Delivering 1.5°C: Climate Champions place delivery and accountability at centre of the post COP26 non state actor agenda

By Climate Champions | November 11, 2021

Today, at the mandated UN High-Level Event for Global Climate Action – “Racing to a Better World”- the High-Level Climate Champions, Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping, formally report to Parties on the progress made by non-state actors, and set-out the five-year plan — Improved Marrakech Partnership for Enhancing Ambition — to accelerate delivery during this decisive decade.

The event marks the culmination of the non-state actor agenda at COP26, which has sat prominently alongside the government agenda at Glasgow, and includes contributions by UN Secretary-General Antònio Guterres, COP26 President Alok Sharma, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Vanessa Nakate.

With significant new commitments from real economy actors on mitigation, adaptation, and mobilization of finance, focus turns now to driving implementation. At the event, the High-Level Climate Champions alongside the Marrakech Partnership (a global alliance of more than 320 major initiatives, coalitions, and NGOs), present their five year plan, which has also been summarised today in the Yearbook of Global Climate Action.

The vision aims to deepen engagement with regional stakeholders, enhance the implementation of commitments, and develop tools for accountability. Core priorities include:

  • Expanding the global campaigns of Race to Zero, Race to Resilience and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, with a focus on developing near-term plans to deliver science-based commitments, scaling action for climate-vulnerable communities, and mobilising finance to developing and emerging economies.
  • Driving alignment on sectoral transformation via the 2030 Breakthroughs, the Resilience Transformations and the Climate Action Pathways to make real economy solutions accessible and affordable everywhere.
  • Deepening regionalisation to ensure actors are brought in from all corners of the globe, with special recognition to marginalised voices and the most vulnerable.
  • Upholding the highest standards of transparency and accountability for non-Party stakeholder commitments, including regular audits of campaign members and stronger mechanisms to remove individual entities that are unable to meet requirements. The Champions are also establishing a process to deal with public enquiries on any member of the Race to Zero campaign.

The Champions have worked over the past year to enhance integrity and track the progress and impact of commitments made by businesses, investors, cities, states and regions and initiatives. A summary of this work, including metrics and tools to measure the efficacy of actions to boost resilience, can be found in an accompanying factsheet, also published today.

These efforts serve as a source of credible evidence on how actors are following through on their commitments ahead of the Paris Agreement’s Global Stocktake in 2023.

In direct response to the Champions’ five-year plan, leading members of the Marrakech Partnership committed to fully support its implementation with a public declaration, representing their “pledge “to do everything we can to bridge this gap, and keep a 1.5°C temperature limit within reach.”

Nigel Topping, UN High-Level Climate Champion for COP26 said:

“The momentum among non-state actors is only set to grow. That is clearly welcome given the mountain left to climb. The science is clear. We’re not transitioning nearly fast enough. Turning today’s momentum into implementation is now absolutely the order of the day.”

Gonzalo Muñoz, UN High-Level Climate Champion for COP26 said: 

“This Yearbook lands at a critical moment in the fight against climate change. However, actions by individual actors will not see us halve emissions by the end of this decade, as is required to keep in line with a 1.5°C resilient future. As non-Party stakeholders, we realize the imperative to work together towards a common goal, both among ourselves and in conjunction with Parties.”

Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions said: “Climate change is a challenge that can’t be solved by federal governments alone. It will also take cities and states, businesses and universities, tribal nations and faith organisations, and everyone in between – because this is an all-hands-on-deck situation. To build on the momentum of growing climate ambitions from non-state actors, Bloomberg Philanthropies will support the deepening of engagement, especially in developing countries, and data initiatives to track progress and ensure accountability.”

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COP27: Day 10

Across the two weeks, non-State actors offered a wide range of actions, announcements, and events across thematic areas. This included the launch of the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund, an African-led insurance commitment to provide cover for up to USD 14 billion in climate losses, and the Sharm-El-Sheik Adaptation Agenda in partnership with the COP27 Presidency.