Capacity building is generally perceived as a low priority. It’s an old-school component that all Parties want (including Annex 1 Parties) and is critical to other issues such as mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and finance. Accordingly, it suffers from being everybody’s darling—and thereby ultimately no one’s.
For this reason, ECO was surprised to learn that capacity building has becoming contentious within the draft text. Developing countries have proposed a new mechanism and/or committee which can act as a focal point for capacity building under the SBI to ensure coherence and coordination with the other negotiating tracks. The rationale is similar to the squabble with adaptation some years ago when Parties accepted that there was a need for an Adaptation Committee.
The time has come to breathe new life into capacity building with a new mechanism that makes it meaningful to developing countries, that need it most, through increased coherence and coordination.