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January 30, 2018

United States Council for International Business (USCIB)

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)

Submission: Progress of Implementation of SBI Conclusions1 and How Non-Party

Stakeholder (NPS) Engagement Can be Further Enhanced

UNFCCC institutional infrastructure should be updated and expanded to create a dedicated

and recognized channel to consult and mobilize representative business engagement as
part of global efforts to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC. The Talanoa
Dialogue and Global Stocktake are opportunities to further explore how to efficiently
respond to Party requests for technical and other representative input that business experts
are uniquely able to provide.

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomes this opportunity to share
American business views in 2 areas:

- Implementation of 2017 SBI conclusions relating to non-Party stakeholders

- How can non-Party stakeholder engagement be further enhanced, beginning through the
Talanoa Dialogue and Global Stocktake

USCIB aligns with submissions on this topic by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and
partners of the Major Economies Business Forum (BIZMEF -- USCIB is a partner organization).

As an observer organization representing American business in the UNFCCC since 1993, USCIB
values the opportunities to observe international climate processes.

In that time, the range of forums, institutions and meetings has expanded significantly, and
opportunities for non-Party stakeholder inputs have multiplied, most recently with the addition of
relatively new tracks, such as the Global Action Agenda, the Talanoa Dialogue and the Forum on
Response Measures, among others.

While this proliferation of international climate bodies and forums is both necessary and a welcome
sign of expanding political will and scope of action, both Parties and non-party-stakeholders now
face a challenge: how to navigate the complexity of the UNFCCC structure. For non-Party
stakeholders, it is becoming more and more difficult to bring forward content and involvement to
strengthen and inform the deliberations. This poses an obstacle to the fullest possible dialogue and

1 “At its meeting in May 2017, the SBI identified opportunities to enhance the openness, transparency and inclusiveness
of the effective engagement of non-Party stakeholders. The SBI has invited Parties and non-Party stakeholders to submit
their views, by 31 January 2018, on the progress of implementation of the SBI conclusions of last year with a view to
considering how non-Party stakeholder engagement can be further enhanced.”
action by business, and therefore we believe that a more efficient and recognized interaction and
structure for business is necessary and timely.

The UNFCCC is moving towards dialogue and mobilization of all countries and all stakeholders – as
recently evidenced by the development of specialized platforms and workstreams for indigenous
peoples, local communities, workers and women/gender. It is time to bring the business and
industry community into a similarly tailored, efficient, cooperative, inclusive and recognized
relationship with the UNFCCC. We look forward to working with the Parties, the Secretariat and
other NPS to continue to build the institutional structures that will support and strengthen
cooperative and all of economy action by Parties and by business to meet the UNFCCC and Paris

A simple, comprehensive, and recognized channel for representative business engagement would
attract and provide valuable and necessary business expertise and engagement in action in this
growing and complex structure. In our view, such a channel for business would strengthen
implementation of the Paris Agreement as well as the effectiveness and resilience of the UNFCCC.
One opportunity to test the value of such a channel is to strengthen and recognize the role of
business in the Talanoa Dialogue and Global Stocktake. Another is to advance consultation,
partnership and capacity building with business at the national level, relevant to NDC elaboration,
improvement and implementation.

To begin consideration of such a dedicated and recognized business channel,USCIB recommends

the creation of a Public Private Business Advisory Group, made up of Parties and representative
business non-Party Stakeholders, invited by the High-Level Champions, to evaluate the
opportunities and roles of a business channel into UNFCCC, with a view to maintaining an efficient
Party driven and led process, and focusing on where such a channel could enhance ambition and
effectiveness in mitigation, adaptation, technological innovation and cooperation and in investment
and finance. That Public-Private Business Advisory Group would be announced at COP24 and
deliver its recommendations to COP25 for consideration by Parties.

We look forward to working with Parties and the UNFCCC throughout the Talanoa dialogue and in
preparation for the Global Stock-Take to develop a transparent, substantive and recognized
channel for representative and inclusive business engagement.

Since the 2017 SBI Workshop: Progress on Implementation of SBI Conclusions

The areas identified for action include:

- Increased opportunities for interventions and briefings

- Greater use of NPS inputs in workshops, technical meetings, including through submissions
- Exploring open dialogue with Parties on a variety of matters, including agenda setting and
programing for dialogue with NPS
- Exchanging information on best practices and challenges to public participation and access to
information, especially on NDCs and NAPs
- Enhancing the online registration system for great flexibility
- Enhance existing practices for openness, transparency and inclusiveness of the UNFCCC
- Enhance Parties access to submissions from NPS
- Encourage participation through virtual tools
We appreciate the support and effort by Presidencies, the Bureau, the SB Chairs, the Parties and
the Secretariat to support and advance efforts in all of these areas, and we note good progress in
most of them. The emphasis on openness, transparency and inclusiveness in engaging business as
sources of knowledge, to catalyze action from every sector across the entire economy, and as
fundamental practices of good governance cannot be emphasized enough.

Enhancing ambition and action under the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement depends on
animating and crowding in business at national and international levels. This business
engagement in turn requires innovative governance and partnership. To fully mobilize
actions, resources and partnerships envisioned by the Paris Agreement, the UNFCCC should
continue to expand its means of working with business and other non-Party stakeholders through
collaboration and mainstreaming.

First steps are already being taken in the UNFCCC to pursue enhanced and specialized
interactions with important stakeholder groups, such as the dedicated platform for indigenous
peoples and the agenda of work for women and gender. Given the essential role of business in
advancing the UNFCCC and Paris agreement through technology, investment and implementation
of multisector and multi industries solutions, it is time to consider a similar dedicated arrangement
for the private sector that emphasizes specific and unique private sector expertise, resources and

In light of the mandate’s reference to “openness, transparency and inclusiveness,” SBI should not
consider options that would discriminate against, lessen access options or otherwise unfairly
burden any observer organization or constituency. The fundamental principles of non-regression,
non-discriminatory treatment and inclusiveness should be the starting point for all discussions in the
UNFCCC, Talanoa Dialogue and Global Stocktake. Given the levels of active commitment across
the business community to support climate change and UNFCCC activities, we are concerned by
unsubstantiated accusations and assertions that seek to limit or ban business sectors and the entire
business community. Such a restrictive and un-democratic approach would be contradictory to the
SBI conclusions and the Open Dialogue recently held by the Fijian Presidency.

Looking Ahead: A Long term Vision for Recognized Business Engagement in UNFCCC and the
Paris Agreement

UNFCCC institutional frameworks should adjust and evolve to animate and mobilize substantive
dialogue and engagement with business, inclusive of all sectors, sizes and nationalities of business
and at every point in the process – agenda setting, policy discussion and consultation, technical
advice, and implementation (in response to government rules, through markets and in voluntary
efforts and partnerships).

While the Global Action Agenda has been an important first step, it is not enough in itself, nor can it
be expected to catalyze the broader forces and resources of business in all their diversity across
the many topics and areas involved in climate action across society and the global economy.

Now, more than ever, it is essential to engage business and other non-party stakeholders to
examine and strengthen implementation of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. This will
require new structures and relationships, and for some other stakeholders, those are beginning to
take shape – for example the platform for indigenous peoples and local communities.
The UNFCCC should consider and evolve to accommodate a recognized institutional interface – or
“channel”” - for business, focused on the advice, expertise and capabilities that are distinct to
business, built on the model of other such consultative bodies, for example the International
Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD
(BIAC), both of which engage national and regional representative business organizations. This
arrangement would in no way undermine the fundamental inter-governmental nature of the
UNFCCC, rather it would provide an additional resource to efficiently respond to requests from
Parties and the Secretariat.

Examples of other UN forums that bring business into a practical working dialogue and recognized
cooperative relationship with governments (and other stakeholders) include the Montreal Protocol
and the UN Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). In both cases,
the involvement of business and other stakeholders is not marginal to the inter-governmental
process, rather, it is embedded into and complementary to it. While the scope of the Paris
Agreement (and the UNFCCC as whole) is broader than that of Montreal or SAICM, USCIB
believes that moving towards a mainstreamed and recognized role for business is imperative to
achieving current commitments as well as future objectives for mitigation, adaptation, investment
and finance.

A recognized business channel would provide a resource of responsible and representative private
sector expertise to Parties, UNFCCC officials, the Secretariat and other stakeholder groups.
During dialogues and workshops, such a channel could allow business to identify information,
issues and participants to make more effective inputs. It would serve to enhance communication
and outreach to the broad business community in developed and developing nations that has
limited time, expertise and resources to engage directly in these processes. It would relieve the
administrative and budgetary burden on the Secretariat, by consolidating business contacts into a
“one-stop” resource that would be managed and resourced primarily by business and industry.

As a starting point, USCIB suggests inviting a Public Private Business Advisory Group, led by the
Champions and Presidencies, Parties and Business to determine how to structure a UNFCCC
business channel that would efficiently and transparently provide:

- Responsiveness to Party requests

- Appropriate links to national consultations around NDCs
- Supportiveness to the Secretariat
- Representativeness and inclusiveness

The form of a private sector channel could be a consultative mechanism or expert committee;
whatever the form, it should embody the following principles:

• Self-organized and funded by business based on national affiliates;

• Inclusivity and recognition of diversity – including geographical balance, sectoral diversity and
size of enterprises;
• Openness and transparency;
• Flexibility and adaptability

To be successful and effective, a dedicated business channel would engage and prioritize
representative business groups on substantive consultation at the request of Parties and would
avoid “siloed” approaches that separate “implementation” from “policy elaboration and dialogue.”
All businesses and sectors will be affected by the transformational changes envisaged by the Paris
Agreement, all should have a place to inform and strengthen the outcomes.

It will be necessary to pursue this enhanced consultation with business at national levels as
well, in connection with the NDCs. Stimulating an “all of society” -- inclusive of an “all of
economy” effort -- to elaborate, operationalize and assess NDCs is fundamental; full
“engagement” of societal partners will be needed to accomplish that. To build trust that
pledges are being met and to inform discussions of enhanced future efforts, Parties will
need to create effective, efficient and credible engagement and transparency systems—both
domestically and internationally – including with economic stakeholders, i.e., business.

In general, NDCs implementation will require legislative and regulatory measures to achieve
pledged outcomes. Each national business community is expected to comply and
implement those government policies. In addition, many governments already require
business to report emissions and disclose other climate-change relevant data and
information through regulatory channels. This information would presumably be included in
tracking of action towards national pledges, and be relevant to the global assessment set
out in the Paris agreement.

Input from business (and other stakeholders) can help to identify inefficiencies, challenges
and opportunities to achieve and strengthen national pledges going forward. In particular,
because NDCs will affect their domestic and international operations, supply and value
chains, planning and investments, business has relevant, unique experiences and insights
to inform transparency processes at both domestic and international levels.


The United States Council for International Business advances the global interests of American
business through advocacy for an open system of world trade, finance and investment, where
business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and environmental

USCIB policy positions are developed by its membership, encompassing more than 300 global
corporations, professional firms and industry associations, who work through committees to provide
business input for USCIB to convey to policymakers at home and abroad.

USCIB’s advocacy spans a broad range of policy issues, leveraging the expertise of our business
members and a unique network of global business organizations: the International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC), Business at OECD (BIAC), and the International Organization of Employers
(IOE). Through these organizations’ official consultative status in major intergovernmental forums,
USCIB represents American business positions both to the U.S. government and to such
organizations such as the UN system, the OECD and the International Labor Organization.

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