By definition ‘Non-Parties’ don’t sign up to the Paris Agreement or to any pledges. However it was recognised at COP21 that, as well as Government action, it is vital that as many people and bodies as possible do everything they can to avert Climate Change. So the Agreement reached in Paris in Dec 2016 introduced the concept of ‘non party stakeholders’ and also of ‘observers’.
The Agreement listed some non-party stakeholders “Welcomes the efforts of all non-Party stakeholders to address and respond to climate change, including those of civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities and other subnational authorities.” (p19 134) and expanded on groups of vulnerable people and their rights: “climate change is a common concern of humankind….. their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity..” (p1)
It then exhorted them to “to scale up their climate actions, and encourages the registration of those actions in the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action platform” (p17 118)
The Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA)
“was launched in Lima at COP20 and registers commitments to climate change by companies, cities, subnational regions, and investors to address climate change…..establishes a platform for the exchange of experiences and sharing of best practices on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner; Also recognizes the important role of providing incentives for emission reduction activities, including tools such as domestic policies and carbon pricing.” NAZCA covers a wide range of topics:
Energy Access and Efficiency
Cities and Sub-National
Short Lived Climate Pollutants
“is an another initiative, by the French Presidency of COP21, that invited all businesses, regions, cities, and investors to sign up to act on the outcomes of the Paris UN Climate Change Agreement:
“We will do this by taking concrete steps now, and without waiting for the entry into force of the agreement in 2020, both individually and cooperatively, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level and build resilience against those changes already occurring.”
“It has already been signed by over 400 businesses, 150 cities and regions and 120 investors controlling US$11 trillion in assets.”…… “These non-state actors include members of the Under 2 MOU, the White House Act on Climate Pledge, the Montreal Carbon Pledge, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative, the We Mean Business ‘Road to Paris’ initiatives, the Paris City Hall Declaration, ICLEI and many more….”
“Parties to the Convention that are not Parties to this Agreement may participate as observers in the proceedings of any session..” (p30 Art 16 2). The unfcc explains observers as: “The United Nations and its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State member thereof or observers thereto not party to the Convention, may be represented at sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement as observers. Any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, which is qualified in matters covered by this Agreement and which has informed the secretariat of its wish to be represented at a session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement as an observer, may be so admitted unless at least one third of the Parties present object.” (p30 Art 16 8)
Observer organizations include intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), such as the OECD and International Energy Agency (IEA), along with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).