To analyse the status of civil society engagement in the UN’s climate change work, Together First and Plataforma CIPÓ launched a report which emphasises the positive contribution of Civil Society Organizations to climate advocacy and action, formally through UN channels and informally through external campaigning and powerful transnational movements. However, the report notes the huge untapped potential for deeper UN-civil society collaboration which must be addressed if the international community is to address the twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.
In this report, Adriana Erthal Abdenur and Nayifa Nihad (Plataforma CIPÓ) draw on an analysis of official documents and interviews with key stakeholders, especially climate activists from Global South organizations, to identify barriers to effective participation in UN climate processes and make proposals for improving these limitations.
Documented barriers include: financial, bureaucratic, informational, language, accessibility and IT barriers, as well as constraints in relation to visa issues and COVID19 related travel restrictions – all of which inhibit the ability of civil society to obtain formal accreditation and participate fully in climate related discussions.
The report, launched on November 4 during COP26 (Glasgow), also notes the gatekeeper and facilitation roles played by member states, which in some circumstances give countries the ability to veto the participation of CSOs, reflecting the increasingly troubling global picture of closing civic space and reprisals against outspoken environmental activists.