This is the official statement of the DDP Initiative on the state of international cooperation at COP28.
The Paris Agreement defined the enhancement of international cooperation as one of the two key objectives of the Global Stocktake (GST). But, after 5 days of negotiations, the current version of the Global Stocktake (GST) Decision shows very little progress on this question. The current text does not even define a clear way forward to ensure that this question will be addressed seriously in the coming years.
This gap is concerning because all the analyses, notably those conducted in the context of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways initiative, show that the international assumptions on e.g. trade, finance, technologies etc. largely condition the possibilities for countries to implement the drastic changes required to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Significant improvement in the way international cooperation is happening would help countries take more ambitious targets for 2030 and beyond when they have to revise by 2025 their Nationally Determined Contributions. It would help reduce the difference between targets and actual actions (the “implementation gap”). It would also be essential to advance the adaptation agenda, in particular addressing transboundary risks linked to a gap in adaptation.
Is a positive outcome at COP28 still possible?
Let’s be clear, the few days left in the negotiations will not compensate for the lack of attention given to international cooperation throughout the 2 years of the GST process. But important positive signals can still be given by the GST decision. Notably, the idea to “Establish a dialogue to inform enhanced international cooperation by UNFCCC and non-UNFCCC towards effective international cooperation starting in 2024” has been proposed by the Africa group, and is supported by other developing countries. But time is missing to discuss its details and there is a risk that it is not kept in the final version.
To fulfill this mandate and enhance cooperation, it is key the GST text keeps alive the dialogue on international cooperation and ensures that it starts without delay. This dialogue is the good practical solution to ensure continuity in the discussion on international cooperation, as a lever of ambition for the revision of the NDCs and as an essential condition to support implementation. To make this dialogue a constructive space to advance the collective agenda, it should be centered on addressing the needs of countries to implement their transformations consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. It should also establish a concrete way for connecting the UNFCCC with all others for when the international cooperation agenda can be concretely advanced.
By adopting a dialogue following these principles, the UNFCCC would play its critical roles of sending clear signals, catalyzing action and ensuring continuity of the conversations on solutions.
Media contact: Renee Karunungan, email@example.com