Preparing the secretariat programme budget 2020-2021


The secretariat is making a significant effort, initiated in the context of the 2018–2019 programme budget, to enhance the transparency and clarity of the UNFCCC budget process and formal programme budget documentation.

These efforts take into account the valuable experience from the measures put in place in 2018 to provide more integrated support to presiding officers and the Presidencies, so as to facilitate a successful outcome at COP 24.

As indicated at SBI 49, the secretariat is working on incorporating the results of its structural review and of COP 24 decisions in the proposed UNFCCC budget for 2020–2021.  

Preparation of the UNFCCC budget for 2020–2021

To enhance their understanding and ensure informed decision-making, the secretariat will engage proactively with Parties on the development of the UNFCCC programme budget for 2020–2021 well in advance of SBI 50, when the proposed programme budget document will be presented for their consideration.

The engagement with Parties will follow a briefing and consultation process that is normally conducted prior to formal sessions. This will include a series of two briefing sessions for groups of Parties, at which the secretariat will present an introductory summary of the proposed UNFCCC programme budget for 2020–2021, followed by a workshop at which an advanced version of the budget proposal will be presented and invite feedback on the overall approach, format and budget levels.

The following events are currently planned:

  • On 18 February 2019, an initial briefing for the following groups: Group of 77 and China; the African Group; the Independent Association for Latin America and the Caribbean; the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty; the Alliance of Small Island States; the Arab Group; Brazil, South Africa, India and China; the Coalition for Rainforest Nations; the least developed countries; and the Like-minded Developing Countries;
  • On 20 February 2019, an initial briefing for the European Union and its member States, the Environmental Integrity Group and the Umbrella Group;
  • On 25 and 26 March 2019, a workshop open to all Parties, convened by the SBI Chair with the assistance of two co-facilitators. The COP Bureau will also meet on the margins of the workshop.

These events will be held at the seat of the secretariat in Bonn. Those unable to attend on site will be able to participate remotely.

The secretariat will use other opportunities that arise before SBI 50 to engage with Parties on the development of the UNFCCC budget for 2020–2021.

All information relevant to the development of the UNFCCC budget for 2020–2021, including presentations by the secretariat and additional information material, as well as input or queries from Parties (which can be sent at any time) and the secretariat’s responses, will be made available on the UNFCCC website.

Format and purpose of the initial briefings to be held on 18 and 20 February 2019

The secretariat will present introductory information on the status of the budget preparations, including the implications of the outcomes of COP 24 and of the work concluded in January 2019 on the review of the structure and operations of the secretariat.

For logistical and organizational reasons, the two briefings will take place separately, in two half-days. Invited participants who are not be able to come to Bonn will have the opportunity to participate remotely and/or to access the relevant material at any time after the briefings.

The secretariat will use the feedback received during the initial briefings, as well as any queries and feedback received thereafter, to further develop the UNFCCC budget proposal for 2020–2021 in a balanced manner.

Format and purpose of the workshop to be held on 25 and 26 March 2019

The workshop will provide a forum for the secretariat to present an advanced version of the UNFCCC budget proposal for 2020–2021.

The workshop will be preceded by a meeting of the COP Bureau in the morning of 25 March.

The event will be webcast and open to all Parties.

Information to be presented at the briefings

Broadly, the information to be presented at the briefings and workshop will include the following elements:

  • An overview of the structure of the proposed budget, highlighting changes in format aimed at enhancing transparency and clarity;
  • An outline of how the secretariat expects the needs for support of the intergovernmental process to evolve in the budget period on the basis of relevant decisions and Parties’ expectations on the key deliverables in that period, in particular in relation to the operationalization of the Paris Agreement;
  • The principles underlying the proposed allocation of core resources and supplementary funding, clarifying the distinction between functions that should be funded from core resources and those that require supplementary funding;
  • Budget scenarios, including a zero nominal growth scenario, with explanations for each scenario of what could be delivered in terms of the proposed key objectives for 2020–2021 and how core and supplementary resources would be allocated in a balanced manner;
  • Comparison of the proposed budget versus the current budget, incorporating changes resulting from the review of the structure and operations of the secretariat.

More information will be made available before the workshop on the agenda and the organization of presentations and discussions.