United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Activities

The Center for Climate Strategies is a formal observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this role, we host side events, provide information to support negotiations, and credential US national and subnational officials to participate in events and policy dialog. CCS works closely with the US State Department to foster information exchange, dialog and representation of US subnational leaders.


The Paris agreement at COP21 represents a major advancement in global actions on climate change, and culminates five years of preparation. It sets the stage for strong new actions that are tailored to the needs of individual countries under common timeframes, and also triggers new cooperative actions and support. Some the most important features and implications of the agreement include:

For more information please visit the UNFCCC Website and CCS' President and CEO, Tom Peterson's two blogs covering the event: December 9, 2015 and December 12, 2015.


On December 11, Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) and Global Environmental Institute (GEI) held an official side event of the UNFCCC COP 20 international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru. The event, "International Insight on China & Supporting Chinese Subnational Governments Achieve Carbon Targets," provided an overview of past progress and future plans for Low Carbon Development (LCD) Planning and Analysis in China’s provinces and major cities including detailed case studies of China’s low carbon green growth strategies.The discussion highlighted development of China-US cooperative mechanisms on climate change and LCD approaches in all economic sectors and their potential use in achieving new climate change goals in China at the national and subnational levels. For the materials of this event, please click here.


CCS-GEI COP19 Joint Side Event Showcased the Accomplishments of CCS-GEI EcoPartnership

On November 19 2013, CCS and GEI held an official COP19 joint side event entitled “Achievement & Experience Sharing: China-U.S. EcoPartnership for Subnational Low Carbon Development Planning.” The event presented CCS and GEI’s cooperative development and deployment of a rigorous, comprehensive Chinese LCD Planning toolkit, the Chongqing Pilot of this new LCD system, and facilitation of U.S.-China dialogue and cooperation on integrated subnational climate, energy, and economy planning and action. Professor Wang Yi, Deputy Director-General of CCS and GEI’s Chinese technical partner, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Planning and Management (CAS IPM), shared the progress CCS, GEI, and CAS IPM have made in developing and piloting their toolkit through LCD planning and analysis for the provincial-level southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing. GEI and CCS also outlined future plans for provincial and city level use of this system in China. For more information, please click here.


CCS-GEI Co-hosted COP18 Side Event Analyzing the U.S.-China Climate Collaboration

On December 5, 2012, CCS and GEI hosted an official joint side event on our work in China, entitled “China, US showcase solutions to climate action and cooperation challenges.” In the event, CCS and GEI invited senior officials and experts from the U.S. and Chinese governments to talk about the importance of U.S.-China action and cooperation on climate change at all levels of government and society. CCS President and CEO Tom Peterson and GEI Executive Director Madame Jin Jiaman provided an update on our cooperative work to adapt the CCS methodology for comprehensive subnational climate, energy, and economic planning and analysis to the Chinese context to develop and apply a Chinese template for subnational LCD planning to help Chinese provinces achieve their carbon and energy intensity reduction and economic growth goals. CCS and GEI’s partners at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Policy and Management (CAS IPM) and Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) also discussed lessons learned from this cooperation. For more information, please click here

CCS Presented Subnational Planning and Analysis Advancements at US State Department COP18 Side Event

On December 6, 2012, CCS President and CEO Tom Peterson participated in the "Actions at the Local Level: Integrating Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Development,” side event held at the U.S. Center. Mr. Peterson participated in this side event along side the U.S. State Department’s Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis. During the event, Mr. Peterson presented CCS’ recent comprehensive climate, energy, and economic planning, analysis, and implementation work with US states and regions, as well as its recent Security and Investment Project (SIP) International Energy Workshop (IEW) paper “Developing and Assessing Economic, Energy, and Climate Security and Investment Options for the US.”The paper analyzes the decline in projections of US carbon emissions and identifies existing US local, state and federal government policies — not cheap natural gas or the economic downturn — as the largest driver behind this decline in emissions. The study also identifies 20 new federal, state, and local actions in the US to advance energy, economic, and climate security as climate policy enters the spotlight again. For more information, please click here


CCS and US State Department Co-Host COP17 Subnational Side Event

On December 5, 2011, at the international climate conference in Durban, South Africa, CCS co-hosted a subnational side event at the official US government event center with US State Department Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis. The event featured recent subnational actions on sustainable economic, energy, and environmental issues in the US. CCS President and CEO Tom Peterson provided documentation of improvements in US emissions trends and associated economic and policy actions, as well as analysis of 26 critical future actions to address US goals for economic, energy and environmental security (see The Security and Investment Project by CCS). To view the side event presentation event, please click here


*CCS President and CEO Tom Peterson delivering speech at the subnational side event

CCS-GEI COP17 Side Event Featured US State Department EcoPartnership

On December 8, 2011, in Durban, CCS co-hosted a side event with the Beijing-based Global Environment Institute (GEI) featuring US-China engagement and partnership activities underway through the CCS-GEI EcoPartnership awarded by the US State Department and Chinese National Development and Reform Commission. National and subnational experts from both countries outlined the cooperative mechanisms and technical work underway to close gaps related to information, policy, and techniques within and between China and the US. To view the side event presentation event, please click here


*CCS President and CEO Tom Peterson with the Global Environmental Institute (GEI) Delegation at UNFCCC COP17


CCS and Governor Bill Richardson Highlight Value of Subnational Climate Action at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico

On December 6, 2010, Tom Peterson of CCS and then New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson held a press conference to focus on measurable outcomes from subnational action and policy on climate change. Governor Richardson previously served as Secretary of the US Department of Energy and US Ambassador to the United Nations, as well as serving as a US Congressman.

“For the last decade states and regions have been developing and implementing a wide range of practical approaches to cut emissions, save cash and create jobs,” said Tom Peterson, CEO and President of CCS. “These policies and plans provide critical roadmaps for the targeting of investment and crafting of future national policies.”

New Mexico Governor Richardson underscored the importance of subnational leadership to meet global challenges. “In New Mexico, our state’s economy has benefited greatly from strong energy and climate policies, including new jobs through the renewable industry that is building a strong base in our state during a time of economic downturn,” Richardson said.

CCS-GEI US-China Engagement Side Event

CCS and GEI held an official joint side event at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico with leaders from CCS, GEI, New York State, Guangdong Province, U.S. Department of State and Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The event, titled “It’s Hard to Build a Skyscraper from the Sky Down: Subnational Climate Action in the U.S. and China,” featured introductions by CCS President and CEO Tom Peterson and GEI Executive Director Madame Jin Jiaman to their work on comprehensive subnational climate action planning in the US and China. They were followed by keynotes stressing the importance of strengthened US-China and subnational action and cooperation by Madame Huang Wenhang, Director of the Division of International Cooperation of the Department of Climate Change at the NDRC and US Department of State Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis.

Dr. Lin Yaojun, Director of the Environmental Protection and Climate Division of the Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission, and Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner for Air Resources, Climate Change, and Energy at the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation, gave thoughtful presentations on the status of climate action in their leading US and Chinese subnational jurisdictions and opportunities for cooperation. Before audience Q&A, Dr. Liao Cuiping, Research Director of the Energy Strategy Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, spoke from a technical perspective on what can be learned from CCS’ methodology for comprehensive subnational climate action planning and analysis for adaptation and use to support Guangdong’s low carbon development planning efforts.


State Department Subnational Action Side Event

CCS worked closely with the US Department of State during the COP16 meetings in Cancun supporting US DOS Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs Reta Jo Lewis in her efforts to draw focus on US subnational climate work and those leading it.


Subnational Leadership Roundtables

At the COP15 meeting, CCS convened roundtable discussions of subnational leaders in the US and international counterparts to review progress on goals and specific policy actions, and identify cooperative mechanisms to foster scale up of this work in the United States and abroad. In addition, The Global Environment Institute (GEI) and CCS showcased their work on U.S. China Engagement and the potential for U.S.-China subnational cooperation through informal side events.