Article / 22 Nov, 2017
UN Regional Collaboration Centres to Drive Climate Action

Driving investment and tracking progress in climate action will be a major focus of work in the five UN Climate Change Regional Collaboration Centres (RCCs) in 2018, attendees at the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn heard last week.

Among the work, the Collaborative Instruments for Ambitious Climate Action (CI-ACA) project, operated out of the RCCs, will support market instruments capable of driving action at the national level while laying the foundation for possible international cooperative climate action, explained Nicolas Muller, Associate Programme Officer at UN Climate Change.

UN Climate Change established five RCCs with prominent partners to promote the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) on the ground in Lomé, Togo, for West Africa; Kampala, Uganda, for East Africa; Bangkok, Thailand, for Asia and the Pacific; Panama City, Panama, for Latin America; and St. George’s, Grenada, serving the Caribbean. With the CDM, at their core, the RCCs now support a broad range to global climate action for implementing the Paris Agreement.

The Canadian province of Quebec announced at COP23 that it would give USD 25,000 to help fund the CI-ACA project. "It's important for the entire world that we put a price on carbon," said Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change, Government of Quebec. The provinces of Quebec and Ontario have linked their carbon markets with that of the State of California. Along with the financial contribution, Ms Melançon offered technical support and to share Quebec's experience in pricing carbon.

At the COP23 event, held on 13 November, Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan, and Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, of UN Climate Change, signed a two-year extension, to 2020, of the RCC Bangkok partnership and hosting agreement.

"RCC Bangkok will continue to support [. . .] robust implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Nationally Determined Contributions through regional research and activities on market mechanisms, climate finance, and enhanced capacity in tracking progress of NDCs."
Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, IGES, Japan.

"If we’re to make the needed changes, we must have unprecedented cooperation, coordination and confidence. And the RCCs are an integral part of that."
Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change. 

RCC Lomé will work with the West African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance to support climate negotiators gain knowledge and develop capacity. The work will focus on the younger generations attending the annual Conferences of the Parties (COPs), explained Ousmane Fall Sarr, Director, Senegalese Rural Electrification Agency.

Also in West Africa, partners are setting up The Climate Finance Platform to catalyze investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Platform, a collaboration between the RCCs and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will promote emission-reduction measures across economic sectors, and will be replicated in other regions, explained Adeola Adebiyi, Program Officer, ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

RCC St. George’s will work with partners to launch the first Cooperative MRV Hub designed to enable countries to cooperate on technical challenges underlying climate change mitigation, specifically the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the reduction of those emissions.

Pooling MRV capabilities is seen as one attractive option for addressing MRV-related challenges more efficiently. The hubs will empower regional groups of countries to efficiently develop GHG inventories, mitigation assessments and track their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Climate Change Agreement, said Patrick CAGE, Program Officer, GHG Management Institute, at the COP23 event.

The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by nations at COP21 in 2015 and came into force less than 12 months later, aims to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees C and better, no higher than 1.5 degrees C.

About the Clean Development Mechanism

Under the CDM, emission-reduction projects in developing countries can earn certified emission reduction credits. These saleable credits can be used by industrialized countries to meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. The incentive provided by the CDM has led to the registration of more than 8,000 programmes and projects in 111 development countries. Read more.

More information about the RCCs can be found here

Photo:

Seated from left, Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change; Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan; Isabelle Melancon, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change, Government of Quebec; and James Grabert, Director Sustainable Development Mechanisms Programme, UN Climate Change. Standing from left, Luca Brusa, Team Leader, Stakeholder and Regional Support Team, UN Climate Change and Kentaro Tamura, Research Leader, Climate and Energy Area, IGES.