At the 2019 Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, crunch issues – an unambiguous call for much higher climate ambition to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, finance for the loss and damage caused by climate impacts, a fail-safe market mechanism that does not compromise environmental integrity, and credible financial contributions to enable action in developing countries – proved too difficult to resolve within the high-pressure, time-deficient confines of a COP, despite a two-day extension and the resilience and staying power of seasoned diplomats.
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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The 2018 ecbi Pre-COP Training Workshop took place on 1 December at the Focus Hotel in Katowice, Poland. The Workshop was attended by 28 negotiators from least developing countries (LDCs), who were attending the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The workshop, which was attended by the LDC Chair and a representative of the Polish COP Presidency, included sessions on LDC Group priorities for COP24; the Conference agendas; climate diplomacy, the Talanoa Dialogue, and high-level events; the Paris Agreement Work Programme; finance in Katowice; and tips for negotiating effectively.
The 2019 ecbi Pre-COP Training Workshop took place on 30 November at the Weare Chamartin Hotel in Madrid, Spain. The Workshop was attended by 19 negotiators from least developing countries, who were attending the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
What makes it so difficult to reach a deal on market-based cooperation under the Paris Agreement?
A pilot Regional Workshop for the Caribbean, on 30 and 31 October 2019 in Tobago, was attended by 17 participants from the region. Sessions, mostly led by senior negotiators from the region, were held on the politics and science of climate change, loss and damage, mitigation and the NDCs, climate finance, the enhanced transparency framework, and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Mock negotiation sessions also took place, to give the trainees a chance to practice interventions in a formal UN-like setting.
The governance arrangements for the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and its Executive Committee have been contested since the conclusion of negotiations on Article 8 of the Paris Agreement. Which supreme body – the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA), or both – is / are responsible for guiding their work? This brief addresses legal and practical aspects of the governance debate.
What's holding up the Article 6 negotiations? Can differences be resolved at the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change? This policy paper explains the crunch issues in Article 6 negotiations in generally accessible language. It sheds light on the key differences between negotiating Parties on the eve of COP25 in Madrid. Understanding the issues and Party positions is a key step to identify solutions in these highly political and technically complex negotiations.
The 2019 Oxford Seminar took place from 11-13 September 2019, in the Oxford Town Hall. It was preceded by the ecbi Fellowship Colloquium, attended by 23 senior negotiators from developing countries (two participated virtually), from 9-11 September. They were joined by 20 senior negotiators from Europe for the Seminar. Opening the Seminar, the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Craig Simmons, described efforts to address climate change, including through declaring a climate change emergency in the city.
A brief introduction to climate finance
Conventional “CO2-equivalent” emissions calculated using 100-year “Global Warming Potentials” do not consistently reflect the impact of emissions on global temperature: they overstate the impact of constant emissions of any short-lived climate pollutant such as methane by a factor of about four, while understating the large impact of changes in methane emission rates. Myles Allen and Michelle Cain from the University of Oxford explain how CO2-e emissions can nevertheless be used to calculate “warming-equivalent” emissions to inform burden-sharing discussions, mitigation policies in crucial sectors such as agriculture, and stocktakes of progress towards a global temperature goal.