Just a few weeks ago the UN Human Rights Council declared climate issues a priority, noting the direct correlation between climate related negotiations and human rights. “Following the inclusion of human rights language in the preamble to the Paris Agreement, there is no longer any room for arguing that human rights do not fall squarely within the climate discussion” Ben Schachter, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said. It then leaves no question that the talks in Morocco this November will be a moment for some nations to shine, and for others to reapproach how they’re tackling the commitments made in Paris. Notably, the United States has yet to ratify the agreement made last year; it seems to be waiting until after the Presidential election in November. With the United States contributions seemingly written off other countries are stepping up in their planning for the next COP as well as their on-the-ground action.
In Egypt, Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy has said, “The environmental challenges faced by Africa require collaborative work between its countries and for common goals to be reached that serve sustainable development across different fields,” during a meeting last week.
The meeting in Marrakesh will be focused on what mechanisms and tools countries can use to reach these lofty goals – it is hoped to create a more decisive plan of action and funding. For private sector businesses the COP offers the unique chance at this stage to be a part of the planning process and get a foot in the door early with most countries still offering substantive subsidies and incentives to help in the capacity building and new development. Just how influential and effective the UN’s plans are depends totally on how committed and competitive private industry can be to achieving the goals that will affect each citizen of the planet for the future to come.