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ecbi - The European Capacity Building Initiative

About ecbi

ecbi is an initiative for sustained capacity building in support of international climate change negotiations. The ecbi aims to promote a more level playing field between government delegations to the international climate change negotiations, and to facilitate mutual understanding and trust - both between European and developing countries and among the developing countries.

Agadir Workshop the emerging role of sub-national contributions to multilateral climate finance

11 September 2017. A workshop convened by OCP on behalf of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) at the recent subnational Climate Summit in Agadir, Morocco, highlighted the emerging role of sub-national contributions to multilateral climate finance. The aim was to create awareness and buy-in among sub-national actors (governments, corporations, individuals) of the nascent initiatives of sub-national contributions to multilateral climate funds.

The workshop was opened by H.E. Ambassador Aziz Mekouar, Chief Negotiator for the COP22/CMP12/CMA1 Presidency, and facilitated by Mr Ayman Cherkaoui, Special Advisor for Climate Change and Negotiations to the COP22/CMP12/CMA1 Presidency.

In Paris at COP 21, the idea of sub-national contributions to multilateral climate funds had a first breakthrough with the announcement of a $ 6 million contribution to the LDCF by the Province of Quebec, followed by announcements from the Belgian regional governments and the City of Paris). Philip Gass, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) presented an update on "Canadian sub-national contributions to multilateral finance".

The Oxford Crowdfunding for Adaptation Initiative, presented by Benito Müller (OCP), is targeted at corporate air travel, in particular on companies that have, or may be willing to include, climate change as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) portfolio, such as companies that offset the emissions caused by their corporate travel.
The initiative is to encourage these target corporates to donate 1 percent of their air travel costs to the Adaptation Fund directly through its existing individual donation facility. It is estimated that a participation of 1 percent of global corporate air travel would yield USD 100 million annually.

On 27 March, State Senator Michael Barrett filed an Act in the Massachusetts Senate that makes use of the fact that like most other states, Massachusetts allows tax payers to earmark (“check-off”) a share of their tax refund on their personal income tax form as contribution to certain good causes. It proposes to create a “Massachusetts UN Least Developed Countries Fund” to be replenished through such a tax refund check-off programme and any other public and private sector contributions) for the benefit of the LDCF.

The final presentation was on "The potential of sub-national contributions to multilateral finance from California", by Ms Emilie Parry, Oxford Climate Policy (OCP) and University of Oxford.

For more information, see A Day in Agadir [linked below].

• A Day in Agadir — sub-national contributions to multilateral climate finance
2017 ecbi South- and Southeast Asia Regional Training Workshop

The 2017 Asia Regional Training Workshop took place on 6 & 7 September 2017 in Negombo, Sri Lanka. The workshop, hosted by Janathakshan, was attended by over 30 “new” negotiators and national policymakers from countries in the region, appointed by national focal points to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In addition to training on key thematic areas of the UNFCCC negotiations and on the ongoing negotiations on the ongoing negotiations on the rules to implement the Paris Agreement, participants engaged in mock “negotiations” and formulating of group positions during the two days.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Anju Sharma, head of the ecbi Publications and Policy Analysis Unit, noted that ecbi training workshops not only emphasise knowledge-sharing, but also the importance of social engagement to help negotiators step across defined national boundaries and positions, and work cooperatively to achieve common – and critical – goals.

"We Meet Again!" A special event at the 2017 ecbi Oxford Seminar
Oxford's Natural History Museum, event venue

On Thursday 31 August 2017, Oxford Climate Policy, on behalf of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) and the Oxford University Natural History Museum, hosted a special event for the participants of the ecbi Oxford Seminar.

The Natural History Museum was the venue of a historic evolution debate on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, involving Samuel Wilberforce, the then Bishop of Oxford, and Thomas Henry Huxley, a biologist who defended Darwin's theory of evolution and had earned the epithet of “Darwin’s bulldog”.

The event, named We Meet Again! in reference to the historic debate, brought together the current Bishop of Oxford, the Rt. Revd. Dr Steven Croft, and Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College, London, and Professor of Meteorology at Reading University, to discuss the question: "What can we do to support the fight against global warming in the current climate?"

Professor Paul Smith, director of the Museum of Natural History, welcomed participants and described the ‘Oxford evolution debate’, best remembered today for a heated exchange in which Bishop Wilberforce supposedly asked Huxley whether he claimed his descent from a monkey through his grandfather or his grandmother. Huxley allegedly retorted that he would rather have descended from a monkey than be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth. Professor Smith, who has recently been awarded the prestigious Polar Medal by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his outstanding achievement in the field of Arctic research, also shared his first-hand experiences with climate change from his research in Greenland.

The Rt. Revd. Dr Steven Croft then took the floor to discuss how faith-based communities can support the fight against climate change. Describing ongoing efforts by the Church, he said it is vital that all involved in climate change negotiations understand and take seriously the different faith communities in the world which have significant influence, a care for the earth, a sense of being a global community, and are natural allies in working together to reduce carbon emissions and for a more sustainable future.

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins then turned to the issue of how scientists can join faith-based communities in this fight. He called on fellow scientists to perform their science well; take it to a wide audience, including politicians and ordinary people, without exaggeration or understatement; and recognise that how their message is received is influence by the values and beliefs of their audiences. He noted that climate deniers, who must be confronted, tend to start from a vested interest or political creed and work backwards to try to muddy the scientific waters. In view of the background and context of the dinner event, he reflected that evolution does not necessarily lead us to have the altruism and sense of equity required to deal with a global issue like climate change.

Professor Benito Müller, member of Oxford University's Philosophy Faculty, Director of the ecbi, and organiser of the event, reflected on the role of philosophers in the fight against global climate change in the current political climate. He said John Alexander Smith, Oxford University Waynflete Professor of Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy, opened his lecture course in 1914 by telling the students that apart from the few who would become teachers or dons, “[n]othing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life, save only this, that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot…”. Philosophers, Müller concluded, have the duty to stand up for critical thought and the truth, to counter the current tide of “alternative facts” and “post-truth” politics.

Oxford - home of the ecbi project
Latest Publications
Guide de Poche sur la Transparence: May 2017  (980 kb).
Guide de Poche sur la Transparence: May 2017  ( kb).
Pocket Guide to Transparency: May 2017  (861 kb).
Pocket Guide to Transparency: May 2017  ( kb).
Bonn Seminar 2017 Report: May 2017  (1100 kb).
"The ecbi programme is an excellent way of building confidence between developing countries and Europe, with a view to promote progress in the international negotiations on climate change."
Anna Lindstedt, Climate Change Ambassador, Sweden