Harnessing the power of cooperation to build the momentum moving from Paris to Marrakech

UNFCCC institutions and programmes spurring climate action

Climate change is a global problem and extensive international cooperation is critical for effective solutions. As shown in the previous chapter, in preparing for the Paris Conference and inspired by its outcome, Parties and other stakeholders are enhancing support for more ambitious climate action and partnerships. We see new alliances coming together at various levels to identify and pursue ways to accelerate change towards a low-carbon and resilient economy.

The bodies and institutions established under the Convention that have been empowered by the Paris Agreement are playing an increasingly important role in supporting and catalysing early mitigation and adaptation by Parties and other actors, providing technical support and guidance and facilitating the sharing of lessons learned and good practices. These include the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the Subsidiary Body for Technological and Scientific Advice (SBSTA), the Adaptation Committee and the Technology Mechanism, which comprises the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).

In addition, climate action under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol is funded through the Financial Mechanism and its entities such as the GCF and the GEF, and through the Special Climate Change Fund. Specific funding for adaptation is also available through the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund.

The SBI and the SBSTA are the two permanent subsidiary bodies with the respective mandates to assist the COP in the assessment and review of the effective implementation of the Convention and provide information and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to the Convention. In recognition of the essential role of both the SBI and the SBSTA in advancing the implementation of the Convention, decision 1/CP.21 requested these bodies to organize jointly the TEPs for mitigation and adaptation. The first TEMs were organized following this mandate in May 2016 during the forty-fourth sessions of the subsidiary bodies.17

The Adaptation Committee promotes the implementation of enhanced adaptation action and is entrusted to: deliver technical support and guidance to Parties; share information, experience and good practices; promote synergy and strengthen engagement with other organizations; provide information and recommendations in an effort to incentivize adaptation implementation; and consider the information that Parties provide on the monitoring and reviewing of adaptation actions and the support provided and received. Decision 1/CP.21 requested the Adaptation Committee to conduct the TEP-A jointly with the SBI and the SBSTA.

The TEC is dedicated to catalysing support and facilitating and promoting technology cooperation and partnerships to scale up action. To deliver this mandate, the TEC held a dialogue on South–South cooperation for adaptation technologies and launched guidance to support developing countries in preparing technology action plans (TAPs), which will accelerate national implementation on mitigation and adaptation based on the technology needs assessments (TNAs). The TEC is also working to explore linkages between TNAs and NAPs based on recommendations from the Adaptation Committee. Its work plan evolved to take fully into account key outcomes from the Paris Agreement.

The CTCN, as the operational arm of the Technology Mechanism, facilitates technology transfer by providing technical assistance and access to information and knowledge regarding climate technologies, and fosters collaboration among stakeholders via a network of experts. Since its inception, the CTCN has received 128 requests from developing countries for technical assistance in a variety of sectors and regions, from energy to flood management and forestry. In 2016, the CTCN completed three requests and is currently implementing a further 25 requests. Decision 1/CP.21 requested the CTCN, together with the TEC, to engage in the TEMs and enhance efforts to facilitate the implementation of policies, practices and actions identified in the process.

The Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change (NWP) facilitates and catalyze the development and dissemination of information and knowledge to inform and support adaptation policies and practices at the regional, national and subnational levels through a diverse range of modalities. The NWP responds to different aspects of the adaptation needs of both developing and developed countries, including needs relating to NAPs, by linking relevant institutions, processes, resources and expertise within and outside the Convention. It also includes a private sector initiative that enables private sector organizations to share with the international community their innovative activities on adaptation to climate change.

The GEF set its priorities on supporting innovation, technology transfer and capacity-building across a broad spectrum of action areas. A total of USD 910 million was allocated by the GEF to individual countries to support national climate change mitigation action. In 2016, the GEF allocated USD 554 million to 59 mitigation and multi-focal area projects, USD 188.7 million to 31 projects with technology transfer objectives and USD 5.9 million to support the implementation of TNAs in 20 SIDS and LDCs. The GEF also made arrangements to support the establishment of a Trust Fund for the Capacity- Building Initiative for Transparency along with its programming and implementation modalities and allocated USD 225 million to support the activities aimed at reporting and assessments related to the UNFCCC process and to help the implementation of INDCs.

The GCF is a central global investment vehicle for international climate finance and is charged with promoting a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient pathways. It has received pledges of over USD 10 billion equivalent, and has so far committed more than USD 420 million. The GCF Board has an aspirational target to approve USD 2.5 billion of investments by the end of 2016. As at July 2016, the GCF had approved a total of UDS 424.6 million to support adaptation, mitigation and cross-cutting projects and also allocated USD 200 million to fund climate-sensitive small business. In addition, the GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme provides support for NAP formulation or other adaptation planning processes and can allocate funding for project preparation activities.

Facilitating multilevel cooperation

Many United Nations agencies and multilateral institutions play critical roles in enhancing pre-2020 action and supporting cooperative efforts at different levels of governance through various actions, such as:

• By supporting countries in their overall sustainable development efforts (e.g. United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and regional development banks);

• In considering environmental dimensions (e.g. UNEP and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme);

• In safeguarding food security (e.g. FAO);

• In transforming their energy and transport sectors (e.g. IEA, IRENA, ICAO and IMO).

These agencies and institutions, and national governments are now increasingly engaged in incorporating the goals of the Paris Agreement into their strategies and operations and in forging bilateral or multilateral partnerships and alliances. Some recent examples include the United States-China Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change, the International Solar Energy Alliance launched by India and France and the Africa Adaptation Initiative. More recently, the Leaders’ Statement on a North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership between Canada, Mexico and the United States included a goal to achieve 50 per cent clean power generation by 2025. The recently launched NDC partnership of Germany and WRI with the partners from developed and developing countries aims to accelerate implementation of NDCs.

Africa Adaptation Initiative

The Africa Adaptation Initiative was established in 2015 in response to a mandate by African Heads of State with the aims of scaling up adaptation action and approaches to address loss and damage in Africa. It focuses on four areas: 1) enhancing climate information services, ensuring that countries have adequate information to develop strategies and address loss and damage; (2) strengthening policies and institutions to enhance implementation; 3) supporting the implementation of concrete adaptation on the ground in critical sectors; and 4) increasing finance and investments to support programmes and project implementation. The initiative is to be implemented through partnerships with institutions/organizations working on the ground on adaptation and loss and damage.

Besides cooperation between national governments supported by international agencies and institutions, tackling climate change and its impacts will depend in great part on action by all levels of government where new and ambitious goals are being set and collaboration forged. Indeed, engagement of different levels of government in adaptation and mitigation efforts present a real opportunity for accelerating action, including by getting buy-in of a wide range of stakeholders. For example, the State of California in the United States is now amending its landmark cap-and-trade programme to regulate CO2 emissions to comply with the Clean Power Plan of the Environmental Protection Agency. In Grenada, the national government has created community liaison officers and is directly engaging with schools and community members to advance adaptation.18 In the Himalayas region, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development is advancing adaptation to climate change among several countries in the region, including through livelihood diversification, improved governance and access to resources and improving the understanding of vulnerability.19

Increased awareness of the risks of climate change has resulted in a vast number of subnational authorities, including cities, states and regions, recording their GHG emissions to further understand their climate impact, seeking a sustainable path to green growth powered by clean energy and thus contributing to low-emission and resilient development. International institutions and partnerships, such as Global Leadership on Climate Change (C40) and Local Governments for Sustainability are providing important networks, platforms and forums for collaboration that enable shared learning and exchange of experiences between cities.

In addition, the active involvement of cities and local governments in the UNFCCC process – as demonstrated by the success of the Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) platform – provides a means to further enhance their involvement at the local level. Subnational authorities are the largest contributors on the NAZCA climate commitments platform, with more than 2,200 submissions with 2,255 cities and 150 regions, comprising 17 per cent of the global population (1.25 billion people), registering their commitments.20 The CDP, which is the key provider of data for the NAZCA portal, established that over the last year since COP 21 the number of cities around the world that are now sharing information on their climate actions has grown by 70 per cent. This includes almost all major cities around the world that are engaged in the C40 initiative. London, for example, set in 2016 an ambition goal to be powered purely on green energy by 2050.

Examples of initiatives for subnational jurisdictions

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
In June 2016, the Compact of Mayors and Covenant of Mayors joined forces, creating the largest coalition of cities leading on climate change. It builds upon commitments from more than 7100 cities from 119 countries. It will provide a central platform to bring together relevant data on cities’ energy and climate actions and achievements. It will also include increased efforts for greater climate action, including the adoption of ambitious emissions reduction goals, at the city level.21

Compact of States and Regions
The Compact of States and Regions is a platform for states, provinces and regions to measure and manage GHG emissions. It collects data from 44 governments. The Compact aims to reduce the collective emissions of its governments by almost 55 by 2050. These commitments are also included in the NAZCA platform.22 As part of the Action Agenda, the Climate Group has invited all states, provinces and regions to report to the Compact by July 2016.

Examples of initiatives for subnational jurisdictions
The Transformative Actions Program (TAP), managed by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, is an innovative initiative that aims to catalyze and improve capital flows to cities, towns and regions to accelerate low-carbon and climate-resilient development. By participating in the TAP, cities, towns and regions take proactive steps and access a network of partners that will increase their visibility, better position them to access climate finance and encourage replication of transformative climate actions and innovative local financing mechanisms.

Finance, investment and business

Enhanced finance, investment and business efforts will be critical for accelerating pre-2020 action. Given the significant costs, innovative cutting-edge finance instruments and new financing mechanisms will be needed to mobilize the large amounts of capital needed to support adaptation and mitigation action.

Investments. A thousand investors are committed to climate action, involving EUR 30 billion of assets.23 In 2016, many major investor coalitions have surpassed existing targets and reinforced commitments. In France, almost 40 companies agreed to the French Business Climate Pledge, pledging at least EUR 45 billion over the next five years for investments and financing to transition to low-carbon energy sources and technologies.24

More banks are aligning policies with climate objectives, with some announcing the transition away from financing of high emitting sectors and others committing to issue or underwrite green bonds for financing low-carbon projects. The insurance sector is also increasing efforts on climate impacts and engaging in investments in green finance. As of November 2015, the green bonds market had reached USD 38 billion.25

The 2 Degrees Investing Initiative is a multi-stakeholder think tank working to align the financial sector with 2°C climate goals carrying out projects in Europe, China and the United States, bringing together financial institutions, issuers, policy makers, research institutes, experts and NGOs.

Additional bilateral and multilateral public climate finance has been leveraged through the Convention funds and related financial facilities. For example, in the area of mitigation, the NAMA Facility, funded by Germany and the United Kingdom, support the implementation of countries’ nationally appropriate mitigation actions.26

The main multilateral development banks (MDBs) are also scaling up financing – in 2015 the world’s six largest MDBs mobilized USD 81 billion for climate finance.27 For example, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has established a programme to provide up to USD 25 billion for energy efficiency. The Inter-American Development Bank will provide up to USD 450 million with additional support from the GCF of up to USD 217 million for a new programme to guarantee green asset banked securitized bonds for refinancing energy efficiency loans.28

In terms of adaptation, the PPCR finances technical assistance and investments to support countries’ efforts to integrate climate risks and resilience into core development planning and implementation in more than 25 countries. The EU GCCA+ supports vulnerable developing countries in responding to climate change with a budget of more than USD 330 million in 38 countries and 8 regions and subregions.

A number of private sector entities are stepping up action inspired by the opportunities created by the Paris Agreement to ensure investment shift into sustainable projects and programmes.29 In total, over 2,000 companies and 424 investors have submitted their related climate commitments through the NAZCA portal.

Corporate emissions reductions targets.
450 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from 65 countries across 30 sectors committed to targets, which were announced through the Caring for Climate initiative.30 In addition, 114 companies have committed to engaging responsibility on climate policy and 115 companies have joined the Science-based Targets initiatives, adopting targets that align with a level of decarbonization consistent with limiting warming to below 2 ºC. Seventy-nine CEOs, representing USD 2.13 trillion in revenue joined the CEO Climate Leaders, committing to GHG emission reduction targets, among other actions.

Lobbying government for swift action.
More recently, in June 2016 at the Business & Climate Summit, a network representing more than 6 million businesses called for swifter action by governments on climate change, including the ratification of the Paris Agreement.31

Spurring action from the private sector: the We Mean Business coalition

The We Mean Business coalition calls for companies to commit to one or more of the following initiatives: adopting a science-based emission reduction target, putting a price on carbon, procuring 100 per cent of electricity from renewable sources, responsible corporate engagement in climate policy, reporting climate change information in mainstream reports, removing commodity-driven deforestation from supply chains by 2020, reducing short-lived climate pollutants, and/or committing to improve energy productivity.32

In the lead-up to COP 21, the coalition prepared eight key policy requests to Parties to spur ambitious action such as reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions before the end of the century and enacting meaningful carbon pricing.33

17 Further information on these meetings is available here and here
18 Presentation made by Grenada at the TEM on adaptation on 25 May 2016. Available here
19 Presentation made by ICIMOD at the TEM on adaptation on 25 May 2016. Available here
20 UNFCCC Newsroom
22 The Climate Group
23 UNFCCC Newsroom
24 UNFCCC Newsroom
25 As footnote 32.
28 As footnote 32.
29 As footnote 33.
30 As footnote 33.
31 The Climate Group
32 We Mean Business Coalition
33 We Mean Business Coalition
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