Beyond COP26 - Towards more effective international climate architecture

climate goals globe

Beyond COP26 - Towards more effective international climate architecture

Monday, 14 June 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Online Event
Selwin Hart (United Nations)
Benito Muller (Environmental Change Institute, Oxford)
Hartmut Mayer (Director, European Studies Centre, St Antony’s, Oxford)
Adrienne Cheasty (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
European Studies Seminar

This online event features as one of several this term which focusses on 'Political economy of European climate action', and is hosted by the European Political Economy Project (EUPEP) at the European Studies Centre.

Abstract: The UN-led Conference of the Parties (COP) process of global climate negotiations has built on the delicately-crafted 2015 Paris Accord and achieved a high level of legitimacy across the international community. However, progress towards climate goals has been uneven and disappointing. The UNFCCC’s Initial Synthesis Report issued in February 2021 for COP26 found that “governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement”. Several characteristics of the negotiations process, while contributing to its acceptability, limit its capacity to elicit stronger national commitments to climate action. Notably, all commitments are voluntary; moreover Synthesis Report evaluations of impact do not single out specific country actions but provide only a descriptive global assessment; also, the stock-taking exercise has a five-year schedule. This seminar discusses what, if anything, can be done to reform the COP process and supporting climate architecture to make it more effective in delivering on climate goals.  

Selwin Hart is Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Climate Action and Assistant Secretary-General for the Climate Action Team—responsible for UN system engagement and public mobilization necessary to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and achieve a successful 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, in November 2021. Previously, Mr. Hart was the Executive Director for the Caribbean region at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and earlier, the Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States for Barbados and Director of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team, leading the team’s delivery of the 2014 Climate Summit and the Secretary-General’s engagement in the process leading to the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Mr. Hart was a member of the Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund Board from 2009 to 2010 and was elected by the United Nations General Assembly to serve as Vice-Chairman of the 2nd Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (Economic and Financial) during its 60th Session.

Benito Müller is Managing Director of Oxford Climate Policy (a not-for-profit company aimed at capacity building for developing country climate change negotiators), and Director of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi), an international initiative for sustained capacity building in support of international climate change negotiations. At the University of Oxford, he serves as Convener International Climate Policy Research at the Environmental Change Institute, Visiting Professor at the Social Sciences Division, member of the Philosophy Faculty, and Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He was Director Energy & Climate Change at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (1996 - 2014). He has been serving as Adviser to the LDC Group Chair (2011-18) and the Africa Group Chair (2012-13). He participated in the deliberations of the Transitional Committee (TC) for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as Adviser to the LDC TC members, who he has also been also advising on the GCF Board and the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance. Professor Müller received his doctorate (D.Phil.) in Philosophy from the University of Oxford and was formerly a Research Fellow at Wolfson College and a Lecturer in Logic at the Queen's College, Oxford. He has a Diploma in Mathematics from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland.

Adrienne Cheasty comes from the IMF, where she was most recently Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department, responsible for Europe and for fiscal federal issues. She was previously Deputy Director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, responsible for Mexico, Venezuela, Andean countries, and the Caribbean. Earlier, she worked on numerous IMF-supported crisis programmes in emerging markets and fragile states. Research areas include euro area fiscal-financial architecture, financial crisis management, debt issues, measurement of the fiscal deficit, and financial aspects of climate change. She was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils on Fiscal Sustainability and on Public Finance and Social Protection, and has taught at Harvard, Yale and Johns Hopkins.

This event will be chaired by Hartmut Mayer (Director, European Studies Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford)

This event is taking place online using Zoom. The link to REGISTER via Zoom is available by clicking HERE.

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