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.