Keeping climate change at the top of the global political agenda

Dear Readers, GCCA+ Supporters and Friends,

We always knew that, with Paris, the game would not be over.

A few months down the line, we still do not have enough perspective to fully grasp the impact of COP 21. But we can certainly share some reflections and most importantly the concrete actions and activities we have undertaken since then.

While the international community gets to grips with multiple other global challenges, all requiring coordinated action, we must stay focused. We must keep climate change at the top of the global political agenda and focus on pre-2020 action as well as helping countries to prepare for the transition to low emission development pathways by mid-century. We are very encouraged for instance by the fact that renewables are becoming more and more competitive and offering real alternatives to fossil fuels.  We in the European Commission will be strengthening our support to renewable energy and to energy efficiency in developing countries in the years to 2020.

In this sense, Paris was just the beginning. Sticking together will be essential for progress. And working together will bring us success.

The GCCA+ has been very active since COP 21. We have focused on turning the agreement by global leaders into concrete action. We firmly believe that our work should stay focused on our twin pillars. Our priorities remain policy dialogue and practical technical support for the world’s most vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Our presence at the recent European Development Days (EDD 2016) showcased these intentions. By partnering with organisations from the development community, we will be better able to take our projects to new levels and to inspire innovative solutions for some of the most pressing challenges.

While there, we hosted a brainstorming session on how to translate the Paris Agreement into climate adaptation for the LDCs and SIDS. The session usefully discussed and identified areas in which the GCCA+ can enhance its support for adaptation efforts in a post-Paris setting, integrating climate change considerations with the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Please do take a moment to watch the video from the EDD, to read the recommendations made at the session to the GCCA+, and to have fun playing our climate memory game in which you can be an Ethiopian farmer adapting to climate change in a GCCA+ supported village.

This game shows how, as we strengthen our communications and knowledge management platform, we aim to engage more directly with our audiences.

It is an example of how new and creative ways of communicating will help us to connect with our existing partners and to reach new audiences too.


Looking ahead, the GCCA+ will welcome more than 150 delegates to its Global Learning Event (GLE) in Brussels, from 12-14 September 2016, to explore effective ‘post-COP 21’ approaches to climate change adaptation.

Keynote speeches, moderated Q&A sessions, open sessions, grassroots testimonies, and video presentations will all offer delegates a global overview of the climate adaptation story. Speakers will include those with experience at the local, national, regional and global levels.

I would like to thank those of you who have submitted your inspiring ideas for presentations and contributions. This call for proposals process has been closed since 15 June. The response was excellent, and we have now identified speakers and delegates from key stakeholder groups, including beneficiaries, agencies, the private sector, academic/scientific institutions, civil society and more.


I would also like to reconfirm our strong commitment to supporting our partner countries as they implement their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

Participants at our EDD brainstorming session have given us some very useful insights into how the GCCA+ can maximise its support to countries so they can deliver on their INDCs, mainly through capacity building and financial support.

I invite you to study the outcome of this section of our session.

Finally, I would like to use this newsletter to say goodbye. I will be retiring from the European Commission on 1 September. I look forward, however, to keeping in touch with climate action in developing countries after my retirement. We will inform you about the new Head of Unit in a future newsletter.


Yours sincerely,

Peter Craig Mcquaide
Head of Unit
European Commission
International Cooperation and Development
DEVCO C.6 – Sustainable Energy and Climate Change