In February 2022, the EESC established an ad hoc group on the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) in order to develop a more strategic, inclusive and permanent EESC engagement in the UNFCCC process.
The ad hoc group aims to enhance the Committee's participation in the annual COP meetings, while ensuring continuity and the strategic engagement of all relevant EESC bodies in the process. The creation of this ad hoc group reflects the EESC's continuous climate action throughout the year and make it possible to go beyond the UNFCCC process with supplementary and more diverse means. In streamlining the Committee's efforts on climate action, it would improve the EESC's contribution to the international process on climate governance, thus delivering more meaningful impacts on the EU 2050 climate neutrality objective.
The Ad Hoc Group (AHG) is composed of members from the Employers' Group, the Workers' Group and the Civil Society organizations' Group, as well as a youth representative.
It has been mandated the following tasks:
- To acquire knowledge of the UNFCCC process and to be up to date with the central aspects of the negotiations; this may include specific training for the AHG Members (and for the EESC delegation at the COP).
- To develop a comprehensive annual work plan focusing primarily on the next COP meeting, including key milestones (opinions, events, others), identifying stakeholders and partners, a communication strategy, and the different sources of information (e.g. publication of IPCC reports).
- To ensure a strategic cross-sectoral approach through close cooperation with different EESC groups and bodies, and to facilitate the coordination of the implementation of COP activities into the work of the EESC bodies and vice versa (e.g. linking relevant EESC opinions and other ongoing work).
- Where appropriate, to feed into the preparatory work of the EESC delegation to the COP (whose annual membership should be based on a 50% continuity rule and should include an additional youth delegate).
- To coordinate the preparation of an EESC COP resolution, aligned with the next COP's priorities and UNFCCC negotiation processes, to be adopted at least two months before the COP meeting.
- To maintain regular communication with the NAT Bureau and relevant EESC bodies to ensure the centrality of the COP process in EESC decision-making.
- To report back to the EESC Bureau at least three times a year