UNFCCC | 23 November to 4 December 2020 – Climate Dialogues: Virtual Climate Action Continues

A series of virtual climate change events – the Climate Dialogues– will take place from 23 November to 4 December 2020. The Climate Dialogues will provide Parties to the UNFCCC and other stakeholders the opportunity to continue exchanging views and sharing information to advance work and maintain momentum in the intergovernmental climate change process. The Dialogues are also a key platform for participants to showcase how climate action is progressing under the challenging circumstances caused by COVID-19.

The Climate Dialogues follow on from the successful series of virtual events organized under the June Momentum for Climate Change held earlier this year.

The dialogues are being launched by the Chairs of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body of Implementation (SBI), in collaboration with the COP 25 Presidency and incoming COP 26 Presidency and with the support of the UNFCCC secretariat. The organization of the dialogues is a clear response to the strong call and commitment from governments and other stakeholders around the world, that while Covid-19 rightfully takes most of the attention now, work on climate change remains urgent and the greatest long-term challenge.

Despite the postponement of COP 26 and its related subsidiary body sessions to 2021 due to the current pandemic, work in 2020 remains critical for making progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and the June Momentum events showed how this can be done.

The Climate Dialogues will showcase progress made in 2020, including technical work under the UNFCCC constituted bodies. They will also provide a platform to enable progress in implementation of other activities under the Convention mandated for 2020, including on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the effects of climate change, science, finance, technology, capacity-building, transparency, gender, Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), and the preparation and submission of updated national climate action plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that are due to be submitted by the end of this year.

The dialogues will also identify any further action that the SB Chairs could take to help Parties prepare to engage effectively in the work of the subsidiary bodies at the sessions in 2021, thereby paving the way for a successful COP 26 in Glasgow.

The June Momentum had hinted at the potential in this regard. At its closing event on 12 June 2020, the SBSTA Chair, Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, Democratic Republic of Congo, reassured the global climate community that, “while the future months are still full of uncertainty, our responsibilities in the new reality have not gone away”. As the SBI Chair, Marianne Karslen, Norway, outlined at the same event, the climate crisis is not confined, adding “it’s time we not only speak through our agreements, but through our action and implementation”.

The Climate Dialogues form part of the continuum of high-profile events convened under the UNFCCC in the second half of this year, starting with the Race to Zero convened by the Climate Champions focusing on action. The dialogues will then focus on guidance, support and engagement under the intergovernmental process. These events will culminate with the celebration of the Paris Agreement on 12 December that will highlight ambition.

The format of events will range from mandated events for 2020, to meetings of and/or events by the constituted bodies, informal consultations by the Presiding Officers with Parties, as well as a series of technical workshops and/or information events on matters related to the work of the governing and subsidiary bodies.

The list of events for the Climate Dialogues with their format and tentative dates can be found here. Further details on each event will be provided in due course.

Formal negotiations and decision-making are not envisaged for these events to be convened under the Climate Dialogues.

Source: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 27.10.2020