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Technical Examination Process

Background Information

In the Cancun Agreements in 2010, it was established that the increase in the global average temperature should remain below 2 °C. At that time, more than 90 Parties made conditional and unconditional pledges to reduce emissions by 2020. These pledges represent approximately 80 per cent of global total emissions but, while significant, will not be sufficient to meet the 2 °C goal.

The UNEP Emissions Gap Report (2014) found that there is a need for additional reductions between 8 and 10 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020. The report also found that there is much untapped potential to reduce emissions at a relatively low cost. Given rising emissions, it is urgent that ways are explored as to how this potential can be tapped. The findings of the recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlight the need for urgent action to close the gap by tapping into this potential.

Parties to the Convention are very aware of this and have emphasized the need for a game-changing and increased effort that aligns with both climate and development goals and taps into the existing potential to reduce emissions. But the road to increased emission reductions through, for example technologies such as renewable energy, is often still littered with barriers and lacks adequate support. Addressing these barriers through effective scalable policies, practices and actions can take time but is urgently needed. In response to this, Parties have moved to the technical examination  to identify mitigation opportunities for raising pre-2020 ambition. This technical process aims to examine effective emission reduction policies, barriers to their implementation and scaling-up, incentives and feasible options for support.

The technical examination process consists of regular in-session thematic technical expert meetings and focused follow up work to be conducted by Parties, international organizations and partnerships throughout the year. Contact details of lead organisations and partnerships, which have been already engaged in this process and are keen to assist Parties in undertaking ambitious action on the specific topics addressed are available on the technical expert meetings' respective webpages (see ‘technical expert meetings’ section below). Ultimately, a successful outcome of this process would be a policy menu and options for overcoming barriers and the lack of support so that more transformational action can be taken on the ground in the period before 2020. 

The Technical Examination Process in 2015 and Beyond

By the Lima Call for Climate Action (decision 1/CP.20), the Conference of the Parties (COP) called for the intensification of pre-2020 mitigation efforts by Parties. The COP also decided to continue the technical examination of opportunities with high mitigation potential, including associated adaptation, health and sustainable development co-benefits during 2015-2020 and requested the secretariat to organize a series of in-session technical expert meetings (see ‘Technical Expert Meetings’ section below). In addition, the COP requested the ADP to make recommendations in relation to further advancing the technical examination process, including the periodic assessment of the technical expert meetings, to the COP at its twenty-first session (COP 21) in Paris.

In response to the mandates outlined in decision 1/CP.20 regarding pre-2020 climate action, a dedicated meeting on ways and means to advance the technical examination process in 2015 was held on 10 February 2015, during the eighth part of the second session of the ADP (ADP 2.8). The meeting reflected on the results achieved in 2014 under the technical examination process, identified concrete ideas and suggestions, and sought guidance from Parties on how to strengthen the process in 2015 and beyond, taking into account the provisions of decision 1/CP.20. A pdf-icon summary of the discussions that took place at the meeting was prepared by the facilitator.


Technical Expert Meetings

The technical expert meetings, which began in 2014, facilitate Parties endeavour in the identification of policy options, practices and technologies with high mitigation potential and in planning for their implementation in accordance with nationally defined development priorities. As requested by Parties in decision 1/CP.20, the secretariat is to continue to organize a series of these in-session technical expert meetings, which are to take place in the period 2015–2020.

Technical Expert Meetings in 2015
Meeting Dates Topics Summary and Outcomes
June 2015
(During ADP 2.9)
The technical expert meetings will examine in-depth opportunities to promote the supply of renewable energy and energy efficiency in urban environments. The meetings will assist Parties to advance in the implementation of good practice policy options and technologies, to involve UNFCCC institutions and leading international organisations, and engage with a broad range of stakeholders. The discussions will build on the technical expert meetings on renewable energy and energy efficiency held in March 2014.
Technical Expert Meetings in 2014
Meeting Dates Topics Summary and Outcomes
October 2014
(During ADP 2.6)
The technical expert meetings focused on opportunities for action on non-CO2 greenhouse gases and carbon capture, use and storage. Based on the information exchanged during the June 2014 and the October 2014 technical expert meetings, the secretariat prepared an updated technical paper and its four addenda on land use, urban environments, carbon capture, use and storage and non-CO2 GHG emissions, which was presented to the ADP in December 2014.
June 2014
(During ADP 2.5)
The two technical expert meetings looked at the opportunities in Land Use and Urban Environments, and were complemented by a Forum on Cities and Sub-National Authorities.
March 2014
(During ADP 2.4)
Policy options and opportunities to scale up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency improvements were explored during two technical expert meetings. Based on the information exchanged during the technical expert meetings, the secretariat prepared an updated technical paper and its addendum on mitigation benefits of actions, initiatives and options to enhance mitigation ambition, which was presented to the ADP in June 2014.

Follow up work on the technical examination process

Follow up work on the technical examination process consists of focused in-depth, inter-sessional meetings conducted throughout the year by Parties, international organizations, partnerships and the secretariat with a view to enabling more Parties to take transformational action in delivering higher mitigation ambition. At these meetings, participants reflect on the progress made at the technical expert meetings and identify opportunities for further action moving forward.

The ADP Co-Chairs highlighted follow up actions undertaken by the secretariat and international organizations in the pdf-icon message to Parties and observer organisations in May 2014. For more information on the informal follow-up meetings for each technical expert meeting, please select from the ‘topics’ listed in the tables in the ‘Technical Expert Meetings’ section above.

Technical Papers

The updated technical paper compiles information on thematic areas with high mitigation potential examined at the technical expert meetings held in June and October 2014. It contains the main text and four thematic addenda, each providing information on policies, practices and technologies to unlock mitigation potential for raising pre-2020 ambition in land use, urban environments, carbon capture, use and storage and non-CO2 GHG emissions drawing on information provided in the submissions from Parties and observer organizations, at the technical expert meetings and in relevant literature. This technical paper builds on the first update of the technical paper contained in FCCC/TP/2014/3 and its addendum and further elaborates policy options for enhancing pre-2020 ambition.

Climate Action Fair and Virtual Expo

In conjunction with the technical expert meetings, the secretariat organizes a Climate Action Fair to showcase examples of (1) pre-2020 action related to the technical expert meeting topics and (2) actions by non-state actors to address climate change. The Climate Action Fair consists of various activities, including side events, exhibitions, and the Climate Action Fair and Virtual Expo, which all aim to support the work and discussions taking place under the technical expert meetings, as well as increase the visibility of the climate action among cities, regions, companies, investors, and international cooperative initiatives.

For each technical expert meeting, the ADP Co-Chairs invite Parties and observer organizations to showcase initiatives and projects on the related technical expert meeting topics through the uploading facility of the Side Event and Exhibits Online Registration System (SEORS). These initiatives and projects, as well as materials and presentations related to the Climate Action Fair side events, are showcased on our website as part of the Climate Action Fair and Virtual Expo.

Visit the Climate Action Fair and Virtual Expo on renewable energy and energy efficiency (ADP 2.9), on non-CO2 greenhouse gases and carbon capture, use and storage (ADP 2.6)  and on urban environment and land use (ADP 2.5).