Lola Vallejo, IDDRI’s climate programme director, has been appointed co-chair for the Mitigation Work Programme under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for a two-year mandate. What is the purpose of this programme and why is it important?

At COP26, countries collectively reckoned the gap between our global emissions’ trajectory (according to countries’ pledges (NDCs)) and the rapidly shrinking carbon budget to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals. There is also another gap, just as important, regarding the implementation of these NDCs, as countries have yet to fully turn these commitments into concrete policies and measures1

Therefore, the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact agreed to establish a “work programme to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation in this critical decade” (para 27), in recognition that limiting warming to 1.5˚C would require a 45% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 2030 relative to 2010 levels. In a new decision adopted at Sharm-el-Sheikh’s COP27, countries formally created the Mitigation Work Programme (MWP), under the decision body of signatories to the Paris Agreement (CMA). The decision requested two co-chairs to be appointed by the Chairs of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), one from a developed country Party and one from a developing country Party, to serve every two years. The Chairs of the subsidiary bodies have appointed Amr Osama Abdel-Aziz (Egypt) and Lola Vallejo (France) as the co-chairs for the Sharm el-Sheikh mitigation work programme for 2023–20242

What is the Mitigation Work Programme (MWP)?

  • The MWP’s objective is to "urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation in this critical decade in a manner that complements the global stocktake", namely how to reduce emissions to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals.
  • The MWP’s nature is "non-prescriptive, […] respectful of national sovereignty and national circumstances […] and will not impose new targets or goals".  
  • The MWP’s scope is wide-ranging ; it includes all gases (not just CO2) and sectors covered under the IPCC AR6 Working Group 3, but also "relevant enabling conditions, technologies, just transitions and cross-cutting issues".
  • The MWP requires the following outputs:
    - Convening at least two "Global Dialogues" per year, with one to be held prior to the Subsidiary Bodies’ Meetings in Bonn (June 2023), and another prior to COP28, with the possibility to organise other events, for instance during regional climate weeks;
    - Convening investment-focused events in the margins of the Global Dialogues, considering the cost of mitigation implementation;
    - Producing an annual report compiling the individual dialogue reports, which the two co-chairs of the work programme are invited to present to the annual high-level ministerial round table on pre-2030 ambition;
    - SBSTA and SBI chairs may “consider progress, including key findings, opportunities and barriers, in implementing the work programme with a view to recommending a draft decision for consideration and adoption” by the CMA;
    - Many countries and non-party stakeholders submitted their views on topics and modalities for the work to be conducted in 20233 .
  • The participation of ‘Non-Party Stakeholders’ is encouraged.

Why is it important?

The MWP presents an opportunity to, for instance, shed light on and catalyse effective solutions for reducing emissions and mobilize investment at scale, providing lessons learnt from success stories and challenges within countries or build bridges to other important stakeholders beyond the UNFCCC. 

While Lola Vallejo will co-chair this working group independently, IDDRI will continue its work to contribute to meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals, notably through:
- Its interventions to support the transformation of the energy and the agri-food systems in France and in Europe, and reflect how these can usefully feed into the international discussion;
- The work carried out by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways network’s partners in 40 countries, in particular emerging and developing countries, regarding national decarbonized development pathways, as well as their enabling conditions, particularly in terms of international cooperation.