THE NEED

2015 marked substantive progress towards addressing climate change and sustainable development, with the adoption of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. Maintaining momentum in the pivot of societies towards a more sustainable future now requires a strong focus on action, and this in turn needs to be supported and enabled by information, data, and knowledge. 189 countries have submitted intended nationally determined contributions for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Many thousands of cities, companies, NGOs and finance institutions have committed to act on climate.

However, the capacity to implement nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and deliver on climate commitments is uneven across the board - both within and between countries. And even where capacity exists, it is not always being used by decision makers. This state of affairs does a disservice to both decision makers and the research community, to the detriment of all. We need a more rigorous, systematic, and inter-connected approach to diagnosing problems, designing policies and programs for local conditions, and monitoring progress to inform ongoing improvements. Academic and research institutions need to play a key role in this approach, as organizations dedicated to providing high-quality, independent, and non-advocacy insights.

 

THE RESPONSE

RCA aims to meet the global needs, supporting climate action through three overarching principles: connectivity, collaboration and capacity.

1. Connectivity

Linking research institutions with each other and with decision makers, and facilitating engagement for the purpose of supporting specific climate action activities by decision makers including national and sub-national governments, NGOs, financial institutions and the private sector, on both mitigation and adaptation.

2. Collaboration

Facilitating joint projects and transfer of knowledge and skills between research institutions; and facilitating the opening and strengthening of engagement between the research community and decision makers around specific issues and programs.

3. Capacity

Enhancing the skills, knowledge, and influence of research institutions in the current policy and decision making processes on climate action, including through greater leveraging of collective resources creating pathways to amplify the work of individual organizations.