On Sunday, May 6, 2018, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sat with representatives of civil society, cities, businesses and other non-party stakeholders for the Talanoa Dialogue.
The format of the talanoa, allowing for stories and interventions covering three clear questions – where are we? where do we want to be? how do we get there? – was a welcome and successful departure from the usual formal structure of climate conventions procedures.
Members of the Climate Action Network (CAN) on Monday espressed the fact that the dialogue may have fostered a sense of good intentions in the room, making clear that vulnerability to climate change binds all together and highlighting the urgency of taking more ambitious action.
“This lack of climate action means we are ‘cheating one another and abandoning our children’. People around the world are angry. They want to see more climate action; they want to see it happening faster. That is why they go out on the streets with banners and march. That is why they are taking governments and companies who fail to take action to court,” said Juan Pablo Osornio, Task Force Leader, Greenpeace.
“The Talanoa Dialogue provided the space in which some of that anger can be channelled. It was a forum to ask the hard questions and to have an honest and open conversation, where participants tell it like it is, with respect and without pointing fingers. This should be a model that we should build on in the future,” Osornio adds.
The dialogue lays the groundwork for the political discourse needed for an ambitious outcome at COP24 and allowed non-state actors to show their support for governments to step up their ambition.
Four hundred major companies have already committed to climate action with reference to the Paris Agreement. This growing number of corporations is showing their readiness to support governments making firm commitments to revise and enhance their current nationally determined commitments by 2020.
David Wei, Director, Climate, Business for Social Responsibility: “What parties have from the We Mean Business coalition is a standing offer that we are willing to work with you on concrete ways of doing that. We will work with you to have renewable energy and plans mutually supported by corporate demand for renewable electricity. To have end dates for the sales of internal combustion passenger vehicles and fiscal members reducing the cost of electric vehicles, mutually supported by corporate electrification of vehicle fleets.
“We will work with you to have strong carbon pricing signals, mutually supported by capital investment by business. And we will work with you to have long-term greenhouse gas reduction strategies mutually supported by scenario analysis that is being carried out by companies. We are willing to do this – not just willing, we want to do this together.”
Leaders of cities and regional governments also took part in the Talanoa Dialogue, presenting plans to deliver on the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees – cities around the world are already working towards carbon neutrality by 2050 and setting targets for climate action in sectors including transport, building, zero waste, energy efficiency and renewables.
Emmanuelle Pinault, Head of City Diplomacy, C40: “We brought a message of hope and collaboration. The transformation that we are working towards is very ambitious, but it is possible. It is achievable thanks to collaboration between national governments and other stakeholders.”
“We are happy to have participated in the Talanoa Dialogue. We think that this global political and diplomatic process should continue beyond COP24 and more importantly be translated into a national political process in every country of the world, to engage stakeholders in the assessment and revision and discussions around the NDC, with the final objective of enhancing ambition by 2020,” he adds.