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Meridian Institute

Consensus Building in the UNFCCC

Related: Climate Change and Energy, Sustainability and Resilience

Meridian Institute partnered with the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) to engage key stakeholders from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process to discuss and identify essential conditions for building consensus on climate change. Together, Meridian and the CDKN hosted a series of events and produced policy briefs to explore key topics related to climate negotiations.

As part of this process, Meridian participated in an event held in London in October 2012 and contributed to a policy brief entitled How to Build Consensus in Climate Change Negotiations. The event and paper highlighted some ideas of global thought leaders for increasing the collective global ambition for climate change action.
In spring 2013, Meridian conducted interviews with a diverse set of individuals involved with or supporting the climate change negotiations to discuss the ways they prepare for the negotiations, the skills and approaches of facilitators and chairs, and general reflections on how consensus building in the UNFCCC process could be better supported. The summary and analysis of those interviews was presented at a side event convened in partnership with the CDKN in Bonn, Germany, in June 2013. The objective of that event was to share experiences of both veteran and relatively new climate negotiators. Tony La Viña, who has been involved in the UNFCCC from the beginning, and Selam Kidane Abebe, a relatively new negotiator who has been part of the Ethiopian delegation for three years, shared their experiences navigating the complex UNFCCC system and insights on how to build consensus. They also produced a working paper—Building Consensus in the UNFCCC: Lessons from a Seasoned Negotiator and Observations from a New Negotiator—which is intended to prompt further discussion around the negotiations and consensus building process.
At the Conference of Parties (COP) 19 in Warsaw, Poland, Meridian Institute and the CDKN convened a small group of current and former negotiators, chairs and facilitators to discuss the role of chairs and facilitators in the UNFCCC. 


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