OCP Blog


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A space for opinion, debate, and reflection on the international climate change negotiations

Nationalism and globalism are the polarising -isms of our times, replacing ( according to bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari) even the traditional political divide of conservatism vs. liberalism. With nationalism on the rise again, innovative solutions have become necessary to address global existential challenges that no country can address on its own. How, for instance, do we tackle a global existential threat like climate change in a world of rising nationalism? Multilateralism, in the form of the Paris Agreement, delivered...
By
Anju Sharma
In the climate negotiations, the issue of leadership has been of central importance from the very beginning. It has mainly been raised in terms of national (or EU) efforts to influence other countries (or groups of countries) with the aim of moving the negotiations forward and creating conditions for a satisfactory outcome. Of course, in all negotiations Parties try to defend their own interests; but negotiations on sustainable development have a special character: in many ways, and particularly in the...
By
Ambassador Bo Kjellen
Anyone following climate finance who was not at the recent 20th meeting of the Green Climate Fund (B.20) can be forgiven for being taken aback to read: “ Board meeting turns ‘toxic’ as UN climate fund runs low “ and “ UN climate fund chief resigns for personal reasons while board meeting collapses “. What happened? Ostensibly, the seed for the collapse was sown in the run-up to the meeting when some members felt that, contrary to their interpretation of...
By
Benito Müller
A little while ago, I attended an event exploring the consequences of severe warming on physical and human systems at Oxford University Martin School, which was predicated on the need for “substantial changes in policy, production methods and consumption”. Achim Steiner, then Director of the Martin School, spoke in his opening address about the need for a new ‘I-narrative’, where all of us need to ask ourselves what we can do individually to combat climate change – echoing, in a...
By
Benito Müller
A workshop convened by OCP on behalf of ecbi at the subnational Climate Chance Conference in Agadir, Morocco, in September 2017 highlighted the emerging role of sub-national contributions to multilateral climate finance.
By
Benito Müller
The Paris accord isn’t only about cutting emissions, some states are already finding ways to meet climate finance commitments, with Felipe Floresca and Emilie Parry Climate Home News Blog July 2017
By
Benito Müller
In a significant breakthrough for sub-national contributions to climate finance, Senator Michael Barrett filed an Act in the Massachusetts State Senate in March 2017, to enable taxpayers in the state to donate to the Least Developed Countries Fund.
By
Benito Müller
By proposing to slash Federal funding to combat climate change , President Trump has declared war on our ability to deal with a very real, existential global problem that cannot be solved by building walls. As Washington abrogates its leadership both at home and abroad, states and cities must step up on both . Globally, the poorest and most vulnerable allies must be supported to enable them to combat climate change, while reducing poverty, and the citizens of Massachusetts have...
By
Barbara Kates-Garnick, Peter Fox-Penner, and Benito Müller
The recent elections have had a sobering effect on expectations regarding US federal actions on climate change, although true to form, President-elect Trump seems to be changing positions on the hoof as he trots along. Blog .
By
Benito Müller
At a public event in Oxford a few weeks ago, one of the main architects of the Paris Agreement indicated just how problematic ethical considerations in solving the world’s climate change crisis are for the “mainstream”. Describing the French Presidency’s strategy in the run-up to the Paris Conference last year, she listed “ the need to get out of burden sharing and carbon budgets ” as one of their main priorities. Can we really solve the climate change problem without...
By
Anju Sharma
The Paris agreement agrees the overall ambition: – limiting global warming to below 2oC and aiming for below 1.5oC, the rich countries providing at least $100 billion to help the poorer countries get onto a lower emission and climate resilient pathway. But it does not specify how much each country needs to do to achieve this ambition The ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDC) of the Paris Agreement are – as the name implies – a statement of the actions individual countries...
By
Clare Shakya and Benito Müller
Unconventional Options for Enhancing the Predictability of Multilateral Climate Finance Introduction and Background Part I of this blog [1] was about the idea of joint replenishments for all entities intended to serve the financial mechanism of the Paris Agreement. The idea was tabled by the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the final days of Paris, as a significant institutional finance outcome; however, in the end it did not make it into the Agreement. Replenishments are one, if not...
By
Benito Müller with Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu
The Paris Agreement has all the key elements of the Dynamic Contribution Cycle, but it fails as it stands to harness fully their potential to ‘ratchet up’ country contributions. However, this can easily be remedied. In August 2014, a number of senior developing country negotiators developed an idea for sequencing contributions in the Paris Agreement at the tenth anniversary ecbi Oxford Fellowships and Seminar . They published it as “ A Dynamic Contribution Cycle ” (DCC), with Xolisa Ngwadla (South...
By
Benito Müller
Contents 1 The Paris Cycle-wreck: beyond (partial) salvage? 1.1 The Paris Predictability Problem and some related strategic issues 1.2 The Paris Replenishment Cycle 1.2.1 Stage II: Establishing the Paris Replenishment Envelopes 1.2.2 Stage III: Pledging Rounds 1.3 The Paris Cycle-wreck and prospects for (partial) salvage 1.4 Notes The Paris Cycle-wreck: beyond (partial) salvage? In my last blog (‘ Finance in Paris ’) I lamented the weak finance outcome of the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris. In this two-part blog,...
By
Benito Müller
Almost a month has passed since the Paris Agreement was adopted and the time may have come – after the initial despair in some NGO press conferences and the official euphoria – to step back and reflect dispassionately, to the extent possible, on the outcome of the Paris negotiations. Reactions were polarized. This was mainly due to very different expectations about what is achievable and what should be achieved, something well captured in George Monbiot’s Guardian op-ed conclusion: ‘So yes,...
By
Benito Müller
At COP21, Quebec announced Cdn$25.5 million of climate finance for developing countries, including Cdn$6 million through the multilateral LDC Fund. Al Gore thanked the Quebec people; he said they were “becoming true heroes in the world’s effort to solve the climate crisis” and setting an example that would reverberate to regions and countries around the world. He was right. The Quebec model immediately became chic in Paris: the Brussels, Flanders and Walloon regions of Belgium, in addition to the city...
By
David Robinson
It is imperative that the recently launched GCF strategic planning process focus not only on strategic objectives and the like, but also on institutional and governance architecture , and in particular on enhancing complementarity, effectiveness, and efficiency through a division of labour between the GCF as wholesale agent, and other funding entities as specialized retailers , be it in-country (preferably) through Enhanced Direct Access, or through designated international funds, in particular those that will be serving the financial mechanism of the new Paris Agreement.
By
Benito Müller