The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.


Photo by Ollivier Girard

Balancing transparency and non-State Actors in climate negotiations

By Stephen Leonard, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News 

In the lead-up to the first formal UNFCCC Subsidiary Body meeting since the Paris Agreement (PA), there was palpable anticipation as to what the meeting would bring in terms of substance and in driving implementation.

We see this focus on implementation more and more, both in the context of the PA as well as for REDD+ and other climate actions. There also appears to be a correlation between the emphasis on implementation and the reliance on the private sector and other non-state actors (NSAs).

The incoming Moroccan COP Presidency made it clear in Bonn during the May conference that COP 22 will be seeking “more meaningful participation of non-state actors, which was endorsed by the United States. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has alsoreceived a mandate to enhance its engagement with the private sector on the subject of REDD+ through its own private sector facility.

This increasing emphasis on NSAs will provide an interesting new dynamic in the climate negotiations. At Bonn, we saw a glimpse of the things to come in the Closing Plenary of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation on the subject of conflicts of interest and access of NSAs to the process.

Ecuador sought to intervene on a decision on the subject, but a technical system failure prevented them from doing so. This bizarre incident created a rare series of interventions on the subject of the role of NSAs in the climate negotiations and drew out the importance of transparency and the need for the UNFCCC to put in place a policy concerning NSAs and conflicts of interest.

Read the full article: Forests, Trees and Agroforestry

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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