Climate negotiations




Negotiations for the establishment of a global climate change regime under the United Nations started at the end of the 80´s and continue to date. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change (UNFCCC), resulting from this negotiation process and agreed in 1992, represents the main international treaty on the subject, and has been strengthened over time with the Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997 and the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Through the UN climate regime, governments that are Parties to the UNFCCC consider the latest scientific information and agree on actions to be taken, gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices, develop international guidance and cooperate in support of the planning and implementing of mitigation and adaptation measures.

A complex architecture for global climate governance has been developed under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, and is currently being developed under the Paris Agreement. Negotiations take place under the Conference of the Parties – the supreme body of the Convention-  as well as under its subsidiary bodies (the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)), the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). Additionally, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), established in 2016, is currently developing the rulebook of the Paris Agreement with the support of the SBSTA and the SBI.

Many Parties, particularly developing countries, often face difficulties to participate effectively in the UNFCCC negotiations, given the amount of issues discussed in parallel, their complexity and the usual lack of sufficient personnel and expertise in developing country governments. Moreover, the rotation of key staff usually represents an important loss of knowledge regarding how the negotiations work and of the historical memory on the issues in negotiation.

Consultancy services offered:

In order to support governments in addressing these situations, I provide the following consultancy services, based on my experience as a climate change negotiator for Mexico and as advisor to a number of Latin American countries, including through the UN Economic Comission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Energeias, CATIE and other organizations:

  • Capacity building on the UNFCCC negotiation process: Training courses for governments, NGOs and other interested actors on how the UNFCCC negotiations work, the role of the COP, the subsidiary bodies and the constituted bodies of the Convention, the main negotiation groups and their interests, how to participate effectively in the negotiation sessions, how to elaborate country and joint submissions, and how to identify and build alliances with like-minded countries.
  • Design of national systems to follow-up the UNFCCC negotiations: Advice for the identification of priority issues for the country under the UNFCCC and of national actors relevant to each of them, as well as for the elaboration of a work program and the definition institutional arrangements to allow for the coordinated and permanent follow-up of the UNFCCC negotiations resulting in the elaboration of country positions for every priority issue under discussion and of timely and focused country submissions.
  • Advice: Support for the analysis of negotiation items and for the elaboration of country positions and submissions. Support to country delegations during UNFCCC sessions.