The 2019 Oxford Seminar took place from 11-13 September 2019, in the Oxford Town Hall. It was preceded by the ecbi Fellowship Colloquium, attended by 23 senior negotiators from developing countries (two participated virtually), from 9-11 September. They were joined by 20 senior negotiators from Europe for the Seminar. Opening the Seminar, the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Craig Simmons, described efforts to address climate change, including through declaring a climate change emergency in the city.
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.
A brief introduction to climate finance
Conventional “CO2-equivalent” emissions calculated using 100-year “Global Warming Potentials” do not consistently reflect the impact of emissions on global temperature: they overstate the impact of constant emissions of any short-lived climate pollutant such as methane by a factor of about four, while understating the large impact of changes in methane emission rates. Myles Allen and Michelle Cain from the University of Oxford explain how CO2-e emissions can nevertheless be used to calculate “warming-equivalent” emissions to inform burden-sharing discussions, mitigation policies in crucial sectors such as agriculture, and stocktakes of progress towards a global temperature goal.
This flyer highlights the importance of bringing together all countries on the same page with a common NDC time frame, to enhance ambition and at the same time enable more equitable global outcomes.
The 2019 ecbi Regional Training Workshop for Asia and the Pacfic was held on 31 July and 1 August in Kathmandu, Nepal. The workshop, attended by 31 participants from the region, was organised in collaboration with Prakriti Resources Centre and hosted by the Ministry of Forests and Enviornment, Nepal.
The 2019 ecbi Bonn Seminar was hosted by the City of Bonn in the Altes Rathaus on 23 June. It was attended by 40 climate negotiators from 30 developing and European countries. A welcoming address was delivered by Stefan Wagner, Head of the Department of International Affairs and Global Sustainability, City of Bonn. Discussions followed on common time frames; the collective quantified goal for climate finance and innovative sources; financing the transition to net-zero; and the Article 6 negotiations.
Updated after Katowice, the 2019 version of this Pocket Guide takes into account the Paris rulebook agreed in 2018, to provide a succinct description and analysis of the new "enhanced transparecy framework" under the UNFCCC. The Pocket Guide aims to be useful for UNFCCC negotiators, and for national government representatives who have to translate and implement the transparency arrangements on the ground.
The ecbi Regional Training Workshop for Anglophone Africa, on 2 & 3 May 2019 at the Harmony Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was organised in partnership with regional partner ENDA Energie. It was attended by 29 participants from the region, nominated by UNFCCC National Focal Points.
The 2019 ecbi Regional Training and Support Workshop for Francophone Africa took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 29 April to 1 May. The workshop was attended by 32 participants from the region. This report highlights the key areas of discussion, which, in addition to an introduction to the history of the global climate negotiations, included thematic sessions on adaptation, Article 6, transparency, the global stocktake, and climate diplomacy in the year ahead. Mock negotiations and a session on formulating a group position gave participants a taste of the real negotiations.
A key strength of the ecbi has been the identification of potential roadblocks in the global climate negotiations, and efforts (often successful) to engage negotiators from across the spectrum to identify innovative ways to break the impasse. In 2018-2019, as the global negotiations on the Paris rulebook approached the endgame, we identified two such critical areas: common timeframes and Article 6 market mechanisms. These two issues, along with the continuing concerns regarding the adequacy and predictability of climate finance, formed the focus of our work during this year.