UN Climate Change News, 24 June 2022 – As societies step up efforts to recover from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an opportunity to adopt solutions for economic recovery efforts which respond to the climate emergency and facilitate a transition to a greener, more equitable and sustainable world.
National climate action plans (NDCs) and national development plans are essential tools to promote and support such a sustainable and resilient recovery. But achieving this objective requires enhancing capacity building in many countries.
Recognizing the potential of this sensitive yet important context, the 56th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) hosted the 11th Durban Forum on Capacity-building during the 2022 Bonn Climate Change Conference. The event is an opportunity for governments, representatives of the constituted bodies under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, and relevant experts and practitioners to share experiences, ideas and best practices related to implementing capacity-building activities in the context of specific thematic areas.
Discussions during the 11th Durban Forum focused on identifying key capacity needs and gaps in integrating sustainable recovery elements into coherent NDC implementation and planning. These include limited articulation and communication strategies at the country level, the lack of analysis of labour market trends, and deficiencies in national regulatory frameworks related to financial and legal systems.
A common theme during the discussions was that many developing countries do not yet have the necessary capacity to access funding comprehensively. Report generation and data availability remain a challenge for countries with limited institutional capacity and awareness of climate change.
Many financial systems need to be adjusted from within to include policies, frameworks and standards that will incentivize investors to incorporate new climate criteria and labels to efficiently measure how much public and private investment is going into climate activities.
The representative of the Ministry of Environment of Panama shared her country’s experience in dealing with the financing issue. Panama needed an enabling legal framework, so they legislated climate change and included NDCs in the legal system to strengthen commitment and climate action for future governments as well.
Panellists at the Forum also talked about the Economic Advisory Initiative launched by the (link is external)
NDC Partnership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides support for sustainable recovery plans through the appointment of economic advisors in various ministries such as finance and planning. To date, 45 advisors have been appointed in 30 different countries.
In addition, panellists emphasized that special attention must be paid to how the green transformation of the labour market can disproportionately benefit more male than female workers during recovery phases, thereby widening the gender gap. The representative from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) mentioned that compensation and retraining measures for coal miners affected by decarbonization efforts, for example, do not take into account workers in upstream chains, who are mainly women.
Participants also highlighted the need to engage youth, universities and other local groups and leaders to ensure that capacity is developed at the local level and that learning and sharing of experiences is encouraged to build ownership.
Overall, more than 60 people participated in the discussions in person, and the outcomes of the 11th Durban Forum are expected to feed directly into the work of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) in accordance with its work plan for 2021-2024.