In 2019, few participants in, or observers to the UNFCCC process would have likely claimed that designing an online process was desirable or necessary. But many would have argued for broader reform of the process, noting the current lack of trust and power imbalances. 

When climate talks under the UNFCCC came to a complete standstill in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the question of a move online became more topical. Practical experiences over the last 18 months illustrated that many of the diverse activities under the umbrella of the UNFCCC could indeed be held online, albeit with challenges. 

For SEI research commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of the Environment, the question that emerged was whether they could be held in ways that increase the effectiveness, inclusiveness and transparency of the UNFCCC process and address issues of mistrust and power imbalances.

This fact sheet presents key insights from the research as well as recommendations.