Report: GCPC 2018

Harnessing Research for Climate Ambition
and Transparency: 4th Global Climate Policy Conference


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The Global Climate Policy Conference (GCPC) is the flagship event for Climate Strategies. The 4th edition, held in São Paulo, Brazil, on  16-17 August 2018, looked to harness research to boost ambition and transparency in climate action, particularly within the Latin America region.

The annual conference opens up a unique space of dialogue in which the academic and policy communities come together to identify the key questions that need to be asked in order to address the multidimensional challenges posed by climate change, and to discuss what answers researchers suggest in this regard.

The first day of the conference revolves around the subjects emerging from the research submitted for the event and selected by the conference committee. This ‘bottom-up’ element helps ensure that new voices are heard, and that new proposals from the research community are visible. The second day focuses on integrating research into political and policy processes. It features senior government advisers, businesses and civil society, and all those actors engaged in the policy process. This ‘top-down’ element helps researchers connect their work with policy-making and generates new ideas about the challenges of implementing the policies needed for an adequate response to climate change.

Each edition of the GCPC is held in a different region, a purposeful decision to ensure all contexts and views are considered. Regional networking and knowledge sharing are key components of successful policy implementation. Holding regional conferences is therefore an important contribution to the development of this capacity. Countries’ ability to address climate and development challenges is also connected to investments in research and policy communities. An added benefit of the GCPC regional approach is the facilitation of contributions from a wide range of participants, including those usually not taking part in major international events. This not only stimulates new ideas, but also constitutes an investment in researchers and policy-makers in the region.

The GCPC’s interaction between research and science on one hand, and policy design and implementation on the other, together with its commitment to nurture regional and national networks and knowledge, matches the emphasis on national action deriving from the Paris Agreement.

As a region, Latin America faces a range of challenges closely linked to climate change, from land-use and forestry management to rapid urbanisation. At the same time, many countries in the region have emerged as global leaders on both climate adaptation and mitigation. As attention to the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) intensifies:

  • What kind of actions are being put in place in Latin America? 
  • What research is needed to support climate policy and implementation in this region?
  • Which specific regional challenges and opportunities need to be highlighted?

These were some of the themes discussed at this year’s GCPC,  which are summarised in this publication. This edition was organised with support from the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung’s Energy Security and Climate Change in Latin America programme, Iniciativa Climática de México, Instituto Clima e Sociedade and the Oak Foundation.

Author: Sonja Klinsky, with support from conference materials
Year: 2018
Type: Report
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