What are governing, process management, subsidiary, constituted and concluded Bodies?

The Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement establish the institutional arrangements for the climate change intergovernmental process:

  • A supreme governing body: the COP for the Convention, the CMP for the Kyoto Protocol and the CMA for the Paris Agreement;
  • A process management body: the Bureau of the COP, the CMP and the CMA;
  • Subsidiary bodies: two permanent subsidiary bodies – the SBSTA and the SBI – as well as other ad hoc subsidiary bodies established by the COP, the CMP, or the CMA as deemed necessary to address specific issues;
  • Technical subsidiary bodies with limited membership (referred to in practice as the constituted bodies) established under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement;
  • A secretariat; and 
  • Entities entrusted with the operations of the Financial Mechanism (i.e. the Global Environment Facility -GEF- and the Green Climate Fund -GCF-).

Collectively, these institutions participate in the process of developing policies and guidance to support Parties in the implementation of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

 

Governing bodies & process management body

  • Conference of the Parties (COP)

The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements.

Find more information here: Conference of the Parties (COP).

  • Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP)

The Conference of the Parties, the supreme body of the Convention, shall serve as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. All States that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are represented at the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), while States that are not Parties participate as observers. The CMP oversees the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and takes decisions to promote its effective implementation.

Find more information here: Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP)

  • Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA)

The Conference of the Parties, the supreme body of the Convention, shall serve as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. All States that are Parties to the Paris Agreement are represented at the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA), while States that are not Parties participate as observers. The CMA oversees the implementation of the Paris Agreement and takes decisions to promote its effective implementation.

Find more information here: Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA)

  • Bureau of the COP, CMP, and CMA

The Bureau supports the work of the governing bodies through the provision of advice and guidance regarding the ongoing work under the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement, the organization of their sessions and the operation of the secretariat. The Bureau serves during the sessions and also between session. The Bureau consists of 11 officers, the President, seven Vice-Presidents, the Chairs of the SBSTA and the SBI and the Rapporteur, elected from representatives of Parties nominated by each of the five United Nations regional groups and Small Island Developing States.

Find more information here: Bureau of the COP, CMP, and CMA

  • Secretariat

The UNFCCC secretariat provides organizational support and technical expertise to the UNFCCC negotiations and institutions and facilitates the flow of authoritative information on the implementation of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. This includes the development and effective implementation of innovative approaches to mitigate climate change and drive sustainable development.

Find more information here: Secretariat

  • United Nations institutional linkage

The United Nations serves as Depository for the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol (including its amendments) and the Paris Agreement. The secretariat is institutionally linked to the United Nations without being integrated into any programme and is administered under United Nations rules and regulations.

Find more information here: United Nations institutional linkage

 

Subsidiary bodies

  • Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA)

The SBSTA assists the governing bodies through the provision of timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters as they relate to the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. In addition, the SBSTA cooperates with relevant international organizations on scientific, technological and methodological questions.

Find more information here: Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA)

  • Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)

The SBI assists the governing bodies in the assessment and review of the implementation of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. In addition, the SBI is the body that considers the biennial work programmes for the secretariat, which provide the strategic direction on how the secretariat can best serve the Parties and the UNFCCC process towards greater ambition of climate change action and support that is fully commensurate with the objectives of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)

 

Constituted bodies

  • Adaptation Committee (AC)

The Adaptation Committee was established by the COP at its sixteenth session as part of the Cancun Agreements (decision 1/CP.16) to promote the implementation of enhanced action on adaptation in a coherent manner under the Convention. Its functions include providing technical support and guidance to the Parties; sharing of relevant information, knowledge, experience and good practices; promoting synergy and strengthening engagement with national, regional and international organizations, centres and networks; providing information and recommendations for consideration by the COP when providing guidance on means to incentivize the implementation of adaptation actions; and considering information communicated by Parties on their monitoring and review of adaptation actions, support provided and received.. The Adaptation Committee also serves the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Adaptation Committee

  • Adaptation Fund Board (AFB)

The AFB supervises and manages the Adaptation Fund and is fully accountable to the CMP. The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The Adaptation Fund is financed by a 2 per cent share of the proceeds from certified emission reductions issued by the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism and from other sources of funding. The Adaptation Fund also serves the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Adaptation Fund Board (AFB)

  • Advisory Board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)

As the operational arm of the Technology Mechanism, the CTCN stimulates technology cooperation to enhance the development and transfer of technologies and to assist developing country Parties at their request. The CTCN is accountable to, and under the guidance of, the COP through an advisory board. The Advisory Board of the CTCN was established at COP 18 and gives guidance to the CTCN on how to prioritize requests from developing countries and, in general, it monitors, assesses and evaluates the performance of the CTCN.

Find more information here: Advisory Board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)

  • CDM EB - Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

The CDM Executive Board supervises the Kyoto Protocols CDM under the authority and guidance of the CMP. The CDM Executive Board is the ultimate point of contact for CDM project participants for the registration of projects and the issuance of certified emission reductions.

Find more information here: CDM EB - Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

  • Compliance Committee

The functions of the Compliance Committee of the Kyoto Protocol are to provide advice and assistance to Parties in implementing the Kyoto Protocol, promote compliance by Parties with their commitments and determine cases of non-compliance and apply consequences in cases where Parties are not complying with their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

Find more information here: Compliance Committee

  • Consultative Group of Experts (CGE)

COP 24 decided that the mandate of the Consultant Group of Experts on National Communications from Parties not included in Annex I to the Convention will be extended for eight years, from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2026 and will be renamed the Consultative Group of Experts (CGE). In addition to assisting developing country Parties fulfil their reporting requirements under the Convention, the CGE will also support the implementation of the enhanced transparency framework under Article 13 of the Paris Agreement. This includes facilitating the provision of technical advice and support to developing country Parties to prepare their biennial transparency reports and providing technical advice to the secretariat on the implementation of the training of technical expert review teams.

Find more information here: Consultative Group of Experts (CGE)

  • Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage

The Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism was established by the COP at tis nineteenth session by decision 2/CP.19 to guide the implementation of the functions of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. The Warsaw International Mechanism is anchored in the Paris Agreement by its Article 8. The Executive Committee has technical expert groups that help execute its work in the following four strategic work areas: slow onset events, non-economic losses, comprehensive risk management, and displacement.

Find more information here: Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage

  • Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The GEF is an operational entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention that provides financial support to the activities and projects of developing country Parties. The COP regularly provides guidance to the GEF. The GEF, as an entity entrusted with the operation of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, also serves the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Global Environment Facility (GEF)

  • Green Climate Fund (GCF)

The GCF is an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention and is accountable to and functions under the guidance of the COP. It is governed by a Board comprising 24 members (with equal numbers from developed and developing country Parties) and is intended to be the main fund for global climate change finance in the context of mobilizing USD 100 billion by 2020. The GCF was established by the COP at its sixteenth session by decision 1/CP.16, designed throughout 2011 by a Transitional Committee and launched at COP 17 through decision 3/CP.17, including the governing instrument for the GCF. The GCF, as an entity entrusted with the operation of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, also serves the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Green Climate Fund (GCF)

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses, at regular intervals, the most recent scientific, technical and socioeconomic information produced worldwide, relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research, nor does it monitor climate-related data or parameters. The UN Climate change process receives the outputs of the IPCC and uses IPCC data and information as a baseline on the state of knowledge on climate change in making science-based decisions. End of 2018, the IPCC Special Report on global warming of 1.5 C sent strong messages on the need to be more ambitious in taking action if the objective of staying well below 2 degrees is to be achieved. The IPCC is currently in its Sixth Assessment cycle. During this cycle, the Panel will produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report on national greenhouse gas inventories and the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The AR6 will comprise three Working Group contributions and a Synthesis Report. The AR6 Synthesis Report will integrate and synthesize the contributions from the three Working Groups that will be rolled out in 2021 into a concise document suitable for policymakers and other stakeholders. It will be finalized in the first half of 2022 in time for the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC)

The JISC, under the authority and guidance of the CMP, supervises the verification procedure for submitted projects to confirm that the ensuing reductions of emissions by sources or enhancements of anthropogenic removals by sinks meet the relevant requirements of Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol and the joint implementation guidelines.

  • Katowice Committee on Impacts (KCI)

The COP, CMP and CMA established Katowice Committee of experts on the Impacts of implementation of response measures to support the work of the forum on the impacts of implementation of response measures.

Find more information here: Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC)

  • Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG)

The COP established the LEG, the membership of which is to be nominated by Parties, with the objective of supporting the preparation and implementation strategies of national adaptation programmes of action. The LEG also serves the Paris Agreement.

Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform Facilitative Working Group (FWG)

The FWG was established by the COP at its twenty-fourth session (decision 2/CP.24), in 2018, with the objective of further operationalizing the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform and facilitating the implementation of three functions related to knowledge, capacity for engagement, and climate change policies and actions. Half of the members of the FWG are representatives of Parties and half are representatives from indigenous peoples organizations. To enhance the coherence of the actions of the LCIPP under the Convention, it is encouraged to collaborate with other bodies under and outside the Convention.

Find more information here: Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG)

  • Standing Committee on Finance (SCF)

The mandate of the Standing Committee on Finance is to assist the COP in exercising its functions with respect to the financial mechanism of the Convention in terms of the following: improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing; rationalization of the financial mechanism; mobilization of financial resources; and measurement, reporting and verification of support provided to developing country Parties. It was established by the COP at its sixteenth session by decision 1/CP.16. Its roles and functions were further defined and its composition and working modalities elaborated on at COP 17. The SCF also serves the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Standing Committee on Finance (SCF)

  • Technology Executive Committee (TEC)

The COP, by its decision 1/CP.16, established a Technology Mechanism to facilitate the implementation of enhanced actions on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation in order to achieve the full implementation of the Convention. The Technology Mechanism comprises the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). In accordance with Article 10 of the Paris Agreement, the Technology Mechanism shall also serve the Paris Agreement under the guidance of the CMA. As the policy arm of the Technology Mechanism, the TEC undertakes analysis and provides recommendations on policies that can accelerate the development and transfer of low-emission and climate resilient technologies.

Find more information here: Technology Executive Committee (TEC)

  • The Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB)

The Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) was established by the Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2015 as part of the adoption of the Paris Agreement to address gaps and needs, both current and emerging, in implementing capacity-building in developing country Parties and further enhancing capacity-building efforts, including with regard to coherence and coordination in capacity-building activities under the Convention.

Find more information here: The Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB)

  • Special Climate Change Fund

The Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) was established to finance activities, programmes and measures relating to climate change, that are complementary to those supported by other funding mechanism for the implementation of the Convention. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has been entrusted to operate the SCCF. The SCCF, administered by the GEF, also serves the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Special Climate Change Fund

  • Least Developed Countries Fund

The COP established the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) to support the Least Developed Country Parties (LDCs) work programme and assist LDCs carry out, inter alia, the preparation and implementation of  national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs). The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has been entrusted to operate the LDCF. The LDCF, administered by the GEF, also serves the Paris Agreement.

Find more information here: Least Developed Countries Fund

 

Bodies That Have Concluded Their Work

Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)
Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA)
Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP)
Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA)