Transitions at CMA1: the Winds of Change

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 12.22.37 AMTransition is in the air at the international climate negotiations in Marrakech. With the Paris Agreement going into force sooner than expected, Parties to the Agreement are having to quickly transition from last year’s commitments to this year’s implementation strategies. And with the Paris Agreement’s CMA 1 opening today, the Parties need to get to work. Appropriately, the theme of this year’s COP is the COP of Action, and Parties are taking action with regard to their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).    IMG_2121 As Parties are looking for means to act on these NDCs, public-private partnerships are developing to provide the help needed. One such partnership was launched today as part of a COP 22 side event. The NDC Partnership  is a coalition comprised of 25 developing countries,12 developed countries, and 10 international institutions providing Parties with technical and financial support to assist in reaching their Paris Agreement commitments.

The reality of implementing NDCs can be difficult in terms of finance, technology, politics, and the public narrative. As Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute said, “If implementing the NDC is not difficult, then the NDC is not ambitious enough.” But the question is how can Parties best catalyze their NDC implementation? The answer may lie with public-private paScreen Shot 2016-11-16 at 12.17.35 AMrtnerships, facilitated by groups such as the NDC Partnership. These partnerships can connect the Parties with financing to support various NDC programs, expertise, and  technical assistance. For example, the NDC Partnership provides the NDC Funding & Initiatives Navigator. Developed with the UNFCCC, the Moroccan government and the German agency GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), this web-based platform has benefits for both the Parties and the donors. The platform provides a means for Parties to implement their NDC by matching their needs with specific funds. In addition, donors can tailor their programs more effectively to meet the needs of the Parties. The NDC Funding & Initiatives Navigator lists more than 300 funds and support initiatives for implementing NDCs. The Navigator is just one of the many tools available to Parties for NDC implementation.  In addition, the NDC partnership can provide expertise and technical assistance to Parties for developing sustainable cities, encouraging clean agriculture, educating about sustainable consumption, and providing clean energy such as solar and wind power. Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, suggests that key features to NDC implementation are effective spending and involving both the public and private financial sector.

At the opening CMA 1 ceremony today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon emphasized the “power of partnerships.” The NDC Partnership may be just the type of cooperative action needed to keep the NDCs on track and the Paris Agreement moving forward. Cooperation and unity is imperative to keeping the Paris Agreement commitments, with the bigger picture in mind. As President François Hollande said at today’s CMA 1, “What unites us is what we all have in common and that is our planet.”