Talanoa means non-Party stakeholders can drive ambition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Thursday, 16 November 2017, 16:30 CET

Citizens’ Climate Education will be introducing a proposal for non-Party stakeholder participation in next year’s Talanoa Dialogue.

The Fijian word ‘Talanoa’ refers to an inclusive process of dialogue where all participants, regardless of power or influence, are peers. The COP23 Presidency has asked that the Facilitative Dialogue be held in the spirit of Talanoa, so that the best ideas can come together to galvanize a global climate action agenda ambitious enough to protect vulnerable countries from catastrophic climate change.

The CCE proposal will outline specific actions and priorities in relation to:

Building on 10 years of experience empowering citizen volunteers to become skilled policy advisors to their own legislative representatives, CCE’s proposal for non-Party stakeholder (NPS) engagement at COP24 starts from the principle that ongoing mutual education should define the citizen-official relationship.

  • A number of Parties continue to express concern that operational integration of non-Party stakeholders into the negotiations could be disruptive or interfere with the sovereignty of nation states.
  • Experience consistently shows the opposite to be true.
  • Being a Party-driven process, the UN Climate Change negotiations will continue to empower nations to make sovereign choices in working toward consensus.
  • Non-Party stakeholders need not hold consensus-veto power to be significant contributors to the process.
  • Their role can and should be to add capability in honoring the right to best-practice opportunity for all stakeholders, by introducing valuable ideas, which can be applied or denied by the Conference of the Parties.

The COP23 has been remarkable for the everywhere rising tide of discussion about the role of non-Party stakeholders in the intergovernmental process. The America’s Pledge coalition now commits “the world’s third largest economy” to fulfilling the Paris Agreement commitments. Since an estimated 70% of climate action policy and finance in the US is already the responsibility of non-Party stakeholders, this marks an important step forward for raising ambition globally.

Moving toward an Economy-wide National Climate Action Plan (ENCAP) model, where local actors commitments, resources, and actions are taken into account, allows for more detailed, more robust design of NDCs. NPS participation in the Talanoa Dialogue should:

  1. Facilitate ENCAP modeling to strengthen NDCs
  2. Honor the right to access best-practice opportunity
  3. Give voice to citizens, communities, and vulnerable groups
  4. Create space for ongoing mutual education between NPS and national officials
  5. Direct the deployment of climate-smart finance, according to the above
  6. Connect to a sustainable platform for ACE and NPS engagement

If clear strategies to meet these objectives can emerge through a year-round process of local, regional, and supranational engagement, the Talanoa Dialogue can:

  • integrate non-Party stakeholders into the COP24,
  • motivate the raising of ambition, nationally and globally, and
  • ensure climate-smart finance flows consistently to wherever it can reward local actors mobilizing that higher ambition.

On Tuesday, while 195 nations were in Bonn negotiating, more than 500 citizen volunteers went to meet with their representatives in the United States Congress, to talk about working together toward climate solutions and a proposed carbon fee, with 100% dividend to households. Citizens have a right to speak to their lawmakers, to do their part for generalized access to best-practice opportunity.

CCE will work in 2018 with partners in the Education, Communication and Outreach Stakeholders (ECOS) community to ensure stakeholders have ways to do this in the supranational space.


Our proposal is outlined through an active Talanoa Dialogue Engagement Toolkit, released January 26, 2018. Any person anywhere is invited to use the Toolkit and get involved.

The permanent link for the Toolkit is: engage4climate.org/talanoa