Workshop: How can we raise climate ambition post Durban?

By John Parnell

UNFCCC in Durban, COP17

The UNFCCC requested submissions from NGOs as part of the Durban Platform. (Source: Flickr/UNFCCC)

RTCC held a workshop today to examine how best to raise ambition at the UN climate change negotiations.

Representatives of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), PwC, former FCO climate negotiators and selected journalists met at the Camco headquarters to discuss  three questions around the theme of ambition.

Article 8 of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action calls for nations and official observers to provide suggestions on how to raise the level of ambition at future talks.

As an NGO, RTCC will submit a proposal to the UNFCCC before the deadline at the end of February. A draft summary of the day’s discussions can be found below.

How can we mobilise capital from the public/private sector?

-Capital is linked directly to investor confidence and perceived risk. Stability and clarity of policy can provide this

-The framework for this investment requires standardised emissions reporting and monitoring in order to support stable policies

-The Green Climate Fund could be used to reduce risk for private investors

-It’s not the private sector’s role to save the world, it’s job is to make money so opportunities must be clearly presented

How can we recognise reward and promote efforts at national level?

-The market will present the most tangible rewards

-Compelling domestic case studies strengthen your negotiating position and encourage others to pursue the same benefits

-Financial rewards or incentives could create a new layer of antagonism

-Achievements need to be put in context, principle of common but differentiated responsibilities applies to achievements

-Danger that a PR war could develop and skew debate in line with resources of each nation

-Is the UNFCCC the best forum for this promotion/what alternative is there?

Is it time to raise our adaptation ambitions and if so, how?

-The urgent need for adaptation is growing, even in countries with low climate vulnerability such as the UK

-Building climate resilience into all aspect of policy from planning to procurement is best route to adaptation

-Flood protection is the best example of adaptation and presents a clear example of Lord Stern’s suggestion that we spend now to save later, it is but one example and broaden the scope and realise that it is a much larger issue

-Investment opportunities are less tangible than with mitigation but they do exist and should be highlighted, can it be linked to other existing forms of development aid

-There is a huge role for the insurance industry to play, engagement with them should be increased

-Adaptation is also about behavioural change, which can be instilled through schools

A final submission will be handed to the UNFCCC in the coming weeks and made available through RTCC and the Secretariat’s own website. If you have any ideas how the level of ambition could be raised, share them at

Special thanks to Camco for hosting the RTCC workshop and to all those who contributed to the session.

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