Background

The Committee recalled that, at its last session, HLCP extended the mandate of its Working Group on Climate Change for two years and endorsed the Group’s 2014-2015 Work Programme, which seeks to achieve the objectives of generating momentum for an ambitious climate agreement and fostering sustained climate action on the ground. The Committee also recalled that the Group was tasked with producing a joint publication in time for the Climate Summit and drafting Terms of Reference for the Group, for review by HLCP at its current session. 

Discussion

Presenting the progress report on the implementation of the Working Group’s Work Programme, Elena Manaenkova, Assistant Secretary-General of WMO and Chair of the Working Group, noted that a key deliverable of the Work Programme was to strengthen the UN system’s joint communication on the benefits of low carbon and resilient growth, and on the system’s role in catalyzing bold and meaningful climate action. In light of that, Ms. Manaenkova informed the Committee on progress made in coordinating the UN system’s participation in the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Lima, Peru (COP20).

Preparations were well advanced for the holding of 11 UN system side events and technical briefings at COP20, to highlight joint climate action and present the latest knowledge and UN system expertise in key aspects of the negotiations, taking into account also the outcomes of the 2014 Climate Summit.  Ms. Manaenkova also expressed readiness of the Working Group to support preparations of a high-level CEB side event at COP20. In addition, she informed that the Working Group was organizing the first “One UN exhibit area” at COP20, which would demonstrate the breadth of the UN system’s technical, operational and normative expertise in an integrated and coherent manner, through jointly organized thematic exhibits that follow a common visual identity, rather than traditional individual agency-specific booths.

The UN system’s coordinated action on climate change was further highlighted in a joint publication by the Working Group on “How the United Nations System Supports Ambitious Action on Climate Change”, launched at the Climate Summit.  Nearly 40 UN entities contributed to the joint publication, which demonstrated how the diverse entities of the UN system work together in support of climate action. The publication was available on the CEB website (http://www.unsceb.org/content/how-un-system-supports-ambitious-action-climate-change).  Ms. Manaenkova informed HLCP that this publication would be featured at the COP20.

Regarding the Terms of Reference, presented to the Committee for approval, Ms. Manaenkova noted that their drafting was guided by HLCP’s recommendation to maintain the flexible nature of the Group. The draft had been thoroughly consulted and agreed upon by the members of the Working Group. 

Thanking Ms. Manaenkova for her leadership, the Committee acknowledged with appreciation the work of the Working Group and endorsed the Terms of Reference in the understanding that the Group’s mandate, as well as its Terms of Reference, would be subject to HLCP’s review in the fall of 2015, also with a view to ensuring the right modus operandi for the UN system to deliver coordinated and coherent support to Member States in addressing climate change beyond COP21 and in the broader context of the post-2015 development agenda. With regard to the proposed holding of a CEB high-level side event at COP20. Upon consideration, the Committee agreed to request the Working Group to explore alternative options for demonstrating the UN system’s commitment to supporting climate action beyond the holding of a CEB high-level side event at COP20.

Action

The Committee:

Approved the Terms of Reference of the HLCP Working Group on Climate Change (Annex V).