Published On: 10 May 2018

Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

Story highlights

  • The UN Climate Change annual report details 2017 achievements, goals for the year ahead and activities of the Secretariat.
  • It acknowledges links between the Paris Agreement, the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for DRR, whereby action in one area benefits the others.
  • The report also provides an overview of UN Climate Change activities in the areas of adaptation, climate financing, technology and new partnerships, among others.

30 April 2018: The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change, or UNFCCC) has launched its first-ever annual report, which details 2017 achievements, the future of the climate change process, and what UN Climate Change is doing to support, encourage and build on the global response to climate change.

Launched during the Bonn Climate Change Conference, which is meeting from 30 April to 10 May, the report recalls that the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC resulted in, inter alia: almost US$1 billion in financial commitments to address climate change; the launch of the Talanoa Dialogue, which aims to inform and inspire Parties as they increase their commitments; the first-ever Gender Action Plan; a platform for indigenous peoples and local communities aimed at the exchange of knowledge, technologies and practices; and an agreement on agriculture.

The report discusses goals for the year ahead, including: increasing the number of ratifications of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol so it can enter into force; concluding the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue in the lead up to and during COP 24 in Katowice, Poland; and adopting the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) by the end of 2018 at COP 24.

The report acknowledges links between the Paris Agreement on climate change, the SDGs and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), whereby action in one area benefits the others, and, in the words of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, pursuing the three together “increase[s] impact and efficiency” and helps transform peoples’ lives and ensure a healthy planet.

The report highlights the Law and Climate Change Toolkit, piloted in 2017 to help countries review national laws and undertake reforms to meet obligations under the Paris Agreement.

On increasing the ability of countries to report on emissions, UN Climate Change 2017 activities included: training programmes for review experts on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and on biennial reports (BRs) and national communications (NCs); a handbook for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV); and regional training sessions and expos to help national experts prepare and finance national adaptation plans (NAPs), and align them with the SDGs.

The report highlights that, in 2017, the Adaptation Committee shared good practice on accessing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and provided advice to Parties through the adaptation finance bulletin. In addition, the Secretariat launched the following: the Adaptation Knowledge Portal, which includes information and knowledge resources on enhancing climate resilience; NAP Central, a hub of information on creating and implementing NAPs; and ‘The Adaptation Exchange’ Facebook page, which disseminates knowledge, engages stakeholders and provides learning opportunities. At COP 23, the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) launched the Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer to help Parties develop and implement risk management and connect with risk transfer experts.

The report also provides an overview of climate financing, including: the GCF, with 76 projects and programmes, amounting to US$3.7 billion in direct funding and US$8.9 billion in co-financing; the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with US$4.2 billion in direct funding and US$38.2 billion through co-financing for over 1,000 mitigation projects, and over US$8 billion mobilized for adaptation; and the Adaptation Fund, which, as of March 2018, had committed US$476 million for adaptation and resilience activities in 74 countries. The Secretariat and the regional collaboration centres (RCCs) initiated the Green Investment Catalyst Roundtable to mobilize private sector finance for implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

On technology, the report notes that the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) launched three publications, and organized two major events, namely an innovation and climate change event, and a thematic dialogue on industrial energy efficiency and material substitution. The publications include: ‘South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation on Technologies for Adaptation in the Water and Agriculture Sectors’; ‘Technological Innovation for the Paris Agreement,’ which highlights ways in which innovation can accelerate NDC and NAP implementation; and ‘Industrial Energy and Material Efficiency,’ which recommends policies for scaling up use of energy-efficient technologies in the industrial sector.

On building new partnerships, the publication reports that the Secretariat used COP 23 to pilot an initiative to establish links with a range of stakeholders on innovative ways to support implementation of the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention. During Climate Week in New York in September 2017, the Marrakech Partnership launched the Climate Action Leadership Network. At COP 23, the inaugural Yearbook of Global Climate Action was launched, showcasing the results of the Marrakech Partnership.

On developing effective climate legislation, the report notes, the Secretariat, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, piloted the Law and Climate Change Toolkit to help countries review national laws and undertake reforms to meet obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Also, the report highlights an Asia-Pacific Climate Action Agenda developed under the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP) to promote enhanced pre-2020 ambition and the employment of carbon pricing instruments and policies, and improve access to finance. [UNFCCC Annual Report] [UNFCCC Press Release]

Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

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