The UNFCCC as Matchmaker
Bertelsmann Foundation North America report urges secretariat to assume expanded role to combat climate change
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, the proposed Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN) should each take on new roles matchmaking public-private partnerships to combat climate change, according to a recent report by the Bertelsmann Foundation North America.
The report “A New Role for UNFCCC: The Matchmaker of Global Climate Change"advocates a UNFCCC that brings together major stakeholders, such as regions, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the business sector and the public, to “foster information dissemination and capacity building.” This approach would create “a sustainable path for clean energy in developing countries and clean energy technology innovation."
The study was written under the auspices of former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos by co-authors Deborah Bleviss of Johns Hopkins University and Ting Xu of the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
The report contains eight case studies that show the benefits and necessity of the UNFCCC's engaging in matchmaking by highlighting the unique roles that stakeholders play in advancing environmentally friendly policies. These case studies include the impact of the German government's efforts to provide public information on climate change, InvestChile's success in promoting foreign direct investment in green energy, and the harmonization of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) region-wide energy-efficiency policies. Bringing such diverse actors together for coordinated action, which the UNFCCC is in a position to do, could multiply their successes.
The report also urges the UNFCCC, TEC and CTCN to use their matchmaking capacities to:
- Promote further innovation of existing climate-friendly technologies, particularly within developing countries
- Encourage capacity building among private-sector entities and policymakers
- Introduce climate-friendly industries to developing countries
- Harmonize regional climate-friendly policies
"There is critical need to mobilize people to do what they can to contribute," said President Lagos. "We need to think about linking a grand bargain among stakeholders with practical challenges so that together we can move the climate-change effort forward."
In conjunction with the report's official launch, the Bertelsmann Foundation North America presented its conclusions to UN officials, EU and US climate-change experts and policymakers, and the private sector on September 21 in New York in an effort to build a broader consensus on mitigating global climate change and its effects.