UN Climate Change Regional Collaboration Centre (RCC) partners met recently in Dubai at the latest edition of the annual RCC Global Forum, held on the margins of the World Green Economy Summit, to connect, share, and set strategies to help spur global climate action through the network of RCCs.
The 5th RCC Global Forum marked the first time the Forum took place in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the second time it has taken place outside of Bonn, Germany.
In his opening remarks to the Forum, Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change indicated that “Never have our regional efforts been more necessary. […] Especially now as we are at a critical juncture in the climate change process. While Paris represented an historic milestone, Katowice represented the work plan to operationalize what Parties agreed to in Paris. We know that all of this requires practical coordination at the regional level. RCCs successfully combine climate change expertise with in-depth local knowledge. This is critical to our success.”
This year’s RCC Global Forum was hosted by and saw the official launch of the newest entrant to the RCC network, RCC Dubai, which will serve countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. H.E. Saeed Al Tayer, Chairman of the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) at the launch remarked on the crucial role that the centre, established in partnership with WGEO, will play in supporting green economy activity in the region directly and also internationally through the placement of green economy experts at all RCCs.
As proposed by partners, support to Article 6, adaptation, facilitating the mobilizing of climate-aligned finance, and regional capacity-building on transparency, climate finance and nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement, in addition to support for the Clean Development Mechanism, would be major areas of work for all six RCCs in 2020.
The Global Forum was attended by representatives of the host partners of the RCCs – located in Bangkok, Kampala, Lomé, St-George’s-Grenada, Panama and Dubai. Also joining the Forum were representatives from the RCC collaborating organizations in the various regions, such as UN Environment, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP), UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), GIZ, among others, who took the occasion of the Global Forum to rename themselves ‘Friends of the RCCs’.
Participants appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the RCCs and their plans for the future. This allowed for the identification of synergies across the regions and to consolidate collaborations that are already developed and to further replicate them across regions.
While the RCCs are working on a number of activities on the regional and national levels, in recent times the RCCs have been collaborating across regions on activities delivered by more than one Centre. This is also possible because the RCCs are working together with global partners like UN Environment, UNDP and GIZ, among others.
The unique format of the 5th annual RCC Global Forum – hosted by one RCC, in this case RCC Dubai, and taking place in the context of a regional event, in this case the World Green Economy Summit, allowing participants to interact and build networks with a variety of climate action stakeholders – was an important innovation and this format is envisaged to be followed in the future.