COP22 ended on Friday, November 18 in the evening in Marrakech, after a dozen days of negotiations. All participating countries showed unity in the need to implement the Paris Climate Agreement (the text aims to limit global warming to 2°C). Nevertheless, despite a determination to tackle the climate challenge, the agriculture sector is still losing out.
The COP22 in Marrakech was supposed to be the COP of the action but unfortunately it will only be the COP of disappointment. Indeed, very little progress has been made, especially for Africa and all developing countries. The Moroccan conference will only serve to reaffirm the commitment of the heads of state to face global warming. Nothing more.
On the funding side, while the $100 billion envelope is progressing, discussions on how to use the funds remain difficult. States do not always agree on the priorities to be given to mitigation, which developed countries demand, or to adaptation, which developing countries, for the most part, are already facing the consequences of climate change.
Negotiations were also difficult, especially on the Adaptation Fund, with a promise of only $81 million. According to Seyni Nafo, head of African negotiators at COP22: “This fund is a central issue, as it funds concrete adaptation projects.” This includes the construction of levees, raising of habitats necessitated by the climate threat, etc.
And therefore initiate a real adaptation of African countries to the effects of climate change. But here, too, failure seems to reflect developed countries’ lack of will. Africa hoped for a larger envelope.
Apart from this fund, the other African disappointment is related to agriculture. The so-called Triple A initiative for the adaptation of African agriculture has failed to secure funding despite the support of more than twenty African countries. Led by Morocco, some NGOs accused Rabat of wanting to capture part of the funds by promoting the use of phosphate fertilizers. The country is one of the world leaders in phosphate production. Bad publicity for agriculture? Nevertheless, the sector does not appear to be as important as reducing global warming.
That is how it should be understood. African agriculture is not a priority in the fight against climate change despite the unfailing mobilization of its main initiators. At the head of the procession is the Kingdom of Morocco. While agricultural adaptation receives only 16% of climate funds, African farmers are being hit hard by climate change.
Yet all the Heads of State agree that agriculture must be reformed. However, this awareness is not enough to find the necessary levers and the necessary consensus. It was therefore decided that discussions would be postponed until next year.
Forgetting that agriculture could be part of the answer to the problem of global warming. Thanks for example to the photosynthesis of cultures. This process – which has proved successful in Morocco – consists of a chemical reaction whereby plants absorb light and retransmit it into sugars and oxygen.
Some Moroccan climate change adaptation policies such as the Green Morocco Plan have helped to limit the damage. For example, transferring the cultivation of wheat to more suitable areas… A path that the rest of the African continent could take. But this would require that the adaptation of African agriculture to climate change be effectively funded.