Let’s start at the beginning: Article 6 of the Convention focuses on education, training and public awareness on climate change. So it was natural that in Paris, Parties included Article 12 which commits to “cooperate in taking measures, as appropriate, to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, recognizing the importance of these steps with respect to enhancing actions under this Agreement.” Parties recognized that the implementation of the Paris Agreement would be strengthened by ensuring that the 5 topics of Article 12, also known as Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), are effectively promoted through all stages of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Yesterday many Parties and non-party actors took part in a very rich workshop reflecting on good practices and opportunities to further enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement by incorporating ACE principles, including the rights to public participation and climate change education.
This workshop produced a lot of good ideas about implementing ACE. Throughout the workshop, participants raised the crosscutting nature of ACE and the human rights contained in it: public participation, access to information, and climate change education. The workshop primarily focused on establishing concrete suggestions for Parties to consider in negotiations under SBI. For example, ensuring public participation in developing NDCs, NAPs, and long-term strategies at the national and local level. Another suggestion was to integrate ACE into NDCs and their policies. However, it would be important to signal that only a few ACE focal points were attending the workshop.
ECO was glad to hear announced during the workshop that its outcomes will feed into the Paris Agreement Working Programme!