COP26 focused on balancing the interests of the nearly 200 signatory Parties to the Paris Agreement, while strengthening ambitions under the three pillars of collective climate action (i.e. reducing GHGs, mobilizing climate finance and adaptation to climate impacts) and focusing on HOW to keep the “1.5-degree climate target alive”.
Two key outcomes of the negotiations, were 1) the finalization of the Paris Agreement rulebook under Article 6 which not only makes the Paris Agreement fully operational but gives “certainty and predictability to market and non-market approaches” and, 2) the Enhanced Transparency Framework which will provide formats and tables to report on emissions and targets. For us at the Open Earth Foundation, these outcomes are a significant confirmation of the importance of our activities this past year while emphasizing the need for much more of our work and our approach to climate innovation.
The OEF team dove into COP26 focusing on three key initiatives which will enable adherence to and ambitions under the rulebook and enable and accelerate initiatives across the pillars of collective climate action. These three key initiatives are:
1. The OEF OpenClimate platform, which aims to create interoperability across climate accounting systems to enhance climate action transparency and accountability (aligned with Articles 6 &13). The negotiations emphasized the essential role of climate transparency and accountability in driving global climate ambition. Yet, the outcomes also included political concessions (such as the Kyoto CDM credit carry-overs, the accounting loophole for CORSIA through averaging, and the Article 6.4 non-authorized credits) that may erode the trust among actors. Here, we see a reaffirmation of the OEF approach of co-creating open-source community solutions independent from the official mechanisms and their political restraints, that can later inspire official processes.
2. The Camda declaration that was launched by the Climate Action Data 2.0 community, to solidify climate data accounting. The community is co-convened by Data-Driven EnviroLab and Open Earth Foundation and includes more than 60 expert organizations. Jointly, the community develops transparency frameworks and infrastructures to enable particularly sub-national and non-state actors to collaborate globally. On Nov 6 at COP26, the UNFCCC hosted a key event “Tracking Credible Climate Action” where the new Camda Declaration was announced outlining the community’s commitment to a set of key principles for working collaboratively on both existing data disclosure platforms and emerging technologies that can support climate action analysis, including blockchain, satellite imagery and machine learning.
3. The launch of the UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub (UGIH), which promotes transformative innovation for climate and the Sustainable Development Goals by providing a global cross-disciplinary community of practice with a physical and virtual space for radical collaboration on needs based solutions. OEF not only collaborated on the launch of the physical hub at COP26, leading or participating in key sessions throughout the two weeks of COP26, but developed and presented the prototype of the digital UGIH platform as well as the urban/cities pilot program and model. The full program, video and presentations and next steps for the UGIH are available online.
The mission of OEF is to collaborate on building better systems that create incentives and governance mechanisms for Earth. The three core activities highlighted at COP26 (OpenClimate, Camda Climate Action Data 2.0 and the UN Global Innovation Hub) are key building blocks for achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. OEF will continue to collaborate both in providing key platforms and in informing the official processes of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI).
We also reaffirm our focus on decentralized and open-source approaches. Together with our growing number of collaborators, we will enable, develop and deploy systemic solutions over the next 50 years – to drive global ambition, accountability and innovations for climate action.