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ecbi - The European Capacity Building Initiative

The Fellowship Programme

At the heart of the is an Oxford-based Fellowship Programme for climate negotiators and other stakeholders directly involved in the UNFCCC process from the participating developing countries. Its primary purpose is to build trust and exchange procedural and institutional knowledge both among the Fellows ('South-South trust-building'), and between them and their European colleagues ('North-South trust-building').

Oxford Fellowships and Seminar

South-South relations and trust building are often of at least equal importance in supporting the international negotiations. The trust building activities are carried out during the Fellowship Colloquium in Oxford, where the Fellows have the chance to exchange views and experiences among themselves in 'closed session'. In light of their considerable existing negotiating capacities, the participating large developing countries are primarily involved in the trust-building activities of the Oxford Fellowship Programme.

Oxford Seminar

The Seminars provide an opportunity to exchange views in an informal and non-confrontational setting. They also enable the European partners to discover and better understand the situation of their developing country colleagues - one of the reasons why the is not just a capacity-building initiative by Europeans, but also for the benefit of Europeans. The Seminar is an annual, three-day event hosted in the academic setting of Oxford University and usually takes place in the first week of September. Participation is by invitation only.

Bonn Seminar

To maintain the momentum of these trust-building activities, the Fellowship Programme also organizes an annual one-day Bonn Seminar during the intersessional Subsidiary Bodies meetings in Bonn/Germany. European Partners have the opportunity to engage with senior developing country delegates particularly from Least Developing Countries (LDCs) - some of whom are past Fellows.

Recent Fellowships News

2017 Oxford Fellowship and Seminar

The 2017 Fellowship, which took place from 28 August to 1 September, hosting 24 ecbi Fellows – senior climate change negotiators from developing countries. On 30 August, the Fellows were joined by 24 European colleagues for the Oxford Seminar.

This year, the Seminar was attended by, among others: representatives of the current (Morocco), the preceding (France), the incoming (Fiji) and the next (Poland) Presidencies of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; the Chairs of the LDC Group, the G77, as well as the Western European and Others Group; the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice; the Co-Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance; members of the Green Climate Fund Board; representatives of the current trio of EU Presidencies (Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria), as well as representatives from the European Commission.

Discussions during both events focused on key concerns relating to the ongoing global negotiations on the rules for implementing the Paris Agreement. In particular, participants focused on issues related to: gender; equity; common timeframes and the ambition cycles; the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue; global stocktakes; adaptation communications; transparency; finance; and the Article 6 Mechanisms.

H.E. Ambassador Deo Saran, Fiji’s Climate Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the European Union, in a keynote address, expressed his appreciation for the level of engagement in the Seminar. “I must say that the spirit of the seminar truly reflects the Talonoa spirit that we would like to bring at COP23,” he said. “It has been very enriching and will bring immense value to our preparation for the COP.”

2016 Oxford Fellowship and Seminar

The 2016 ecbi Seminar took place in the Oxford Union on 1-2 September 2016, following the Fellows Colloquium from 29-31 August 2016. It was attended by 19 participants from developing countries, and 16 participants from Europe.

Representatives of the current and future presidency of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including H.E. Amb. Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador for the Multilateral Negotiations for COP 22 in Marrakech in November 2016, participated in the Seminar.

Amb. Mekouar noted in his address that the meeting was an opportunity to “have frank and honest conversations on the optimal, most ambitious way to operationalise the Paris Agreement”. "When it comes to the mechanics of the operationalization of the Paris Agreement, the design of the rule book, the steel that will strengthen the structure of the Paris Agreement, it is very important that we get off to a good start in Marrakech,” Amb. Mekouar said.

The seminar included sessions on six elements of the 2015 Paris Agreement, including: the sequencing of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); the global stocktake: transparency of action and support: finance; market-based approaches; and entry into force.

Participants included chief negotiators from several developing and European countries; the Chairs of the LDC Group, African Group of Negotiators and of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA); members of the Green Climate Fund Board; and representatives from the European Commission.

2015 Oxford Fellowship and Seminar

The eleventh ecbi Oxford Seminar was held on 10 & 11 September 2015 at Trinity College and the Examination Schools in Oxford, UK. A three-day Fellowship Colloquium took place before the Seminar, from 7-9 September, in Merton College. The Colloquium was attended by 16 Fellows (senior negotiators from developing countries, including the chairs of the LDC Group, the African Group and AOSIS), who were joined by 10 negotiators from Europe for the Oxford Seminar.

On the first day of the Seminar, in Trinity College, participants addressed legal issues and process; adaptation and loss and damage; and mitigation and transparency of action. On the second day, in the Examination Schools, they discussed climate finance; time frames and cycles; and the process/way forward.

Participants also celebrated the launch of the Enhanced Direct Access (EDA) pilot by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at a dinner on 10 September at Blenheim Palace. A brief introduction to EDA, a new funding modality under the GCF, which focuses on promoting national and sub-national decision-making by ecbi Director Benito Müller was followed by a statement by Ambassador Jan Cedergren, GCF Board Member from Sweden, read out by Ambassador Bo Kjellén, ecbi Advisory Committee co-chair.

Apologising for his absence due to an emergency, Cedergren said: “I would like to leave with you a few words regarding a very important achievement in the Green Climate Fund Board where the host of this seminar, Benito, and ecbi have played a decisive role”. He noted that successful implementation of the EDA Pilots will promote the overall ambitions of the GCF and show the way on how to provide climate finance in a sustainable and innovative way.

This was followed by an after dinner speech by one of the Fellows, Dr Prodipto Ghosh, former Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, who has been very supportive of EDA in India, not only by co-authoring the Delhi Vision Statement [] with Dipak Dasgupta (another ecbi Fellow), but also by co-facilitating the New Delhi Consultation on Consolidation and Devolution of Climate Finance in India.

2014 Oxford Fellowship and Seminar

The 2014 ecbi Oxford Seminar took place on 28 and 29 August 2014 in the University of Oxford Examination Schools. The ecbi celebrated its tenth anniversary during the Seminar.

A three-day Fellowship Colloquium took place before the Seminar, from 25-27 August, in Merton College, Oxford. The 15 senior negotiators from developing countries who participated in the Fellowship Colloquium were joined by 18 senior negotiators from Europe during the Oxford Seminar. The discussions focused on the general architecture of the 2015 Paris Agreement, mitigation, adaptation and finance.During the Fellowship, developing country negotiators also came up with a "contribution cycle" for the 2015 Paris agreement, which was discussed with European colleagues during the Seminar. An agreement on these issues will be a keystone in Paris Agreement architecture.

2013 Oxford Fellowships and Seminar

The 2013 ecbi Fellowship Colloquium took place from 5-7 August in Merton College, Oxford, followed by the Oxford Seminar on 8 and 9 August. During the Fellowship Colloquium, 17 senior negotiators from developing countries discussed key areas of concern in under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They were joined by 13 senior negotiators from Europe during the Oxford Seminar, and discussed contentious issues such as the legal form of a future outcome, equity, mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer, finance, and the governance and accountability of operating entities (including the Green Climate Fund, or GCF).

As the participants at the Seminar this year, the ninth in the series, included a number of key office holders in the UNFCCC process, a discussion on the priorities for the next conference of parties in Warsaw, Poland also took place. Participants included the COP Presidency's special envoy for climate change; the developing country co-chair of the Ad-Hoc Group on the Durban Platform (ADP); the Chairs of the G77+China Group and Africa Group; lead negotiators from Europe; senior representatives from Least Developed Countries (LDCs); and key office holders in UNFCCC bodies, including the developing country Co-chair and members of the Standing Committee on Finance, and members of the GCF Board and the Advisory Board of the Climate Technology Centre and Network.