(Nov. 7) The 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) kick-off here on Monday.
At the opening ceremony of the COP22 held Monday in Marrakech, COP21 president Segolene Royal handed over the presidency to Morocco's Foreign Affairs Minister Salaheddine Mezouar.
In her remarks to the participants, Segolene Royal championed the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on November 4 and praised the close coordination between France and Morocco over the past year in the lead up to COP22.
UN talks to implement the landmark Paris climate pact opened in Marrakesh, buoyed by gathering momentum but threatened by the spectre of climate change denier Donald Trump in the White House. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
"The rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement is unprecedented and sends a powerful signal of world's commitment to combatting climate change," the COP21 President said.
Mezouar called on all participants to commit to concrete climate initiatives and actions to support the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change especially in Africa, least developed and small island developing states.
He reiterated the importance of accelerating climate finance, innovation, transfer and capacity building to create the low-carbon economy the planet needs to stay below the 2 degree Celsius mark of global warming.
He noted that an historic first meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement will take place on November 15.
UNFCCC Executive Director Patricia Espinosa emphasized the historic significance of Morocco and Marrakech as host of the UN Climate Change Conference.
"We need to work together with speed and scale on all fronts," she said.
The opening ceremony was brought to a close by an invigorating performance by a local traditional Moroccan drumming group "Ostina Tono," who set the rhythm for the two-week climate action conference in the Ochre City.
The conference will also be an opportunity to debate and discuss several issues relating in particular to agriculture, food security, energy, industry, transport and water.
The event is taking place in Bab Ighli village, which extends over an area of nearly 300,000 square meters.
Around 20,000 delegates from 196 countries are gathering at the COP22 climate change conference.