November 14, 2022

Egypt _ Sharm el Sheikh

Delegates at the cop27 UN climate change conference concluded the second technical dialogue of the first global assessment process – a crucial process for implementing the Paris Agreement and accelerating climate action.

Speaking at the conclusion of the dialogue last Friday, UN climate change Executive Secretary Simon Steele stressed that the assessment is much more than a technical exercise.

"The global assessment is an ambitious exercise. It's an accountability process. It's an acceleration exercise," Steele said. "It is an exercise aimed at making sure that each party stops the end of the Deal, knows where they should go next and how quickly they need to move to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Last week, government delegates, observers and experts took part in a series of events at the cop27 to discuss where they are making collective progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement – and where they are not. These discussions can help countries to correct the course so that they can increase the ambition to achieve the goal of the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Participants exchanged the best available science and assessments on mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation (climate finance, technology transfer, capacity building). They also presented climate solutions and identified the barriers that stand in the way of taking action.

"We were pleased with the meaningful discussions and participation by all participants,"said Farhan Akhtar, co-facilitator of the technical dialogue. "While it is understandable that views differed across the room, we hope that building we build an understanding of the challenges we face and where there are opportunities to address them.”

Although the dialogue focuses on assessing past actions, it is also about the momentum forward to launch more ambitious climate action and support.

"A big part of this process is about identifying job opportunities: about mitigation, adaptation, financing, transparency, and incorporating what those who are outside the process are doing as well,"Steele said. "It's about" where do we stand "for the media," here's where we should go next.’”

The global assessment unfolds in a crucial decade for Climate Action. Global emissions must be cut by almost half by 2030 in order for the world to have a chance to achieve the goal of the Paris agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Transformative adaptation is also needed to help communities cope with climate impacts that are already occurring.

However, a new UN report on climate change published last month shows that while countries are bending the global greenhouse gas emissions curve downwards, these efforts are still not enough to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

According to the report, the joint climate pledges of the 193 parties under the Paris agreement could put the world on track for about 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

The report's findings underscore the need for urgent implementation and more ambitious climate action.

"The global assessment is an opportunity to consider how to do this in a holistic way: a factor in mitigation, adaptation, means of implementation and support as well as elements of loss, damage and response measures," Steele said. "It brings everything together.”

The final stage, the consideration of outputs, will take place at COP 28 in 2023. That's when the results of the technical assessment are compiled and presented, their implications are discussed and considered.

The elements of the technical assessment and information gathering are currently being implemented and prepared simultaneously, and will conclude with the third and final technical dialogue at the UN climate change conference in Bonn in June next year.

The co-facilitators of the technical dialogue will prepare a brief report in the coming weeks to inform the discussions at cop27.

"I encourage you to ensure that the global assessment outputs are focused on action: that they ultimately inform the parties in such a way that they can quickly update and strengthen their procedures and support, and that they do so in a nationally determined way and in a way that promotes international cooperation,"Steele said.

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