Capacity Building Takes Off

ECO welcomes the capacity building decisions adopted yesterday.

Given the increased expectations that have been placed on developing countries by the Paris Agreement, capacity building—as well as other means of implementation—will be crucial to enable these Parties to successfully implement their commitments. This is especially true for those Parties with the least capacity, and for those most vulnerable to climate impacts.

Cooperation on matters related to capacity building represents, perhaps, one of the most promising avenues for accelerating implementation of the Paris Agreement. Working together can enable Parties to develop collective ambition, while simultaneously providing important benefits for participating countries. The adoption of the Paris Committee’s terms of reference will enable the Committee to become operational as early as next year, and to rapidly initiate its work.

The decisions adopted yesterday also invite the Paris Committee to take into consideration cross-cutting issues such as gender responsiveness, human rights and indigenous peoples’ knowledge. ECO welcomes this important mandate. It will enable the Committee to support Parties as they implement climate actions in a manner that is coherent with existing human rights obligations and related international principles, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

ECO hopes this commitment to consider cross-cutting principles in climate action, as reiterated in Paris, will also be reflected in the negotiations under the APA more broadly. For instance, future Nationally Determined Contributions should reflect this approach and highlight synergies with other related international norms, such as human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, just transition and food security. Parties should not shy away from making the universal attainment of human rights a reality through coherent implementation of the Paris Agreement: we now know that the Paris Committee will be supporting them along the way.

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