ECBI Oxford seminar

20 September 2022

Earlier this month LRI participated in the annual Oxford seminar organised by the European Capacity Building Initiative, an Initiative in which LRI is a lead member organisation. Trust building is the leitmotiv of the seminar: it provides an opportunity for senior negotiators from developing countries and from Europe to meet in an informal setting and share views on key negotiation topics that will be on the agenda of the next COP. Key negotiation groups from the developing world, such as BASIC, the LDC Group, the Africa Group, AOSIS and AILAC, are represented in these discussions by their Chairs and/or member countries.

This year, thirty or so negotiators met over 3 days and discussed a range of issues including, for example:

  • the work programmes set up under the Global Goal on Adaptation and pre-2030 mitigation ambition and how to focus discussions and process to ensure successful outcomes;
  • the new collective quantified goal on climate finance and institutional arrangements that might be needed to operationalize it once finalised;
  • aligning financial flows with the Paris Agreement goals;
  • institutional arrangements for the Santiago Network on Loss & Damage;
  • what the structure and functionality of a facility to finance loss and damage might look like;
  • arrangements for intergovernmental meetings and possible solutions to the problems created by the proliferation of agenda items, meetings, mandates and processes at UNFCCC sessions; and
  • gender balance at COPs, SBs and in constituted bodies.

With the historic buildings of Magdalen and New College as the backdrop, negotiators listened to the position of other groups and countries on specific issues and engaged in frank and open exchanges. This will hopefully have brought them a step closer as they prepare for COP27 in Egypt in November.

Nairobi summer school on climate justice

10 July 2022

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), in collaboration with several universities, held the second Nairobi Summer School on Climate Justice at Kenyatta University in Nairobi from 27 June to 9 July 2022. Around 170 activities, academics and practitioners from almost 30 different African countries attended the meeting in person. Many more followed it virtually.

The summer school provides a forum to discuss the causes and effects of climate change, learn new skills, network and share experiences as well as information. In this way, PACJA aims is to build up a pool of African climate justice advocates who can shape the political narrative and strengthen the voices of communities that are at the front line of climate change.

The theme of this year’s summer school was capacity building to successfully engage with the UNFCCC process and the African COP in Egypt in November this year. As a long-standing partner and supporter of PACJA, LRI was invited to introduce participants to climate law, the UNFCCC and COP27.  LRI trustee Seth Osafo did so by video link from Ghana, LRI director Christoph Schwarte in person during the second week of the meeting.

After the SBs in Bonn

20 June 2022

World café discussions in Bonn

In Bonn, during the meeting of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies from 6 to 16 June, parties begun work under some of the mandates adopted at the climate conference in Glasgow last year to implement the Paris Agreement. This included the need for more ambitious climate action, deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced resilience to adapt to the effects of climate change and financial support for developing countries.

The negotiations in Bonn were characterised by several, for the UNFCCC process, unusually inclusive discussion formats. During the dialogues on finance for loss and damage and the global goal on adaptation civil society observer organisations as well as other stakeholders took the floor and contributed to the discussions. As part of the first technical dialogue to review collective progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals participants moved between tables “world café style”.

As usual when there is a physical meeting, LRI lawyers were on site and on call to assist delegates from climate vulnerable developing countries and civil society observer organisations. This year they were accompanied by lawyer volunteers from Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Germany and the UK. We are grateful for their engagement and support!

The legal questions raised by delegates broadly reflected the different strands of the discussion in Bonn. They related to raising finance specifically for adaptation purposes, the terminology around loss and damage as well as the role and operational set-up of the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage. Other specific legal questions that have come up concerned, for example, the relationship between different international treaty regimes or whether the UNFCCC and its secretariat can be recognised as an international organisation.

New App version and briefing paper on Article 6

1 June 2022

While climate negotiators are beginning to gather in Bonn for the 56th session of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies and their pre-conference coordination meetings, we have just released the new version of our App on the Paris Agreement “Paris Agreement A – Z”.

You can download the new version which reflects parties’ decisions adopted in Glasgow from Google Play at and the App Store at We really welcome any feedback!

Following the adoption of guidance on the international transfer of mitigation outcomes, as well as rules and procedures for a centrally governed crediting mechanism to support sustainable development under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, we have also published a briefing paper that summaries the relevant decisions:

We hope these knowledge products will make it easier for climate law and policy makers from around the globe to navigate the ever-growing body of UNFCCC rules and processes.

What to expect at the next UNFCCC meeting in Bonn?

28 April 2022

While the annual global climate conferences (the so called “COPs”) are extensively covered by the world’s media, the meetings of the two technical bodies – the Subsidiary Bodies for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and for Implementation (SBI) – attract a lot less attention. They are, however, the ones where most of the substantive decisions subsequently taken at the COPs are prepared, and take place at the seat of the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn, Germany. The next, 56th, session of both bodies (the “SBs”) will take place from 6 to 16 June 2022. Some of the important items on the programme of the meetings include:

  • The need to urgently scale up ambition and implementation of mitigation commitments: the Subsidiary Bodies will initiate their consideration of this matter with a view to recommending a draft decision for adoption at the next meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body (CMA4) in Egypt in November 2022.
  • At COP26 Parties agreed on a process that will lead to setting a new collective quantified goal on climate finance from a floor of 100 billion USD per year. The first Technical Expert Dialogue under the Ad hoc Work Programme on the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance took place in South Africa in March. The next expert dialogue will take place in Bonn.
  • SB56 will see the launch of a work programme to operationalise the Global Goal on Adaptation, established under Article 7 of Paris Agreement to ensure an adequate adaptation response to climate change. The first in-session workshop will be conducted under the work programme.
  • Progress on operational modalities and institutional arrangements for the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, set up at COP25 in Madrid to catalyse technical assistance for loss and damage. The first meeting under the Glasgow Dialogue, established at COP26 to discuss arrangements for the funding of loss and damage, will also take place. The issue is critical for many developing countries which will be pushing for some tangible outcome on this, in the form of a dedicated funding mechanism.
  • While the parties in Glasgow agreed on further rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, such as common time frames for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reporting under the transparency framework and the establishment of carbon markets, some issues were deferred for further consideration in 2022. This includes options for conducting reviews of the information related to adaptation reported under the transparency framework; further guidance on cooperative approaches under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement (e.g. whether internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, “ITMOs”, could include emission avoidance).
  • The first meeting of the technical dialogue under the Global Stocktake established to assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. This is the start of the second phase of the Stocktake, the technical assessment of information provided by Parties and others, such as constituted bodies, UN agencies and observer organisations.