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UNFCC: Regional Collaboration Centres Usher in a New Era of Implementation

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The UN Climate Change secretariat today launched the RCC Annual Report 2021 Momentum Towards Implementation. This third edition of the RCC Annual Report shows how six Regional Collaboration Centres built momentum towards success at last year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow. It also demonstrates that regional networks exist which can facilitate implementation of the Paris Agreement. Full implementation is crucial to achieve the Agreement’s goal to keep global heating below an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius and to build resilience to the inevitable impacts of climate change.

The RCCs are UN Climate Change Regional Collaboration Centres that operate as partnerships in key regions around the world. The RCCs support climate action by governments through capacity-building, technical assistance and connecting a wide network of stakeholders.

In 2021, the RCCs supported 75 virtual events, including three all virtual Regional Climate Weeks that brought together more than 12,000 participants to collaborate on climate action in key regions. This includes 31 capacity-building events that advance action under the Clean Development Mechanism, the UN Climate Change carbon offset programme that funds GHG emission-reducing projects worldwide.

Last year, regional collaboration was recognized in the Glasgow Climate Pact for its potential to strengthen a credible and durable response to climate change. This is important because countries within regions often face similar challenges and can find opportunities in partnerships. This in turn allows key stakeholders in the respective regions to accelerate and scale up crucial climate action.

This Annual Report 2021 details key achievements by all six RCCs and outlines the diverse portfolio of activities these Centres support worldwide, with focus on momentum towards implementation following crucial decisions in Glasgow.

By building capacity and sharing knowledge on topics such as carbon pricing and markets, climate-smart cooling, standardized baselines and carbon neutrality, the RCCs enable both local action and effective participation at the annual UN Climate Change conference.

The report also details engagement by the RCCs throughout 2021, with a focus on building momentum through collaboration. The RCCs partnered to bring together diverse viewpoints for virtual webinars and workshops focused on enabling stronger outcomes at COP26. RCC engagement was guided by three goals:

Goal 1 – Maximize commitment to climate action

Goal 2 – Facilitate climate action to achieve commitments

Goal 3 – Regional climate action coordination

By working towards these goals, the RCCs encouraged countries to revise their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) upwards and enabled progress on other crucial issues. By engaging widely, the RCCs united stakeholders with common purpose and inspired confidence in Glasgow.

This March, at the closing of the inaugural MENA Climate Week, UN Climate Change Director of Mitigation, James Grabert, said: “In the Glasgow Climate Pact, nations of the world recognized the powerful potential that regional collaboration has. They welcomed the Regional Climate Weeks as a platform for collaboration and as a place for Parties and non-Party stakeholders to come together and strengthen our collective response to climate change.”

“It is clear that when you bring together diverse voices and viewpoints that share similar regional challenges… you open the door to regional opportunities,” he added.

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