The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 marked a significant shift in the recognition of the role of so-called “non-Party stakeholders,” including civil society, local governments, academia, businesses, and others, in addressing climate change. People in all these walks of life have a key part to play in seeing that action is taken to combat climate change and its impact (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13). These stakeholders should be active participants in the design and monitoring of national policies for that attempt to implement and achieve the Paris Agreement’s objectives.
The launch of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action in late 2016 reaffirmed the recognition that climate action by a variety of stakeholders will be essential. Why? Such participants can strengthen public ownership and support for climate policies, offer independent and complementary insights and expertise into the progress made by Parties in implementing and enhancing the ambition of the Paris Agreement, help ensure that the outcomes of review processes are taken up within countries, and help hold Parties to account.
Leaving the contributions of non-Party stakeholders out of the design and implementation of the Paris Rulebook would be a missed opportunity. Members of civil society can act as watchdogs, monitoring implementation and compliance, and providing public scrutiny that can incentivize actions by Parties to meet, and exceed existing ambitions.