ecbi's Publications and Policy Analysis Unit (PPAU) generates information and advice for developing country negotiators that is relevant to the climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Developing countries often lack the economic and institutional capacity for policy analysis. If negotiators are unable to engage proactively by submitting proposals, responding to proposals from other States, and assessing the impact of global climate policy decisions on their individual States, progress in the negotiations can be hampered by the lack of alternatives and uncertainity. The differences in analytic capacity between developing countries and the industrialised world are often profound – developing countries lack support from organisations like the OECD, for instance, which has an immense apparatus producing thorough and focused reports, including direct advice on future policy responses to each of member country.
ecbi publications aim to be relevant to ongoing negotiations under the UNFCCC, timely, and trustworthy. PPAU works with negotiators from developing countries, sometimes through Editorial Committees, to identify UNFCCC issues where further analysis and policy advice is needed. Global experts are then teamed up with negotiators from devleoping countries to produce Policy Briefs and Discussion Notes. This partnership between experts and negotiators helps to ensure that the process of producing a Brief addresses the specific concerns of developing country negotiators; builds the capacity of developing country co-authors in policy analysis; and also builds ownership of the analysis.
For new negotiators, and for use in ecbi Regional and Pre-COP Training Workshops, PPAU produces Background Papers and a series of Pocket Guides. These generally provide a more basic analysis of issues for newcomers to the process, along with the background and history of the issue in the negotiations.
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This Discussion Note, titled Sustainable Aviation Fuels - The Way Forward: From Biological to Synthetic Fuels, focuses on the key role Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) play in meeting the aviation industry’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.
On 11 June, ecbi convened its annual Bonn Seminar, bringing together approximately 40 participants from European and developing countries, of which around 40% were women and 45% were from developing countries. The seminar included presentations on: Article 2.1.c., on making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development; the Global Stocktake; and
the pre-2030 Mitigation Ambition Work Programme.
This report focuses on discussions and decisions related to ambition, finance, loss and damage, and the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA). It explains that, while COP27 failed to move the needle closer to the temperature goal of 1.5°C, it did result in an historic (and unexpected) decision to establish a fund and funding arrangements to respond to loss and damage for those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Other significant outcomes the report addresses include agreement on institutional arrangements to operationalise the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage. A decision was also taken to establish a work programme on a just transition and, for the first time, a call was made to reform the multilateral development banks and international financial institutions, so they are aligned with the Paris Agreement and Article 2.1 (c) on making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low emissions and climate-resilient development. Some progress was also made on the mitigation work programme, as well as on the two-year Glasgow-Sharm El-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation, which is expected to conclude at COP28/CMA5 in Dubai. The report also looks at what needs to happen in 2023 to ensure COP28 further advances on these issues. The report was authored by experts with many years of experience in the UNFCCC negotiations, and features quotes and insights from ecbi’s network of negotiators and delegates who attended COP27.
Returning following a hiatus due to the pandemic, ecbi convened its annual Bonn and Oxford Seminars, and Fellow Colloquium. ecbi also published many Policy Briefs, Discussion Notes and blog posts during the period covered by the report. The Government of Denmark agreed to provide funding for Phase V for 2022-2025.
A new Pocket Guide from ecbi sheds light on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. A key part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Article 6 sets out the basis for international cooperation on climate action, including both market and non-market mechanisms. Most of the details on how Article 6 will work were finalised in 2021 at COP 26 in Glasgow, meaning it is now ready to become operational. But how, exactly, will these different mechanisms really work in practice? What specific activities will be allowed under each of them? How will each be regulated? And where can one find further information? Ecbi’s latest Pocket Guide provides a one-stop shop for those seeking to understand this key part of the Paris Agreement, including the latest rules and decisions adopted by Parties to operationalize the mechanisms up to and including the meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies in June 2022.
The Paris Agreement made significant strides towards the prioritisation of adaptation in the global climate regime. The Paris Agreement codified a Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), including provisions related to communication, reporting, and assessment of progress on adaptation. This goal is being further defined and operationalized in the two-year Glasgow – Sharm el Sheikh work programme, which concludes its work at the end of 2023.
Whilst there are provisions and precedent under the UNFCCC to guide the operationalisation of the GGA, it is important that conceptual convergence is achieved to inform how the work programme unfolds for meaningful outcomes. This is particularly important noting the first global stocktake, which is meant to assess progress towards the GGA, is being undertaken simultaneously.
This OCP/ecbi Discussion Note provides a conceptual analysis, building from existing decisions and agreements, and puts forward two propositions:
- The GGA can be elaborated using risk-based metrics, where the global effort on adaptation is towards reducing risk associated with a changing climate to within ‘acceptable’ levels.
- It further recognises that there are needs and activities associated with the risk reduction effort, particularly planning, implementation of actions, and finance, that are indispensable to achieving the ‘acceptable’ level of risk.
The risk-based metrics can lead to a setting of an overarching goal— Reducing climate impact risk to within levels consistent of a 1.5°C rise in temperature, starting in 2030—, from which Sub Goals can be set for the various adaptation sectors and climate hazards. Similarly, Adaptation Element Targets can be set in respect of needs and activities building on agreed elements of adaptation in Decision 9/CMA.1. The global stocktake can, therefore, assess progress made towards the GGA based on these Goals and Targets.
The 2022 Oxford Seminar took place from 5-7 September 2022, at New College, University of Oxford. It was preceded by the ecbi Fellowship Colloquium, attended by senior negotiators from developing countries, from 3-5 September at Magdalen College. Participants discussed key issues in advance of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November. Sessions addressed: arrangements for intergovernmental meetings; gender; the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation; the pre-2030 mitigation work programme; the Global Stocktake Technical Dialogue; the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage; funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage; aligning financial flows with the Paris Agreement goals; the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance; and adaptation finance.
Social responsibility is one of the key motivators of voluntary corporate action. It is therefore valuable to harness carbon markets to promote multiple co-benefits in addition to mitigation, including adaptation co-benefits, particularly if they promote global equity by generating resources to support those who suffer most from adverse impacts of climate change while having contributed least to causing it - for example through a Share of Proceeds for Adaptation (SOPA).
The Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) thus has the unique opportunity to explore the value proposition that a SOPA can provide stakeholders. Given the political buy-in that SOPA can bring about, as observed during the CDM development, and the policy need to align with the provisions of the Paris Agreement, this OCP/ecbi Discussion Note recommends that ongoing efforts to improve the governance of the VCM should strive to:
- encourage standard setters to promote a SOPA;
- incorporate regulatory provisions for a SOPA into VCM as a key component of good governance and a high-level principle for the market, to ensure environmental and social non-carbon positive impacts; and
- enhance coordination of supply and demand oversight efforts, to foster synergies towards effective SOPA implementation and delivery.
A webinar launch of ecbi's latest policy brief, COP26 Key Outcomes, took place on 3 March 2022, attended by more than 70 people from around the world. The policy brief evaluates the major outcomes of UNFCCC COP26 and looks to the year ahead and, during webinar discussions, speakers urged more action in areas like financing, loss and damage, and adaptation. The summary report of the key discussions can be found here.