The 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) to the UNFCCC was an important milestone for the international climate change regime, expected to further animate the Paris Agreement by adopting the detailed rules for its implementation. Did the compromises that had to be made to accommodate the varied interests of 197 countries in Katowice add up to an adequate response to climate change? A succinct summary of key outcomes, with comments and quotes from the ecbi network of negotiators.
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 Dynamic Contribution Cycle, designed during the 2014 ecbi Oxford Seminar to maximise space for future ambition in the Paris Agreement, revisited in light of recent developments and submissions to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The IPCC’s special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C recently highlighted the importance of early action against climate change. In this context, pre-2020 ambition becomes ever more critical. As the 2020 deadline approaches, this policy brief considers whether pre-2020 pledges on mitigation and climate finance have been met. It also provides an overview of the history of the pre-2020 negotiations; plans for upcoming sessions; key issues under discussion; and a set of key questions and recommendations for climate negotiators.
The 2015 Paris Agreement was negotiated piece by piece, rather than as a whole document. As a result, although several pieces of the Agreement are closely related and even overlap, not all the linkages between them are logical or, at least as yet, coherent. Identifying and addressing the links between these different complex elements is essential for the overall coherence and effectiveness of the Paris outcome. This paper identifies links and gaps between the major elements of the Agreement.
This discussion note finds that the rolling ‘updated 5 + indicative 5’ cycle with synchronised updating of the Dynamic Contribution Cycle which, as reflected in the submissions, has been receiving traction, is by far the best procedural bet for enhancing collective NDC ambition.
The 2018 Oxford Seminar and Fellows Colloquium, from 13-17 August, focused on key concerns relating to the ongoing global negotiations on the rules for implementing the Paris Agreement, including: Paris rulebook expectations for Katowice; gender and climate change; linkages between Articles of the Paris Agreement; predictability of climate finance under the Paris Agreement (Article 9.5); the enhanced transparency framework; the collective quantified goal for climate finance; Talanoa Dialogue; non-market cooperative approaches (Article 6.8); Common Time Frames (Article 4.10); and climate change and human rights.
The ecbi 2018 South and Southeast Asia Regional Training Workshop was held on 6 and 7 June in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was attended by 28 government representatives from 13 countries in the region. Participants were trained on issues such as becoming a better UNFCCC delegate; the year ahead in the negotiations; and how to participate in negotiations through mock negotiatiating sessions and sessions on formulating group positions. They were also informed of the state of negotiations in thematic areas of the Paris Agreement, such as adaptation, means of implementation, transparency, the global stocktake, and the compliance mechanism.
Know your NDCs. This Pocket Guide takes you through the controversial beginnings of NDCs, to their current diversity; considers the challenges that countries are likely face in their implementation; and reflects on how best they can serve their ultimate purpose – that of achieving the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
The 2018 Bonn Seminar, on 6 May at the Oxford Club in Bonn, was attended by 45 participants from Europe and developing countries. They discussed issues of relevance to the development of the Paris Agreement Work Programme, including Article 6 market approaches under the Paris Agreement; common time frames; ambition and the Talanoa Dialogue; and predictability of climate finance.
The 2018 Regional Training Workshop for Anglophone Africa took place from 9-11 September 2017 in Saly, Senegal. The workshop, hosted by ENDA Énergie, was attended by negotiators and national policymakers from countries in East Africa, appointed by national focal points to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition to training on key thematic areas of the UNFCCC negotiations and on the ongoing negotiations on the ongoing negotiations on the rules to implement the Paris Agreement, participants engaged in mock “negotiations” and formulating of group positions during workshop.