Capacity Building and Technology Update: SB 44 Outcomes Focus on Implementation of Paris Agreement, GEF Establishes CBIT Trust Fund
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The 44th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 44) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 44) and the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1) were held in Bonn, Germany, from 16-26 May 2016.

The sessions presented the first opportunity for Parties to consider Paris mandates on capacity building and technology development and transfer, including the terms of reference (ToR) for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building, the Paris Agreement's technology framework, and the scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in the context of how it serves the Paris Agreement.

UNFCCC - GEF - UNITAR18 June 2016: The 44th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 44) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 44) and the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1) were held in Bonn, Germany, from 16-26 May 2016. The sessions presented the first opportunity for Parties to consider Paris mandates on capacity building and technology development and transfer, including the terms of reference (ToR) for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building, the Paris Agreement’s technology framework, and the scope and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism in the context of how it serves the Paris Agreement.

The Durban Forum on Capacity-building met to consider ways to enhance capacity to implement the Paris Agreement, and Parties initiated the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries. Several countries pledged funds for the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) established in Paris by the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) set up a CBIT trust fund to operationalize the Initiative.

This Update is the second in a series that address capacity building and technology-related issues within as well as outside the UNFCCC. The developments reported here contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and various biodiversity-related targets, among others.

SB 44 Outcomes Focus on Implementation of Paris Agreement, Third Review of Implementation of the Capacity-building Framework Initiated

During the Bonn Climate Change Conference, the SBSTA began to elaborate the technology framework established under Article 10(4) of the Paris Agreement, compiling Parties’ views on its possible elements, including characteristics and content (FCCC/SBSTA/2016/L.8). Regarding the content, the SBSTA explored the technology framework’s possible purpose and role, its key themes and how the COP may update it. To support its work during COP 22 to be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 7-18 November 2016, the SBSTA requested the Secretariat to prepare a mapping of climate technology development and transfer activities under and outside the Convention relevant to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The SBSTA also invited Parties to submit their views, by 15 September 2016, on the elaboration of the technology framework. [SBSTA Conclusions on Technology Framework under Article 10, Paragraph 4, of the Paris Agreement] [Decision Adopting the Paris Agreement] [IISD RS Coverage of Bonn Climate Change Conference] [IISD RS Sources]

The SBI began to elaborate the scope and modalities of the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism (FCCC/SBI/2016/L.5) to enable the COP to assess the Technology Mechanism in the context of how it serves the Paris Agreement. In undertaking this work, the SBI acknowledged that it will need to consider the upcoming independent review of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the development of the global stocktake modalities, work on transparency of action and support, and the elaboration of the technology framework. The SBI also invited Parties and observer organizations to submit views on the scope and modalities for the periodic assessment by 25 January 2017. [Scope and Modalities for the Periodic Assessment of the Technology Mechanism in Relation to Supporting the Implementation of the Paris Agreement] [Decision Adopting the Paris Agreement] [IISD RS Coverage of Bonn Climate Change Conference] [IISD RS Sources]

The SBI developed the ToR for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building established by COP 21 (FCCC/SBI/2016/L.24, FCCC/SBI/2016/L.24/Add.1) and recommended that COP 22 adopt them. The SBI invited Parties to consider their nominations to the Paris Committee on Capacity-building with a view to its work commencing at SBI 46 in May 2017. The SBI also invited Parties to submit, by 29 August 2016, views on the annual theme for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building for 2017, and on which representatives of the Convention bodies and Financial Mechanism’s operating entities should be invited to its first meeting. [ToR for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building] [ToR for the Paris Committee on Capacity-building, Draft Decision Recommended for Adoption by COP 22] [Decision Adopting the Paris Agreement] [IISD RS Coverage of Bonn Climate Change Conference]

The fifth meeting of the Durban Forum on Capacity-building, held on 20 May 2016, brought together various stakeholders, including representatives of developed and developing countries, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, local government and municipal authorities, and the youth, to exchange views and share experiences, good practices and lessons learned in the context of building capacity for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Forum comprised sessions on enhancing existing national and regional capacity for the Paris Agreement, and on the state-of-the-art of capacity building and the way forward. Break-out groups considered, among other issues: capacity building to convert intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) into action; capacity building to mobilize climate finance; and capacity building for transparency-related activities, mitigation, adaptation and technology.

The Durban Forum, established by COP 17 in 2011, provides a platform for in-depth discussions on capacity building. [Fifth Meeting of the Durban Forum on Capacity-building Webpage] [Meeting Agenda]

Following the adoption of the ToR of the third review of the implementation of the capacity-building framework at COP 21, during the Bonn Climate Change Conference, the SBI initiated, but did not complete, its consideration of the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries under the Convention, agreeing to continue its consideration of the matter at SBI 45 in November 2016 (FCCC/SBI/2016/L.21). The SBI also decided to continue its consideration, at SBI 45, of the third comprehensive review of the implementation of the capacity-building framework under the Kyoto Protocol (FCCC/SBI/2016/L.20). [Third Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Framework for Capacity-building under the Convention] [Third Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Framework for Capacity-building under the Kyoto Protocol] [Capacity-building Frameworks Webpage]

The GEF Establishes CBIT Trust Fund, Countries Pledge Funds

The implementation of the Paris Agreement was further enhanced with the establishment of, and pledges for, the CBIT Trust Fund.

During its 50th meeting, held in Washington, DC, US, from 7-9 June 2016, the GEF Council established a trust fund to support the CBIT, inviting the World Bank to act as Trustee for the CBIT Trust Fund. Several countries announced pledges for the CBIT Trust Fund. The US pledged US$15 million over the next three years, and the UK and Canada – £10 million and CAD$5 million, respectively. Others, including Italy, Germany, New Zealand and Japan, expressed their intention to pledge. Prior to the trust fund’s establishment, on 19 May 2016, the GEF held a side event on the margins of the Bonn Climate Change Conference that explored arrangements to support the establishment and operations of the CBIT by the GEF Secretariat.

COP 21 established the CBIT in order to build institutional and technical capacity, both pre- and post-2020, to support developing countries in meeting enhanced transparency requirements under the Paris Agreement. [NAMA News Press Release] [GEF Press Release] [GEF Side Event on CBIT Agenda] [SB 44 Side Events and Exhibits Webpage] [IISD RS Coverage of GEF Council’s 50th Meeting] [Decision Adopting the Paris Agreement]

Capacity-Building Efforts on Gender, Awareness Raising and Climate Change Learning Advanced

Several capacity-building events and initiatives of the past few weeks advanced efforts on climate empowerment by focusing on: gender; public participation, awareness and access; and climate change learning.

During the Bonn Climate Change Conference, the UNFCCC Secretariat convened a two-day workshop on gender-responsive climate policy, with a focus on adaptation, and capacity building and training for delegates on gender issues. Held from 18-19 May 2016, the workshop included sessions on: contextualizing the workshop as part of the Lima work programme on gender; enabling conditions for advancing gender equality in climate change policy, planning and programmes, including the examination of good practices and case studies at subnational, national, regional and international levels; and exploring targeted recommendations at various levels. [Workshop Annotated Programme] [Workshop Webpage]

The fourth Dialogue on Action for Climate Empowerment also took place on the margins of the Bonn Climate Change Conference, from 18-19 May 2016. The Dialogue aimed to provide a forum for Parties and other stakeholders to share their experiences, exchange ideas, good practices and lessons learned regarding the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention (Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE)). Among the good practices and lessons learned in fostering public involvement in climate change policy decision making and action, participants considered public participation in climate-related capacity-building actions. [Dialogue Agenda] [Dialogue Webpage]

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) conducted a national workshop in Aqaba, Jordan, from 9-11 May 2016, on the international regulations covering air pollution from ships. The event aimed to raise awareness of the regulations under Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which sets limits on sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from ship exhausts, prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS), and includes mandatory technical and operational energy efficiency measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. [IMO Press Release]

As part of its national UN Partnership for Climate Change Learning (UN CC:Learn) project, Burkina Faso validated its climate change learning strategy during a workshop held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 19 May 2016.

Through the UN CC:Learn 2014-2017 project, Burkina Faso aims to strengthen individual skills and institutional capacities to foster green and climate-resilient development. [UNITAR Press Release] [UN CC:Learn in Burkina Faso Webpage]

New Technologies Build Capacity for DRR, NAP Preparation

A number of initiatives and training events that took place over the past few weeks developed capacity for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and for the preparation of national adaptation plans (NAPs).

The Operational Satellite Applications Programme of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR-UNOSAT), in collaboration with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), held a training course on advanced operational application of geospatial information technology (GIT) for DRR in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 29 May to 2 June 2016. The course aimed to provide disaster risk management (DRM) professionals with advanced geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) methodologies related to DRR. [UNITAR Course Catalogue Entry] [UNITAR Press Release]

UNITAR, with support from the National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP), organized a training workshop on the NAP process held in Conakry, Guinea, from 3-6 May 2016. The training aimed to: improve the understanding of the NAP process in line with the Technical Guidelines for the NAP Process by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Expert Group (LEG); strengthen the capacity of technical staff on climate information, cost-benefit analysis and climate change integration; make a preliminary inventory of the institutional framework and relevant initiatives that contribute to the NAP development; identify capacity-building gaps and needs; and develop a draft roadmap for the NAP development process in Guinea.

The workshop followed the official launch of the NAP process in Guinea. [UNITAR Course Catalogue Entry] [UNITAR Press Release] [NAP-GSP Webpage] [LEG’s Technical Guidelines for the NAP Process]

As part of a World Bank-funded project ‘Open-source mobile weather stations: reducing flood damage and increasing the preparedness of communities in Sri Lanka,’ the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) launched an inexpensive, portable weather station that can automatically measure and transmit rainfall, temperature and wind speed. According to David Wiberg, IWMI, because of their low cost, simplicity and flexibility, such weather stations can enhance management agencies’ capacity to quickly develop or expand their monitoring networks. “This will enhance resource security and productivity, contribute to development goals, and improve resilience to climate change and extreme events,” he said.

The research behind the weather station project is supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Water Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). [IWMI Press Release] [IWMI Website]

UNFCCC Fosters Linkages among Technology and Finance, Supports TAPs Implementation

During the Bonn Climate Change Conference, on 21 May 2016, the Technology Executive Committee (TEC), the CTCN, the GEF and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) held an in-session workshop on linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention. Participants discussed how such linkages may support developing countries to enhance the implementation of climate technology projects and programmes. [Workshop Webpage] [Workshop Agenda] [CTCN Press Release] [IISD RS Sources]

On 18 May 2016, the UNFCCC Secretariat organized a side event on supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement via Technology Action Plans (TAPs) prepared for implementation by developing countries as part of their work on Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs). During the side event, the TEC presented its updated TAP guidance. [TEC Updated Guidance on TAPs] [SB 44 Side Events and Exhibits Webpage]

Technology Transfer Efforts Underway; Countries Request Technical Assistance for Adaptation; Technology Hub to Commercialize Innovative Solutions to Climate Change

The recent weeks saw a number of technology transfer developments that included: the fourth meeting of the CTCN Consortium partners; a CTCN side event at the Bonn Climate Change Conference that focused on technology transfer; reports of Chile, Colombia and Côte D’Ivoire becoming the first three countries to complete technology transfer projects; new technical assistance requests placing focus on adaptation, among others; and news of a technology hub that will help commercialize innovative solutions to climate change.

The fourth meeting of the CTCN Consortium partners took place from 2-4 May 2016, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Consortium discussed its strategy for the CTCN on how to: best collectively implement the Paris Agreement; refine CTCN technical assistance delivery through an open analysis of CTCN policies and recent experiences among Consortium partners; and strengthen the Consortium’s approach to outreach. [CTCN Press Release]

During the Bonn Climate Change Conference, on 19 May 2016, the CTCN held a side event titled ‘CTCN: Technology Transfer Insights,’ where it introduced new initiatives and updated participants on current technology transfer efforts, drawing on examples from a variety of countries. Presentations addressed, inter alia: taking forward the Paris outcomes under the TEC’s 2016-2018 rolling workplan; technology’s role in implementing the Paris Agreement; and delivering CTCN technical assistance. [CTCN Side Event Agenda] [UNFCCC Side Events and Exhibits Webpage] [TEC Rolling workplan for 2016-2018] [CTCN Press Release, 20 May 2016] [CTCN Press Release, 18 May 2016]

Chile, Colombia and Côte D’Ivoire became the first countries to complete CTCN technology transfer projects. In Colombia, the CTCN identified a set of criteria to prioritize economic sectors with the highest potential to improve effective energy use and made a set of recommendations, which are now being incorporated in a new national policy framework to become law.

Chile requested technical assistance to design a national system for monitoring climate change impacts on biological diversity and associated ecosystem services. The system established as a result includes: standards and protocols for monitoring biological and environmental variables; climate scenarios; networks and policies for information exchange and data management; and institutional and operational architecture. The monitoring system is now an integral component of Chile’s NAP.

In Côte D’Ivoire, the CTCN helped design and establish an environmental information system with a focus on climate change. The system will monitor and evaluate national promotion policies for energy efficiency and renewable energy in the industrial and transport sectors. [CTCN Press Release on Chile, Colombia and Côte D’Ivoire] [CTCN Press Release on Côte D’Ivoire]

Climate change adaptation was the main focus of three recent requests for technical assistance submitted to the CTCN by Uganda and Nepal.

Uganda’s request for technical assistance of 31 May 2016 concerned climate-resilient decision-making methods for Lake Victoria. On 9 May 2016, Nepal requested technical support to formulate a national agroforestry policy. [CTCN List of Technical Assistance Requests] [Uganda’s Request for Technical Assistance] [Nepal’s Request for Technical Assistance]

Chile’s request for technical assistance, of 30 May 2016, addressed both adaptation and mitigation, as the country sought assistance for incubating climate technologies in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). [Chile’s Request for Technical Assistance]

The World Bank, with the Governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, and local partners, inaugurated the Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC) – a technology hub designed to help over 100 local clean technology businesses develop and commercialize innovative solutions to climate change.

The GCIC is part of the World Bank’s Climate Technology Program and its global network of Climate Innovation Centers. Other centers have been established in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Viet Nam. [World Bank Press Release] [GCIC Website]


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