Agenda of Solutions: mobilizing non-State actors to combat climate change [fr]

In December 2015, the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) must produce an agreement to accelerate the ecological transition and keep the average global temperature increase below 2°C. In order to obtain better results than at previous conferences, unprecedented attention will be given to businesses, local governments and NGOs through the “Agenda of Solutions”. The aim is to include non-State actors in the structuring of a movement and of global solutions for a low carbon economy.

COP21: we must succeed, we must keep mobilized

Combating climate change requires a comprehensive commitment by societies and cannot rely solely on government choices and political decisions. Therefore, as the future President of COP21 Laurent Fabius reaffirmed recently, it has been decided “not to limit the Paris Conference and future COP sessions to governmental aspects only and to mobilise civil society as a whole, starting with local governments, communes and regions, and businesses and NGOs. [1]

On the initiative of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Lima, Paris and their partners have committed to a global movement [2] known as the "Agenda of Solutions" or "Lima-Paris Action Agenda" (LPAA). It identifies and showcases all initiatives by economic and institutional stakeholders, as well as the climate commitments of local governments and businesses.

A partnership-based and multi-stakeholder approach for a renewed multilateralism

For the first time at a conference of this type, the projects developed at sub-State level by economic and institutional stakeholders, including companies, NGOs, and local governments, will be recognized as having a fundamental importance in the global fight against climate change. In the past, State and non-State actors watched each other, but held few dialogues. France today calls on all stakeholders to join the collective momentum of the "Agenda of Solutions", which it regards as supplementary to an international agreement.

These initiatives are identified, highlighted and optimized with the aim of being both an incentive and a demonstration. All actors are invited to take part in the global movement and share these best practices to achieve common objectives: to limit the increase in temperature and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All those actions and voluntary initiatives also demonstrate that combating climate change is possible and acceptable to countries and populations.

A strategy for global emulation

The “Agenda of Solutions” presents past and present actions, and shows that political commitments can be given concrete expression through the investment strategies of private and local actors. Like national contributions, the Agenda of Solutions was designed as a catalyst for public and private initiatives. In a way, the Agenda structures the advocacy of non-State, institutional and private-sector actors around a far-reaching agreement.

To initiate this ambitious movement and limit announcements in principle, commitments are public and verifiable on the Nazca portal (Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action). Everyone can therefore respond clearly to the call for action and mobilization issued by France as host country and by the United Nations.

Non-State actors: a key role to play

On 29 May 2015, the Nazca portal listed 2763 commitments to climate actions from 402 cities, 78territories, 660 companies and 180 investors. These commitments concern the reduction of GHG emissions, improved energy efficiency and renewables. They are cooperative or individual, with precise targets (pre-2020, 2020-30 or longer-term commitments). Commitments in cooperative alliances, such as Caring for Climate [3] and the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC), [4] are also listed.

Among strongly committed non-State actors, the city of Paris is the voice of Villes-Mondes, in addition to hosting COP21. 70% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are produced by cities, many of which are very vulnerable to climate change. But, as pointed out by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, “While challenges are concentrated in cities, they are also best addressed in cities. [5]

In December, the representatives of the local governments of those global cities will meet, in parallel with the UN Summit and under the aegis of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), [6] whose members represent and defend the interests of local and regional government in the international arena. This will be an opportunity to reaffirm the role of these key actors in the fight against climate change.

COP21 will therefore be an opportunity for many public and private stakeholders engaged in the fight against climate change to be encouraged and to defend their positions.

LaureLine Felder

[1Speech at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC), Paris, 28 April 2015.

[2At the UN Climate Summit held in New York in September 2014.

[3A group of innovative companies cooperates with the Global Compact and proposes principles for a strategy and accountable corporate activities.

[4The initiative aims to bring together a coalition of investors who will commit to decarbonizing at least $100 billion in institutional investments.

[5Unveiling of the Paris calendar of events for COP21, Paris, 23 March 2015

[6Principal world organization of cities and twinned towns.7

gepubliceerd op 29/07/2015

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