The Commonwealth’s leading expert on climate finance Dr. Oldman Oduetse Koboto has urged small and most vulnerable countries to take centre stage at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28).
Dr Koboto who leads the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH), based in Mauritius supports Commonwealth countries – particularly small and other vulnerable states – in unlocking international climate finance to enable climate action says the climate negotiations must allow for the most vulnerable countries to have a greater say in any climate solutions or interventions that will be agreed upon in Dubai.
As the most vulnerable groups, they must play a critical role in defining and informing proposed climate solutions and narratives,
“Climate change negotiations are a party-driven process. It is therefore important that the small and vulnerable countries understand that they have equal rights to contribute and direct the process using the established tools and frameworks for negotiations. As the most vulnerable groups, they must play a critical role in defining and informing proposed climate solutions and narratives, so that interventions are relevant and targeted to their needs.” Dr Koboto said
He further calls for clear guidance on the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund including design parameters on eligibility, inclusivity, and scale.
“This fund is of paramount importance as it aims to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change.” said Dr Koboto
COP28 will also deliver the Global Stocktake report – the first five-year evaluation of the world’s progress on the Paris Agreement.
“We expect clear guidance on next steps, so that we can make the necessary adjustments to strategic approaches to supporting climate action and solutions.”
CCFAH, which commenced operations in 2016, plays a pivotal role in supporting small states and vulnerable nations within the Commonwealth to access climate finance. The hub achieves this by embedding climate finance experts in government ministries, focusing on various areas such as project proposal development, policy support, capacity building, and knowledge management. Notably, gender and youth mainstreaming are central to CCFAH’s work.
The impact of CCFAH’s work is substantial, with over US$310 million mobilized for climate projects in 14 countries, including the African region. The hub has also provided training to more than 2,500 officials across 13 countries, imparting knowledge and skills essential for effective climate finance management.
Supporting Commonwealth Countries for COP28
In preparation for the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, CCFAH has taken a proactive approach to enhancing the negotiation skills of Commonwealth countries. The hub conducts training to empower climate change negotiators and helps them better understand the intricate aspects of the COP process, including legal frameworks and principles. This training also covers key topics such as the UNFCCC rule book, negotiation forums, national priorities, and approaches for developing positions and intervention statements.
As of now, CCFAH has successfully trained nearly 140 representatives, with a focus on gender balance. These representatives come from nine countries, primarily in Africa and the Pacific. The training is set to evolve further, with a particular emphasis on youth and women’s involvement in climate negotiations planned for 2024.
Key Lessons from the Negotiation Workshops:
From the negotiation workshops conducted by CCFAH, three key lessons emerge for small states and climate-vulnerable countries seeking to secure better outcomes:
- Early and Thorough Preparation: Preparation for climate change COP negotiations is an ongoing process that requires contributions to the development of COP agendas and positions at regional and political bloc levels.
- Enhanced Technical Capacity: Many participants in climate change negotiations may lack the technical capacity to fully grasp the complexities of the process. Climate change negotiation training is crucial, not only for effective engagement at negotiations but also for the domestication and implementation of climate actions at the national level.
- Critical Role of Training: Training in climate change negotiations is a linchpin for achieving better outcomes, both in the international arena and within individual nations, as it equips negotiators and policymakers with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate this intricate field.
The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP28, will be the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, held from November 30 until December 12, 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai.