Since 2009, the Climate Change Policy Project (CCP) has been an Observer Project of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Official Observer Organization for Talks and Conference of the Parties (COP). MBBI members have attended UNFCCC sessions in Bangkok, Barcelona, Bonn, Cancun, Copenhagen, Durban, Doha, Marrakech, Panama, Paris, and Warsaw promoting sustainable conflict resolution capacity and advocating for the inclusion of mediation into legally binding instruments.
Project Team Leaders: Tom Fiutak, Executive Team Leader; Gregg Walker, Executive Team Leader
Board Liaison: Rose-Anne Moore
Include conflict management and mediation on the agendas of Post-Paris committees and negotiation groups, such as the Adaptation Committee and the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA)
For example, conflicts may arise about the distribution of loss and damage resources, finance accountability mechanisms, and governance and decision making as part of REDD+ and community-based adaptation programs.
MBBI proposes that the term “mediation” be included for the peaceful settlement of climate change conflict and disputes to be addressed and used by the different UNFCCC Working Groups. It is intended that mediation serve as a mechanism to manage and resolve conflicts and disputes stemming from the implementation, interpretation, and consequences of the policies implemented by UNFCCC for an agreed outcome and legal instrument to address climate change. These disputes and conflicts should be addressed in a balanced, neutral, integrated, and comprehensive manner.
Specifically, MBBI proposes that the following text be included in a legally binding instrument under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:
“Recognizing that conflicts and disputes are an inevitable and adverse effect of climate change, the Parties are encouraged to use mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and actions before the International Court of Justice to settle their climate change conflicts and disputes.”
MBBI further proposes (under Article 6 of the Convention, Education, Training and Public Awareness) that the parties should promote and facilitate — at the national, sub-regional, regional and local levels — the development and implementation of educational and public awareness programs for mediation, conflict management, and informal problem solving to address climate change and its effects.
Promote methods of climate change conflict management related to implementation and encourage conflict management and mediation training and stakeholder participation as part of “Action for Climate Empowerment” (ACE)
To address climate change conflicts, whatever their nature, context, and scale, parties need access to informal means of conflict management and peacebuilding to work through and resolve those conflicts. MBBI advocates for the use of a wide range of culturally and contextually appropriate methods of conflict management and peacebuilding, such as: mediation, facilitation, public participation, dialogue, consultation, community cafes, mutual gains negotiation, and conciliation.
MBBI members stand ready to work with Parties and non-state actors to build conflict management and informal problem solving capacity so that parties can address their conflicts constructively and productively.
Contribute mediation, facilitation, consultation, participation, conflict management, and peacebuilding expertise to the UNFCCC and its parties.
When and where appropriate and on request, MBBI members volunteer their expertise and experience to UNFCCC leaders and participants to improve the UNFCCC formal and informal communication, negotiation and decision-making activities and processes.
Assist Parties and non-state actors in the development and application of mediation and peacebuilding efforts relevant to all scales of climate change and sustainable development.
There was also support for the establishment of an intergovernmental body with mandatory jurisdiction to settle environment-related disputes. A related suggestion was the creation of a UN Environmental Mediation Program. (UNEP-IEG October 2010)
The assistance can be informal, through in-country mediation, conflict management, and peacebuilding services with local partners; through technologies such as on-line seminars; and through partnering with civil society organizations (e.g., universities).
In May 2015, CCP attend the forty-fourth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 44) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 44) as well as the first session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA 1). At this meeting the Parties began the process of determining the modalities, procedures and guidelines to be used by the Parties to promote compliance and implementation of the Paris Agreement. For instance, work was done relating to nationally determined contributions referred to in Article 4 of the Paris Agreement.
At the December 2015 United Nations climate change meetings in Paris (COP21), negotiators from throughout the world addressed capacity-building. Developing-country delegates led the effort to include capacity building prominently in the Paris Agreement. After considerable discussions, Article 11 of the Paris Agreement reaffirmed that capacity-building and climate education are essential to climate action. Since Paris, the emphasis has shifted from short-term to long-term capacity-building.
The Paris Agreement mandated the creation of the Paris Committee for Capacity Building (PCCB) which was formed at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.
CCP is currently working on a concept note with The Universities Network for Climate Capacity (UNCC) – prepared and initiated by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) at Independent University, Dhaka, Bangladesh (IUB) and the Climate Change Working Group at Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis, Oregon, USA – to establish a global network of universities from all regions of the world to address all facets of climate change capacity building through education and research.
Please click here to see an interview given by team co-leader Gregg Walker and team member Suzi Norbeck at the COP15.