The Global Stocktake: Assessing Progress in Tackling Climate Change

You may have heard about the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP meetings taking place in Bonn this week and next. Perhaps less well-known than the COP conference that takes place in December this year in Dubai, these meetings in Bonn bring together the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation. These intersessional meetings serve to bring negotiators and nations together mid-year to check-in on progress, hear latest research from scientists and climate change experts, and push toward common goals for the next COP discussions at the end of the year.

One topic high on the COP agenda this year is the Global Stocktake (GST). The UNFCCC Global Stocktake, established under the Paris Agreement, is a collective assessment of ongoing efforts by the Parties to the Agreement to address climate change. The main objective is to inform and guide countries in revising and strengthening their climate goals and actions, by measuring the progress toward achieving the agreement’s long-term goals and identifying areas where additional efforts are needed.

Key Guiding Principles

Comprehensive Evaluation: To provide a comprehensive analysis of countries’ collective efforts, including mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions), adaptation (building resilience to climate impacts), finance, capacity-building, and technology transfer. It evaluates the effectiveness of policies and measures implemented by countries to combat climate change.

Equity and Ambition: Equity is a key principle underlying the Global Stocktake to ensure that efforts are fair and inclusive. It recognizes the varying capacities and responsibilities of countries and encourages enhanced ambition over time. By considering equity, the Global Stocktake should be more likely to ensure a balanced and equitable approach to climate action.

Public Participation: The process emphasizes the importance of including multiple relevant stakeholders, e.g., civil society, indigenous peoples, local communities, and the private sector. Through public participation diverse perspectives and voices will be more easily heard, which supports transparency, accountability, and ownership of climate actions.

Science-Based Assessment: Assessing efforts base on the latest scientific findings. Scientific input and expertise play a central role in the Global Stocktake process, ensuring that assessments are based on the best available knowledge and evidence.


The Importance of Taking Stock

The Global Stocktake plays a vital role in helping to keep countries accountable in tracking progress toward the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. By openly assessing collective efforts, it is easier to identify gaps, weaknesses, and scalable best practices.

The public stocktaking process also helps to raise ambitions. By providing a platform for countries to assess their progress in comparison to global goals, the process can stimulate ambition and drive greater commitment to tackling climate change.

Further, this process gives policymakers valuable information and insights to make more informed decisions. It identifies areas where countries are falling short and highlights successful approaches, serving as a catalyst for policy improvements and the replication of best practices.

Why should we care about the Global Stocktake?

The Global Stocktake is not just a bureaucratic exercise; it is a powerful tool for advocacy and mobilizing action on climate change. It provides an opportunity for civil society organizations, youth activists, and concerned citizens to demand greater ambition and accountability from governments and businesses. By actively engaging in the Global Stocktake process, individuals and organizations can make their voices heard and push for stronger climate policies and measures.

It is crucial to advocate for ambitious emissions reductions, increased investment in renewable energy and the green economy, and the protection of vulnerable communities and ecosystems. Through targeted, collaborative, and informed advocacy for a fair and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy, we can ensure that the Global Stocktake leads to transformative action that safeguards the planet – and future generations.

The World Future Council’s Senior Programme Manager for Energy and Just Development, Lena Dente, will be taking part.