Wednesday, January 31, 2018

UN Makes Open Call for Ideas on Fighting Climate Change

A new portal poses three pressing climate questions, with governments to take part in open talks with those who present answers in May.

 The conference center in Bonn where climate talks will take place in May (Photo Credit: UN Climate Change) Click to Enlarge.
Researchers, campaigners, business leaders, and members of the public have an unprecedented chance to influence UN climate talks in 2018.

In a radical opening up of the process, groups and individuals will present their ideas on climate action directly to government representatives during a meeting in Bonn this May.

The plans are led by Fiji, which holds the rotating presidency of the talks. They draw on Pacific “talanoa” storytelling traditions in a bid to make the process more inclusive.

In an exclusive interview, Fiji’s chief climate diplomat Nazhat Shameem Khan told Climate Home News that one of the major criticisms of the UN process was the lack of connection between those taking action and the UN diplomats.

“Dialogue is the way to start to bridge that gap, both philosophically and substantively,” said Shameem Khan.

In recent years, civil society and businesses have been increasingly encouraged to convene side events at UN climate talks and build coalitions for action.  However, this has largely happened in isolation to intergovernmental negotiations on the legal agreements.

Fiji’s concept for the May meeting is unusual in the extent to which it brings the two worlds together.  There are to be three working groups to address the questions:
  1. Where are we?
  2. Where do we want to go?
  3. How do we get there?
Anyone with answers, whether they represent a government or only themselves, has been invited to submit materials through a portal launched on Friday.  This will stay open all year, as part of the “Talanoa dialogue” culminating in a political moment in Katowice, Poland, in December.

“As long as its relevant to the three questions and as long as the discussions are constructive, they are going to be uploaded,” said Shameem Khan.  “The fact that there is this important input from non-state actors, that is very good not just for increasing levels of passion and dedication, but also I think for focus in the discussion.”

Read more at UN Makes Open Call for Ideas on Fighting Climate Change

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