Capacity Building, Another Brick in the Wall

Hey Teacher! Capacity building is the missing brick in the wall. For the Paris Agreement to be truly universal, effective capacity building is critical to enable developing countries to facilitate fulfilment of their new requirements and transition towards decarbonised and climate-resilient economies.

That’s why Article 11 matters. It stems from the recognition that the “business as usual” approach to capacity-building does not work. We can no longer measure effectiveness by relying on international consultants to fly into a developing country, conduct a workshop and fly out again. Article 11 acknowledges that capacity-building is a process. To be sustainable, it requires a longer-term and integrated approach, one that mobilises and strengthens national institutions in developing countries, such as universities, think-tanks and private companies.

The Paris Agreement set up the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) to be up and running by the end of COP22. That should foster a much needed paradigm shift from short-term to long-term mobilisation and building-up of national capacity. If allowed the PCCB will develop a more detailed roadmap to support country efforts to fill their policy, institutional and technological roles. In turn, it will promote best practices and lesson-sharing, encourage ownership, enhance cooperation (north-south, south-north, south-south and triangular), as well as instituting better monitoring. So all in all, maybe not just another brick in the wall.

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