalization of the three African Climate Commissions for the Congo Basin, the Sahel, and African Island States.”

The King also drew attention to the situation of middle-income countries, which are leading the battle for socio-economic development as well as for sustainable development. “For these countries, including my own, the Kingdom of Morocco, I call for specific, more sustained attention on the part of the international community,” the Sovereign noted.

In this spirit, the King reiterated the hope that the “state parties will be more ambitious and that, together, we will find collective solutions to this common challenge,” reaffirming Morocco’s commitment to pursuing its proactive action in order to “remain at the forefront of not just advocacy but also solutions aimed at safeguarding the future of humanity on our planet.”

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