For the last two weeks, climate change negotiators from around the world and other stakeholders from national governments and civil society gathered in Bonn for the intersessional climate change meeting.
Every year, all countries represented at the United Nations, come together at the UNFCCC headquarters for the intersessional meeting, which bridges the time gap between the annual international climate change negotiations (known as the Conference of the Parties or COP) that take place in November/December each year. The aim of this year’s intersessional meeting in Bonn is to solidify the gains made last year in Paris at COP21, and to turn them into actions that could keep post-industrial global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
One of the many commitments made during the COP21 climate change negotiations in Paris, was for all participating countries to enhance education, training, public participation and awareness around climate change, and to guarantee access to information in their respective countries. This commitment, known as the “Action for Climate Empowerment” builds on Article 6 of the UN Climate Change Convention and is a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement signed on 22nd April this year.
The successful integration of Article 6 into national strategies and activities is critical for transparent and decisive climate action in each country and ensures participation and capacity development of different stakeholders.
One way of informing and involving citizens in the climate debate is to through multi-stakeholder workshops at national, regional or local levels that involve policy-makers from relevant ministries, private sector as well as civil society representatives. In South Africa, the consultation workshops on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) organised by the provinces and the national Department of Environmental Affairs in 2015 were good examples of stakeholder discussions in the climate change debate.
Project 90 by 2030 is working towards transparent climate action in South Africa. Together with the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO), we are making concerted efforts towards climate change empowerment of South Africans. We will jointly be hosting two roundtable discussions on the “Domestication of the Paris Agreement”. Representatives from provincial and local government, private sector and civil society will be meeting in Cape Town on the 27th May, and in Johannesburg on the 19th July 2016.
If you are interested in joining us at our roundtable discussion on the 27th May in Cape Town, please email Neoka – firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to your input.