COP-22 Newsletter Feature REPORTING ON ACTIVITIES BY SEVERAL AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN THE PEOPLE’S AUTONOMOUS SPACE AT THE CADI AYYAD UNIVERSITY IN MARAKECH, FROM 14-17 NOVEMBER 2016

Declaration of Marrakech 

We, Moroccan, Maghreb, African and International social movements, assembled in Marrakech during COP22, reaffirm our determination to build and defend climate justice, and to act now in order to ensure global warming remains under the target of 1.5°C – in line with commitments made by heads of state in Paris.

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The World Can no Longer Wait

Everywhere, inequalities are increasing, rights are receding and conflicts and wars are multiplying. Our people are oppressed and biodiversity is being extinguished. Consequences of climate change are particularly marked in Africa and in countries of the global south.

Record temperatures, exceeded throughout 2016 thus far, and a succession of cyclones, hurricanes, floods, forest fires and droughts remind us that climate change is a reality that already affects hundreds of millions among us, in particular migrants forced from their lands and towards the sea, at the risk of death. We know that the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C is not mathematical, but a question of life and death.

Civil society movements and organizations believe that international climate negotiations do not succeed in creating necessary policies, and are therefore convinced that continuing to build a movement for climate justice is a top priority. We also denounce the presence of multinational polluters and criminals at the COP. The COP should not be transformed into a green-washing event by governments that do not respect our rights and our liberties.

Zero fossil, 100% renewable: our future, our fight

Containing global warming within 1.5°C involves leaving combustible fossil fuels in the ground, and transitioning towards unconventional hydrocarbons. Therefore, we call on world leaders everywhere to freeze the development of new fossil fuel projects and commit to a just transition towards a future that 100% renewable and democratic. The fossil fuel industry is fighting to survive, and a result we know that we must mobilize everywhere necessary to block environmentally destructive projects.

We must also fight so that we are not dispossessed of alternatives: we are working towards a social, ecological, feminist and democratic transformation in order to build the jobs of tomorrow. We also demand that citizens control green funds, with 50% of financing going towards projects and strategies that are based in and around communities and ecosystems.

This is the only path that will allow us to move away from the extractivist and productivist model that is ruled by the market, and avoid falling into the “green economy” trap that is rife with false solutions. Our future does not depend on the invisible hand but on the power of people worldwide.

Against Donald Trump and his Conceived World…

Some use social crisis to justify reactionary politics that are conservative, racist and sexist, all of which will serve only to deepen climate injustices. Donald Trump is but the most recent example of this form of authoritarian national populism, which is a menace to women, people of color, migrants, Muslims and the poorest among us.

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A Climate of Convergence

We demand the immediate release of all environmental prisoners and the protection of environmental advocates around the world.

  • On our side, we commit to working together in order to:
    Establish collective and collaborative policy processes at the local and territorial levels to guarantee effective citizen participation, make the voices of civil society heard and make national legislation into vectors of emancipation and social justice allowing people to re-appropriate collective goods (land, water, air and seeds), through the defense of food security.
  • Conceptualize and establish a regional citizen’s space, while paying particular attention to the integration of the African, Mediterranean and island state realities that reflect the urgency of advancing our common struggle for climate justice.

Our populations are suffering, but our struggles on the ground are gaining momentum through an increased collective awareness of the necessity of unity, the respect for diversity and complementary modes of action, all of which are being amplified.

We are convinced that the necessary changes are profound. We refuse to allow our states to comply with free trade options and allow companies to acquire legislative weapons that allow them to act with impunity,and refuse to accept that laws of the free market can overshadow access to rights for all women and men. We defend the rights of all peasant farmers and small-scale fishers, and of all those who are at the forefront of building a truly just and lasting world.

We will not wait for instances of international negotiation to meet and strengthen our convergence. Work that has being going on for a long time will continue on the ground, at local levels and through grassroots movements that struggle locally for another system and another world.

In particular, we wish to affirm our solidarity with all those who are at the forefront of the struggle against extractivism: in Imider, in Gabes, in Aïn Salah, at Standing Rock, in Notre Dame des Landes, and everywhere else. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and their right to land and the access to its resources.

Today, we reaffirm with conviction that another world is possible!

Marrakech, the 17th of November 2016


COP refers to the Conference of the Parties. These are the yearly conferences held in terms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The Conference of the Parties (COP) was designated as the supreme governing body of the Convention. This is the 22nd year that the conference is being held, hence COP-22. COP-22 was held in Marrakech, Morrocco, from 14th to 18th November 2016.

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