2030 Climate Solutions: implementation as the new measure of ambition

2024 is set to be a productive year. Concluding the first Paris Agreement ambition cycle, global stocktake (GST) outcomes coming out of COP28 have provided generally comprehensive political signals and targets. Moreover, a significant number of voluntary initiatives have come to align their goals around robust scientific research, while discrete enabling conditions for the achievement of these goals have emerged. The Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MP) which aims at strengthening key stakeholders’ collaboration with governments  led by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions has been critical to this convergence.  

There is no doubt that accountability in the implementation of climate goals and commitments made is the new measure of ambition in 2024. Walking the talk is not a new concept, but a new imperative. 

 Notably, the MP’s 2030 Climate Solutions framework has the potential to become an important tool to enhance international cooperation toward systems’ transformation including the energy transition between countries and non-Party stakeholders (NPS)—that is, all stakeholders that are not signatory countries to the Paris Agreement. NPS comprise civil society organized as companies, subnational governments (at the state, regional, or city/local level), investors, think tanks and academia, youth, and other organizations, as well as individuals.  

By connecting voluntary initiatives in the broader climate ecosystem under Paris-aligned 2030 targets and enabling conditions for their achievement, 2030 Climate Solutions provides a framework outside the UNFCCC to build momentum and capacity for accelerated climate action in support of GST outcomes. Development of a regional and context-responsive framework for 2030 Climate Solutions is the logical next step to help catalyze uptake of climate solutions including at the policy level. The following sections outline some context to highlight the relevance of this framework and suggestions on how to design a process for its applicability at the regional level.  


NPS support to country ambition through enhanced climate action  

One obstacle to signatory countries (Parties) meeting their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) is that the governments that develop the NDCs, more often than not, are not implementers. Given this, how can Parties have the confidence to come forward with ambitious NDCs that are 1.5-aligned and make progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement?   

The role of NPS is critical to implementation. Voluntary initiatives by NPS and/or Parties have proliferated in the past years. The MP Global Climate Action Agenda has increasingly provided a space under the UNFCCC to showcase these initiatives. NPS are showing leadership by encouraging and welcoming policy guidance to orient their climate efforts as they increasingly engage with the Paris Agreement. Interdependencies with Parties are also landing into promising forms of international cooperation. For example, international cooperative initiatives, a subset of voluntary initiatives where both Parties and NPS have joined forces, can provide a testing ground for policymaking by creating a more flexible environment where innovation meets government-backed integrity and accountability safeguards.  

But understanding how to join existing voluntary initiatives and how these translate into real action remains a challenge, as C2ES commented during consultation of the UNFCCC Secretariat Recognition and Accountability Framework. Also, more granularity in targets and context-responsive means of implementation is often needed to unlock their full potential on the ground.  


2030 Climate Solutions: Activating the ambition loop through a shared global climate action framework  

At COP28 the Marrakech Partnership published the 2030 Climate Solutions as a simplified framework bringing together the work and progress of existing voluntary initiatives to highlight specific actions to be implemented between now and 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, build resilience and adaptation actions, and mobilize means of implementation.  

It helpfully intertwines both mitigation and adaptation targets in sectoral or systemic solutions, drawing from the Climate Action Pathways, the Breakthrough Agenda (Party-led), the 2030 Breakthroughs (NPS-led), and the Sharm el-Sheik Agenda. Bringing resources and thought leadership together in one document, this framework highlights the major coalitions behind major initiatives that are enabling the proposed climate solutions. In this way, policymakers and non-state actors alike can learn, partner up, and join the transformative pathways identified, while increasing transparency of climate action for greater accountability. 

For example, the Breakthrough Agenda, which rallied political commitments around NPS-led 2030 Breakthroughs, is a successful example of how international cooperative initiatives have come together to support global climate commitments. The IEA and IRENA have partnered with the MP to deliver annual reports on the Breakthrough Agenda, informing targets that are summarized in the 2030 Climate Solutions.  

To become truly actionable and activate the ‘ambition loop,’ regionalization of the 2030 Climate Solutions is the logical next step. The High-Level Champions call ‘ambition loop’ the cycle whereby NPS and Parties co-create the ecosystem and enabling conditions required for ambitious climate action to take place. This occurs from a bottom-up approach, whereby voluntary best practice shapes effective policy and regulatory incentives that in turn promote enhanced implementation and accountability. Implementers and policymakers would very much benefit from an approach to regionalization of 2030 Climate solutions that assesses the relevance for specific regions and contexts of the actions and enablers the framework identifies at a global level, so that this process can support the definition of geographically meaningful targets.   


2030 Climate Solution dialogues for a practical implementation roadmap

The IEA has recently announced it will track COP28 energy commitments in partnership with the UAE Presidency and the UNFCCC, and will set up a series of roundtables on the matter with the COP29 Presidency. It would be encouraging to see other coalitions and institutions take this role as an example to rally efforts around other signals of the GST outcome.  

Climate ecosystem leaders should help design a implementation roadmap of action-oriented events as technically focused yet still highly visible moments organized along a timeline that could generate inputs to the high-level “Roadmap to Mission 1.5°C” dialogues announced by the Troika (COP28, COP29, and COP30 Presidencies). These action-oriented events would provide both Parties and NPS: 

  • capacity building opportunities including through 2030 Climate Solutions dialogues focusing on  

            (i) presenting the 2030 Climate Solutions framework and how it can enable progress toward GST targets,  

           (ii) discussing how actions and enablers for proposed solutions are relevant to specific contexts and regions,  

          (iii) exploring how climate solution targets can be adapted to become meaningful in these contexts and regions.

The MP could use these dialogues as part of a consultation process to collect valuable inputs for the regionalization of the 2030 Climate Solutions framework   

  • a stage to showcase real practical examples of how climate solutions (pathways and projects) are starting regionally, including through presentations by coalitions participating in voluntary initiatives the 2030 Climate Solutions refer to 
  • spaces for form informal/less orchestrated discussions among stakeholders (as in the format of world cafés, which proved effective at UNFCCC GST technical dialogues, or ‘implementation labs’ in the style used by the MP) with the potential to unlock opportunities for collaboration
  • a more political stage to take stock of progress of a selection of international cooperative initiatives, as relevant. 

These type of selected “real economy” fora should aim at bringing confidence that implementation of climate solutions in line with GST outcomes is increasingly underway at the required speed and scale and able to support NDC updating in 2025.  


Taking the UNFCCC out into the broader climate ecosystem 

 Now is the right time to take the UNFCCC out into the real economy of global climate action so that the broader climate ecosystem is empowered to become the implementation arm for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. This is particularly relevant given UNFCCC’s declared current budgetary constraints.   

2030 Climate Solutions dialogues would both bring focus and help make efficient use of resources by connecting key stakeholders, including policymakers and implementing agencies, as well as private economic actors, to UNFCCC goals. Useful exchanges amongst stakeholders across the political and technical levels should of course continue to occur at the UNFCCC as part of the Marrakech Partnership Global Climate Action Agenda as well as negotiated work program dialogues and investment-focused events. Ahead of COP28, NPS played an important role in GST technical dialogues, Mitigation Work Program dialogues and investment-focused events (drawing on practical examples compiled by the High-Level Champions from Regional Platforms for Climate Projects). But strong leadership outside of the UNFCCC can also unlock the required means of implementation for achieving the outcomes of the GST, progressing on voluntary commitments and supporting NDC ambition. 


Different factors including the nationally determined nature of the Paris Agreement and competing global priorities are showing the limits of traditional forms of global climate governance. Called for by the Troika, “a unified vision for course correction” to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement will depend on refocusing efforts in the broader climate ecosystem, with an emphasis on implementation as a necessary step for meaningful targets to emerge at the regional and national level. In this regard, the 2030 Climate Solutions framework can strive to develop granularity in identified actions and enablers to advance GST outcomes on the ground, so that accountability in the implementation of climate solutions becomes the new measure of ambition this critical decade.