The UNFCCC as Matchmaker

Bertelsmann Foundation report urges secretariat to assume expanded role to combat climate change

WASHINGTON, DC (September 27, 2011) - The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, the proposed Technology Executive Committee (TEC), and the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN) should each take on new roles matchmaking public-private partnerships to combat climate change, according to a recent report by the Bertelsmann Foundation.

The report, “A New Role for UNFCCC: The Matchmaker of Global Climate Change”, advocates a UNFCCC that brings together major stakeholders, such as regions, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the business sector and the public, to “foster information dissemination and capacity building”. This approach would create “a sustainable path for clean energy in developing countries and clean energy technology innovation".

The study was written under the auspices of Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos by co-authors Deborah Bleviss of Johns Hopkins University and Ting Xu of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

The report contains eight case studies that show the benefits and necessity of the UNFCCC's engaging in matchmaking by highlighting the unique roles that stakeholders play in advancing environmentally friendly policies. These case studies include the impact of the German federal government's efforts to provide public information on climate change, InvestChile's success in promoting foreign direct investment in green energy, and the harmonization of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) region-wide energy-efficiency policies. Bringing such diverse actors together for coordinated action, which the UNFCCC is in a position to do, could multiply their successes.

The report also urges the UNFCCC, TEC and CTCN to use their matchmaking capacities to:

* Further innovation of existing climate-friendly technologies, particularly within developing countries
* Encourage capacity building among private-sector entities and policymakers
* Introduce climate-friendly industries to developing countries
* Harmonize regional climate-friendly policies

"There is critical need to mobilize people to do what they can contribute," said President Lagos, adding "we need to think about linking a grand bargain among stakeholders with practical challenges so that we can together move the climate-change effort forward."

The Bertelsmann Foundation, in conjunction with the report's official launch, recently presented its conclusions to UN officials, EU and US climate-change experts and policymakers, and the private sector in an effort to build a broader consensus on mitigating global climate change and its effects.

“A New Role for the UNFCCC: The Matchmaker of Global Climate Change” is available online at:

For further information on the report, contact Andrew Cohen, Bertelsmann Foundation Communications Director, at or at +1.202.330.2761.

ABOUT THE BERTELSMANN FOUNDATION: The Bertelsmann Foundation is a private, non-partisan operating foundation, working to promote and strengthen trans-Atlantic cooperation. Serving as a platform for open dialogue among key stakeholders, the foundation develops practical policy recommendations on issues central to successful development on both sides of the ocean.

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