This week and next Bonn hosts the Climate Change Conference that serves as a mid-point in the COP calendar. The 58th meeting of the subsidiary bodies: the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) is a packed two-week agenda including mandated events (those prescribed by previous meetings), negotiations, and side events on topics such as the global stocktake, the global goal on adaptation, loss and damage and mitigation.
Many of the outcomes will be draft decisions put forward for adoption at COP28 in the UAE later this year, making this an under-reported but significant event. IEMA’s Head of Policy, Ben Goodwin, and I are travelling to Bonn (by train of course!) to discuss our campaign for better recognition of skills within the COP cover text.
The agenda of events quite rightly covers the multiple facets of capacity building. For example, the Nairobi work plan – the UNFCCC knowledge-to-action hub on adaptation and resilience is focused on closing knowledge gaps and is an early event item on the discussion agenda. Meanwhile, the Paris committee on capacity-building (PCCB) will have its terms of reference refined as the body that addresses current and emerging gaps in implementing and enhancing capacity-building in developing countries. The Durban forum on capacity-building is focused on gaps and needs for formulating and implementing national adaptation plans.
Alongside capacity building is the recognition that better and safer jobs can be created in developing countries, so that climate change mitigation and adaption provides socio-economic benefits to their citizens. With good cooperation between Parties and of course with the right levels of funding and support, the capacity building that is so desperately needed will be enabled for and with developing countries.
However, the current calls for skills development are overwhelmingly focused on developing countries, while the discussions and meetings calendar are silent on the actions that developed countries need to take. Developing countries, in need of economic development to lift the quality of life outcomes for their societies, can be fast-adapting, seizing their indigenous knowledge before it dies out, and can nimbly steer their economies towards the best course for their national needs.
Meanwhile, developed countries have economies and societies that are like the proverbial shipping tanker, heading solidly in one direction and very hard to change course. Having a workforce that has not just the skills and capacities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, but also the powers of persuasion to convince the captains of these tankers are just as necessary in wealthier countries as they are in those who have not yet caught up. Ultimately it is the giant tankers who need to do as much or more of the work to change the direction that has been so destructive to our global climate. Earlier this year, our CEO Sarah Mukherjee MBE set out our campaign for the COP28 cover text to include a commitment to skills and training.
This is the point that we will be seeking to get across during our trip to Bonn - watch this space for further updates.
Posted on 6th June 2023
Written by Chloë Fiddy
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