REVISED AND UPDATED. Your quick guide to the history of negotiations on capacity building under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the global institutional framework, and how global capacity building efforts can be improved. What can the UNFCCC do to promote long-term, sustainable capacity building where it is most needed? What has been done, and what remains to be done?
European Capacity Building Initiative
ecbi's Publications and Policy Analysis Unit (PPAU) generates information and advice for developing country negotiators that is relevant to the climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Developing countries often lack the economic and institutional capacity for policy analysis. If negotiators are unable to engage proactively by submitting proposals, responding to proposals from other States, and assessing the impact of global climate policy decisions on their individual States, progress in the negotiations can be hampered by the lack of alternatives and uncertainity. The differences in analytic capacity between developing countries and the industrialised world are often profound – developing countries lack support from organisations like the OECD, for instance, which has an immense apparatus producing thorough and focused reports, including direct advice on future policy responses to each of member country.
ecbi publications aim to be relevant to ongoing negotiations under the UNFCCC, timely, and trustworthy. PPAU works with negotiators from developing countries, sometimes through Editorial Committees, to identify UNFCCC issues where further analysis and policy advice is needed. Global experts are then teamed up with negotiators from devleoping countries to produce Policy Briefs and Discussion Notes. This partnership between experts and negotiators helps to ensure that the process of producing a Brief addresses the specific concerns of developing country negotiators; builds the capacity of developing country co-authors in policy analysis; and also builds ownership of the analysis.
For new negotiators, and for use in ecbi Regional and Pre-COP Training Workshops, PPAU produces Background Papers and a series of Pocket Guides. These generally provide a more basic analysis of issues for newcomers to the process, along with the background and history of the issue in the negotiations.
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“We are coming to that point in time where we should and must settle the issue of common timeframes,” said Marianne Karlsen, Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), in an opening address to the second webinar on common time frames organised by ecbi on 24 July 2020.
Most countries will follow paragraph 24 of Paris Decision 1/CP.21 in the absence of agreement on an Ambition Cycle at the next climate conference. This comes with significant risks - not only to national ambition to address climate change and its impacts, but also to the process of assessing overall global progress, and of replenishing climate funds on the basis of national needs.
Training climate negotiators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reflections on the ecbi Training and Support Programme 15 years after it was initiated.
Why an Ambition Cycle under the Paris Agreement matters, and why it matters now.
It is of paramount importance that the ambition modality be completed in Glasgow, not least to demonstrate to the world that the multilateral climate change regime is serious about enabling nationally determined ambition. The Glasgow Ambition Cycle provides an ambition-enabling modality by setting a cyclical timetable for these ambition milestones to take place in a meaningful manner, synchronised with the communication, implementation and stocktake cycles of the Agreement.
How are decisions arrived at under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change? What are the rules of engagement? Who are the different actors? Are decisions legally binding on countries? How are deadlocks resolved? This and more in our new guide to the hardware that drives the international climate regime. Know your L docs from your CRPs, and your informal-informals from your informals.
Countries communicate their plans to implement the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). What should these NDCs contain? What “information to facilitate clarity, transparency, and understanding” do countries need to provide? How should countries account for their actions? What happens if they fail to meet their NDC goals? Read our updated Pocket Guide, which now includes the provisions of the Paris rulebook, to find answers to these and other questions related to NDCs.
New elements in the final reporting year for ecbi Phase IV included a mentorship programme for women, the publication of a Guide to the Paris Agreement, and a training workshop in the Caribbean. In addition to the usual Fellowship Programme and Training and Support Programme events, meetings were held on key issues that remain to be resolved under the UNFCCC, and the publications unit produced a record number of publications.