Action Agenda to Accelerate the Low-Carbon TransitionSamantha Harris
Twelve months ago the global community agreed on a pathway to a low-carbon economy through the Paris Agreement, which sets out ambitious policies to be implemented from 2020 onwards.
Now the transition to a low-carbon economy needs to begin immediately and this requires short-term government policy changes and actions by ‘non state actors’, including cities, regions, organizations and the private sector.
The Global Climate Action Agenda (Action Agenda) aims to accelerate climate action in the short term, pre-2020, while providing an important space for non-state actors to formally engage in the climate negotiations. This includes both showcasing new and innovative climate action, but more importantly through technical processes that aim to break down barriers to accelerating climate action on both mitigation and adaptation.
The We Mean Business coalition (WMB) has developed a large presence in the Action Agenda, both at COP22 and over the last few years, through its network of partners and member companies. It has achieved this by highlighting innovative climate solutions and bringing businesses to the table for dialogue with governments.
Currently, through the WMB Action Framework, more than 1,000 climate commitments have been made by businesses and investors, some of which have been announced through the Action Agenda.
WMB has also been heavily involved in the Technical Examination Processes (TEPs) and their associated Technical Expert Meetings (TEMs) over the last few years, including presentations and discussions around the coalition’s initiative RE100. WMB has also sought to help navigate the potential policy, financial and implementation barriers that companies face in achieving the initiative’s goal of procuring 100% renewable energy for their operations.
With the appointment of the High-Level Champions, we look forward to the next iteration of TEMs to generate more tangible outcomes and solutions.
We support TEMs that create conversations where governments and non-state actors can have a structured dialogue to discuss how to break down the barriers and accelerate near-term climate action. The TEMs should also include:
- Discussing specific issues in depth with the right individuals to inform the conversation around the table.
- Exploring additional venues outside of the UNFCCC where governments and non-state actors do business, such as different UN regions, piggybacking on existing forums such as the Clean Energy Ministerial.
- Clear political direction from the High-Level Champions; and appointment of permanent facilitators to provide continuity from meeting to meeting and between processes.
The private sector is ready to be a partner in ambition with governments and other stakeholders across the globe. We need to move to the speedy implementation of the Agreement and this can be ensured by increased near-term action through the Action Agenda.