The next round of international climate talks, in Warsaw, is rapidly approaching. This year’s Conference of the Parties (COP19) is not expected to yield dramatic breakthroughs, but it is an important stepping stone in the lead up to the Paris negotiations in 2015.
The recent IPCC report reminds the world that the current course is not sustainable. The world urgently needs to transition to a low-carbon trajectory in order to meet the climate challenge.
The UNFCCC negotiations are entering a crucial phase. Negotiators decided nearly two years ago to establish an international climate action agreement “with legal force” by 2015. How this agreement will be structured, though, remains to be seen.
WRI’s new working paper lays out the various options for designing the process for submitting "national offers," countries’ plans to reduce their respective greenhouse gas emissions. It will be critical for negotiators to focus on three key areas: the content of the offers, the timing and process for submitting them, and how they will be reviewed.
The UNFCCC Parties need to put forward emission reduction offers as part of the 2015 climate change agreement that is currently being negotiated. This paper suggests options for the design of this process, including the content of the offers and how they will be reviewed. Ensuring that this...
The International Energy Agency released a new report today, Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, finding that global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2012 increased by 1.4 percent, reaching a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes.
The last in a series of expert workshops and consultations under the UNFCCC’s work-programme on long-term finance concluded late yesterday. This 2013 extended work programme on long-term climate finance is designed to “identify pathways for mobilizing the scaling up of climate finance to USD 100 billion per year by 2020 from public, private, and alternative sources” and inform “enabling environments and policy frameworks to facilitate the mobilization and effective deployment of climate finance in developing countries.”I had the opportunity to participate quite actively in this year’s series, as WRI is working with co-chairs from the Philippines and Sweden to facilitate discussions on how to mobilize scaled-up finance for climate action.
Norway is one of the largest contributors to climate finance in the world, relative to the size of its economy. In 2010 and 2011, the majority of Norway’s fast-start finance (FSF) was channeled through multilateral institutions and supported mitigation activities in developing countries, with a...
by Taryn Fransen, Thorvald Moe, Steffen Kallbekken, Alice Caravani and Smita Nakhooda - August 2013
In the lead-up to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties 15 in Copenhagen, in December 2009, it became very clear that issues around accountability and transparency in greenhouse gas accounting were going to be a central focus. While the Kyoto Protocol includes robust accounting standards for industrialized countries, it was looking as if a new ‘pledge and review’ system’ would do away with those standards, thus removing any ability to compare the efforts of countries or create a common understanding of what is occurring country to country. In addition, increased transparency around developing country actions was becoming not only central but controversial, creating tension between the U.S. and China.
WRI identified these issues early on and worked to ensure that the complex but vital accounting topic was understood as a core outcome of the Copenhagen process. WRI also worked with key partners to provide analysis and textual solutions both on why Annex I accounting rules were vital and why it was possible for the US to sign up to these standards.
WRI used its analysis to increase awareness in the U.S. with the White House, Senate and State Department of the importance of the issue and with other countries to provide solutions and context. This work directly resulted in specific text around developed country, or Annex I, targets in the Copenhagen Accord around the need to “ensure that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent” (REF) a hook to building the system we need. No other institution was focused heavily on this outcome. WRI also started working early in China to increase understanding both in China and internationally concerning what systems for Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) China already has in place, thus highlighting where transparency existed and could be enhanced in China. We engaged top Chinese experts and negotiators more than a year before Copenhagen on these issues and continued to provide solutions throughout the UNFCCC meeting. WRI was far ahead of other organizations in providing both the analysis and the space to create understanding and trust among countries. While the issue became polarized during the meeting, it is fair to say that WRI’s background work provided a basis for the final transparency text in the Copenhagen Accord.
Tracking these funds and ensuring that they are delivered effectively is a huge undertaking. Developed countries report their climate finance contributions in periodic national communications submitted to the UNFCCC. However, because countries use multiple methods for reporting and often provide insufficient information, the data gathered are of limited use.
WRI was one of the first organizations to emphasize the importance of transparency of climate finance as part of any new international climate agreement. In the lead up to the UNFCCC conference in Cancun, held in December 2010, our climate team assessed existing finance reporting systems, provided specific guidelines for improvement, and put forward a common reporting format. The team then helped mobilize coalitions to secure support. The result was a mandate at Cancun calling for revised and enhanced reporting guidelines. If fully implemented, these will help donors and recipients better assess and understand the flow and effectiveness of climate finance, and ensure its alignment with other development priorities.
WRI remains active in the UNFCCC process because we believe all nations must act to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions if we are to contain rising temperatures within the limits to which humanity can adapt. Our work on climate finance and in other key policy areas is making a difference in the international climate negotiations.