The COP22 summit was dominated by Donald Trump’s shock election win, but amid the gloom there were kernels of progress says St Lucia minister

(Pic: UNFCCC/Flickr)

(Pic: UNFCCC/Flickr)

We might not look back at the Marrakech climate conference and say it was a resounding success.

By far the most significant circumstance that shaped the talks was the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, which happened in less than a year since its adoption.

And not just by scraping across the double threshold of 55 countries and 55 percent global emissions but well and truly vaulting over it, with 100 ratifications covering nearly 70 precent of global emissions by the start of the conference.

This caught many by surprise, which also meant that the envisioned preparatory work was simply not done.

While it would have been good if early entry into force stayed as the main focus, the Trump victory had a dampening effect on the climate talks.

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But it was a temporary effect because it also prompted a show of conviction of the entire world of the necessity and urgency of climate action; that no matter what Trump says, the coalition of countries – over 100 governments committed to doing something about climate change – is much bigger than the U.S.

The Marrakech talks certainly haven’t taken us off course in implementing the Paris Agreement and, in modest ways, they have set the stage for 2017.

Marrakech COP22 will be remembered for the fact that it convened the first Conference of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA).

It decided that we will finalise the rules for implementing the Agreement by 2018. It also set out how we start preparing for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue – the next major political moment when the UNFCCC evaluates the aggregate emissions reduction pledges in relation to the 1.5°C limit in the Paris Agreement, supported by IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5C.

Marrakech #climate summit marks the start of a new era #COP22

— Climate Home (@ClimateHome) November 19, 2016

Now we have to keep the momentum and it’s extremely important that we do so in 2017. We need to be even more ambitious in our mitigation efforts to be in line with the 1.5C limit – one of the key small island demands.

To underpin this, we need to see more mobilisation of climate finance and more rapid deployment of renewable energy solutions right across the globe.

These two issues which are of utmost concert to small island developing states – climate finance and increased ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – will also be at the centre of the…