Headline: Fostering Reflection, Dialogue and Collaboration among Actors at the UN Climate Change Conferences

At their core, the UN Climate Change conferences known as “COPs” are the primary international venue for negotiating how countries should act and cooperate to avoid dangerous climate change. The 2015 Paris Agreement is its most recent notable success. Although the climate negotiations are a state government-led process, the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) community has increasingly recognized the need for dialogue and engagement with non-governmental stakeholders in acknowledgement of the critical role they will play in mobilizing and implementing climate change solutions. Non-governmental stakeholders include science, civil society, the private sector, and local communities. Such non-governmental stakeholders also attend the COP in large numbers, where they aspire to influence the negotiations, make their voices heard, and generally contribute to advancing climate action. Indeed, the COP has tremendous convening power, annually bringing together tens of thousands of people working on diverse aspects of climate policy, science, and advocacy in one place at the same time. Despite this enormous collective potential, a communication culture has developed that relies heavily on conventional presentation and panel formats that are not conducive to mutual engagement and learning. We therefore see a need to reinvigorate the COPs through new formats of dialogue that can better foster collaboration and co-creation of climate change solutions. Against this backdrop we make the following three recommendations to foster reflection, dialogue, and collaboration among diverse actors at the UN Climate Change conferences, focusing on the interactions that take place outside the formal negotiations. These recommendations are intended to be actionable by different types of meeting hosts at the COP, including observers, Party delegates, the UNFCCC Secretariat and the COP presidency.

Publication Year
Publication Type
RIFS Policy Briefs

Mar, K. A., Fraude, C., Bruhn, T., Schäpke, N., Stasiak, D., Schroeder, H., Wamsler, C., & Lawrence, M. G. (2021). Fostering Reflection, Dialogue and Collaboration among Actors at the UN Climate Change Conferences. IASS Policy Brief, 2021(5).

Staff involved
Projects involved
Co-Creation and Contemporary Policy Advice Climate Action in National and International Processes (ClimAct) A Mindset for the Anthropocene Co-Creative Reflection and Dialogue Space (CCRDS)