Building Capacity Building

2 October 2011

Just as CAN's approach to mitigation has always been for Parties to focus on the reality of "What the atmosphere actually sees", so CAN's approach to capacity building (CB) in the LCA has always been for Parties to concentrate on the realities on the ground.  These realities are four-fold:

1) The vast majority of Parties are mid to small sized developing countries with under-developed economies containing immense potential for human and economic development;

2) Most of these economies are already in the frontline of initial climatic impacts that their populations are already experiencing, can witness, and can understand;

3) Governments and populations of these countries understand the implications of established science;  things will only get worse without action, and mitigation action capable of limiting warming to 2 degrees or less will require: a) robust action from wealthy economies and b) deviation from business-as-usual high-carbon development pathways for developing countries;

4) Very few of these countries have the political, economic or institutional capacity right now to rapidly design and build low-carbon development pathways on their own and unassisted;

Unfortunately, up to now the CB negotiations in the LCA have largely turned around almost anything else except these basic realities – despite CAN's insistent pressure and constant calls for focus. (With the significant exception of a short period during the Bangkok and Barcelona sessions before Copenhagen when CB was negotiated on its own and suddenly started to make significant progress.)

The Panama session is crucial for CB in the LCA.  By contrast to progress on both technology and finance, negotiations on institutional arrangements for CB were almost completely unproductive at Cancun. Some forward movement was established at Bonn this June. However that progress now needs a new sense of purpose and focus if we are to get a decision at Durban.

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