In Paris, Parties committed to enhancing climate change education, training, public participation, awareness and access to information (collectively known as “Action for Climate Empowerment” or ACE). This commitment builds on Article 6 of the Convention and forms a fundamental pillar of the Agreement. Here in Bonn, the SBI is making preparations for the Doha Work Programme on Article 6 to undergoes a mid-term review at COP22 in Marrakech.
The result of this review should be national policies that enhance expert and local knowledge and, increase public awareness of both the challenges posed by climate change and the solutions. This is critical in cementing public support for decisive climate action.
ECO has some suggestions on how to use the review to further promote Article 6 implementation:
1) The Doha Work Program must include more concrete activities and guidance to ensure the effective implementation of Article 6. For example, multi-stakeholder workshops should be organised at the regional/sub-regional level and involve policy-makers from relevant ministries, private sector, civil society, including women and youth representatives.
2) The role of national Focal Points for Article 6 should be strengthened, by increasing their interactions with national stakeholders and through the establishment of a robust network for international communication and collaboration. These focal points play an important role in promoting the implementation of climate education, training, public awareness, participation and access to information. By the way, Parties who have not yet done so should nominate their focal point as soon as possible!
To ensure that climate policies and programs benefit from public support and input, Action for Climate Empowerment should be integrated into national reports and in the next round of INDCs. Additionally, the scope of the in-session dialogues over the next four years should be narrowed to focus on the integration of Article 6 in selected policy areas such as adaptation and energy transitions, to ensure that this important pillar of the Convention plays its intended role as a solid foundation for concrete actions.
Now is the time to ACE it.