What’s the Story on Non-Party Stakeholders in the Global Stocktake?

The “dynamic but durable framework” of the Paris Agreement sets a fundamental basis for an ambitious pathway moving forward the call for global climate action (Northrop, 2017). Article 14 of the Paris Agreement pointed out that the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) is required to periodically take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to track progress of the Agreement in reaching its long-term goals. The process is known as the “global stocktake” (UNFCCC, 2018).

The global stocktake acts as the ambition mechanism of the Paris Agreement, to strengthen action by taking stock every five years (2018, 2023, 2028…), to inform successive Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) the following two years of every global stocktake (2020, 2025, 2030…). While the first global stocktake will take place in 2023, the initial stocktaking exercise begins in 2018 – which is why COP24 is an important COP, deemed as the “biggest COP post COP21”. The 2018 stocktake is also known as the Talanoa Dialogue (previously known as the Facilitative Dialogue, until it was rebranded under the Fijian Presidency at COP23, to incorporate the Pacific spirit of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue).

Source: WRI

In the Joint Reflections Note by the Presiding Officers of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Paris Agreement (APA), the Subsidiary Body for the Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) released prior to the Bangkok SB48-2 Session, it is stated that the session will resume the discussion on APA Agenda Item 6, to discuss “matters relating to the global stocktake.” APA Agenda Item 6 reflects Decision 1/CP.21, paragraphs 99 and 101 (references that are repetitively being emphasized over the course of negotiations).

Source: Joint Reflections Note by the Presiding Officers of APA, SBSTA, SBI

While negotiating the additional tool at the Informals on 6th September, there were alarming talks on non-party stakeholder participation in the global stocktake. The initial informal document template for agenda item 6 has a paragraph that states below:

Source: Additional tool for informals

Bolivia on behalf of Group of 77 and China pointed out that it is important to include in the text that it refers to accredited observer organisations, so that it is able to make a distinction between non-Parties Stakeholders from the Paris Agreement and non-Parties Stakeholders that are observer organisations. India on behalf of Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) expressed that they are still determining whether the involvement of third parties and non-parties in this process is a good thing or a bad thing, and at what stage of capacity does the participation entails. They also suggested that a separate forum for non-Parties Stakeholders to express views, with a non-binding outcome could be conducted.

Other groups had similar views. Saudi Arabia on behalf of Arab Group shared the same concern on submission of non-Parties Stakeholders, as they are unsure of how the submission will affect the progress of the Parties. They pointed out that there has to be management or guidance, as the global stocktake is a party driven process. Columbia on behalf of Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC) said that as we are receiving input from Parties, they don’t see the use of submission of non-Parties. Adding on, stated that this might even be duplicating on overarching elements.

While negotiating, did the Parties forget? While looking forward to 2023, did the Parties not remember what is happening at Katowice in 2018? The Talanoa Dialogue which was the focus in Bonn for COP23 and SB48, was barely muttered in Bangkok SB48-2. “Talanoa,” describing a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue seemed to have slowly drowned in the midst of the sea of negotiations. To dismiss the participation of non-Parties Stakeholders in the global stocktake is to dismiss the Talanoa Dialogue.

Some progress were made. At the end of the conference, Conclusions on APA agenda items 3-8 adopted was released, that herewith attached the link to outcome of Matters relating to the global stocktake referred to in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement. The updated negotiating body of text is as below:

Source: Additional tool in Bangkok outcome

Moving forward to Katowice, to quote Friedman (2015), “The job of the delegates… is essentially this: Choose among the bracketed phrases (which to scrap, which to accept, which to tweak)….” In hopes while doing so, adhering to the inclusive, participatory and transparent spirit of Talanoa.


Friedman, U. (2015). The Fate of the World Lies in Between Brackets. The Atlantic. Retrieved on 14 September 2018 at https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/12/brackets-climate-agreement-paris/418041/ .

Northrop, E. (2017). INSIDER: Designing the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement: The Catalyst for Climate Action. World Resources Institute. Retrieved on 7 September 2018 at https://www.wri.org/blog/2017/05/insider-designing-global-stocktake-under-paris-agreement-catalyst-climate-action .

UNFCCC (2018). Global Stocktake (referred to in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement). Retrieved on 7 September 2018 at https://unfccc.int/topics/science/workstreams/global-stocktake-referred-to-in-article-14-of-the-paris-agreement .

Written by Jasmin

Edited by Kitty

Thumbnail by Climate Analytics

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