On 11 December 2018 I took part in the Ministerial Talanoa, face to face story telling with ministers, as part of the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 in Katowice as one of two members of the Research and Independent NGOs constituency. Below is the story I shared. Here you can also listen to it at 3 hours 34 min:https://attend-emea.broadcast.skype.com/sv-SE/2a6c12ad-406a-4f33-b686-f78ff5822208/bf3826cd-ac7a-4636-bd0a-b9542b605fb5/player?cid=e6bcwiw5cvflolbhrvmwds7yfx4akz5p3rn3ue7og7zutcuwhrla&rid=EMEA
My story is your story. The story of almost 200 countries on a beautiful blue planet engaged in a joint endeavour of grand proportions -addressing climate change. In doing so you have, as is your habit, developed an international treaty containing a mixture of legal and moral obligations as a basis for your efforts.
You devised an accountability mechanism for the treaty suited to a community of peers that want to help and encourage each other to action, rather than to scold and sanction each other for inaction. This mechanism includes a global reflection every five years on the sufficiency of aggregate action that shall inform the plans for how much a country will do next.
Accountability can be defined as being about telling a story, based on some obligation and with some consequences. You are now here in the trial run of the global stocktake telling your stories based on your obligations. The decisive question is: how do you make obligatory story telling at global level have sufficient consequences in the form of enhanced ambition at national level?
This year I lead a research project with GLOBE and One World Trust beginning to search the answer to this question. We looked for good examples of how countries are engaging with the Talanoa Dialogue at home and how they are planning to engage with future global stocktakes.
We found 37 Talanoa Dialogues organised by governments at national or regional level. Most of them were stand alone one day multi-stakeholder events with story telling of best practices and not linked to a policy process. One shining exception was Peru that held a three-month long public deliberation process with stakeholders throughout the country feeding into developing regulations for their climate legislation.
We found that some of you like the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Mexico and the EU have adapted their legislative or policy frameworks to include five-year review cycles of climate plans aligned with the global stocktake. Many others have not yet done so.
Based on our preliminary results we recommend you to bring the outcome of this Talanoa Dialogue home to your countries, empower your parliament to take a lead role in organising a reflection process on its implications. This ensures broad legitimacy and consideration of cross-sectoral policy implications. Then, if you have not done so already, enhance ambition. But as important is to evaluate the experience of the reflection process itself and use that when you adjust legislation and design future processes. Key questions for such an evaluation are: how was the process able to foster earnest and uplifting reflection, combining careful analysis of experience with unlocking enthusiasm for doing more across all sectors?
If I ended the story here countries would be on their own in learning how to best design their national ambition mechanism. Why not build a learning community among yourselves, share in your Nationally Determined Contributions or National Communications your failures and successes in reflecting for enhanced ambition and discuss these when you meet?
How this story will end is a lot up you. You have designed an accountability mechanism asking everyone of you - the governments of the world - to look yourself in the mirror every five years together with your parliamentarians, scientists and citizens and earnestly compare your climate actions to the moral and legal standards of the Paris Agreement and if there are mismatches - step up action.