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COP Presidencies outline Talanoa Dialogue process

The current and the upcoming presidencies of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23 and COP24) have outlined in a message issued on February 8, 2018 a remarkable process to prepare the world to take the next steps towards higher climate action.

Voreqe Bainimarama
Prime Minister of Fiji and COP23 President, Voreqe Frank Bainimarama. Photo credit: Fijian Government

Called the Talanoa Dialogue, this will be an important international conversation in which countries and other key actors will check progress while seeking to increase global ambition to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The Paris Agreement’s central goal is to keep the global average temperature rise to below 2C degrees and as close as possible to 1.5C. The current national climate action plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) fall short of this aim.

Through the Talanoa Dialogue, nations and non-Party stakeholders – ranging from cities and regions to business, investors and civil society – will be contributing ideas, recommendations and information that can assist the world in taking the next steps towards higher ambition under not only the Paris Agreement but also in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Dialogue was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn in November 2017 and will run throughout 2018. The message outlines the preparatory phase of the Dialogue, previews what will be happening at the April/May sessions and how this and other Talanoa events will culminate in the political phase at COP24.


Preparatory Phase

The Talanoa Dialogue was launched at COP23 and is a yearlong process that will consist of a preparatory and political phase. The Preparatory phase will involve several mandated events and interactive processes. It will commence with the launch of this online platform which will share information about the Dialogue, its process and any other resources to facilitate Party and non-Party stakeholders’ full and effective participation in the process.

The online platform will be the portal through which Party and non-Party stakeholders will be able to make submissions along the three overarching questions of the Dialogue: where are we?; where do we want to go?; how do we get there? The questions provide a space for pre-2020 and post-2020 inputs and discussions. Online submissions will be collated twice – after April 2nd 2018, and October 29th 2018. The submissions will allow Party and non-Party stakeholders to frame the contours of the aforementioned questions.

The first set of submissions will be summarised into a report which will inform the Dialogue in the May inter-sessional which will be held from April 30 to May 11, 2018. Throughout 2018, the Presidencies will socialise/discuss the Dialogue with Party and non-Party stakeholders via a range of avenues, including workshops, webinars, forums, and relevant meetings. At the same time, Party and non-Party stakeholders are encouraged to have their own meetings on the Talanoa Dialogue to organise, strategise, and consolidate their input.


May Inter-Sessional

The May inter-sessional Talanoa Dialogue will be the first opportunity for Party and non-Party stakeholders to interact in a Dialogue which is constructive, non-judgemental and engage in story telling with a purpose. It will include: an opening plenary of the Talanoa Dialogue; a day of working groups (organised into three consecutive sessions) addressing the three overarching questions of the Dialogue; back to plenary reporting; and a closing plenary.

Well in advance of the May inter-sessional Talanoa Dialogue, the Presidencies will have an instructional note published on the Talanoa Dialogue online platform detailing the methodology, agenda and any supporting material for May. The online platform will also have videos on how a Talanoa Dialogue is conducted.


Synthesis Report

The discussions during the May inter-sessional Talanoa Dialogue will be summarised along with the totality of submissions and inputs received throughout the year. This summary will lead to a Synthesis Report which will take the pulse of the journey we have embarked on together to understand where we are, our vision for a future for our common good, and how we will collectively get there.


Political Phase

The Synthesis Report will inform the Political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue which will take place at COP24 in Poland. This phase will build on the momentum of conversations and stories exchanged throughout the year through the dynamic interactions via the Talanoa Dialogue.

It will bring together Heads of States and high-level representatives of Parties to take stock of the collective efforts of Parties in relation to progress towards the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and to inform the preparation of nationally determined contributions.

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