Umbrella Group

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International Policy

General features

Without a formal membership, the group is usually made up of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the U.S. It also includes three observer parties: Belarus, Israel and Switzerland.

This loose coalition of non-EU developed countries formed after the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, on the basis of the previous JUSSCANNZ group (Japan, the U.S., Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Norway and New Zealand). The focus of the group is more on information sharing than the development of common negotiating positions. When common statements or submissions are made, the spokesperson for the group is chosen on a volunteer basis. Australia is the current chair of the Umbrella Group.

Negotiating position

Strong emphasis is placed on the need for major developing countries emitters to have similar responsibilities compared to Annex I countries. The differentiation within Annex I and non-Annex I Parties is not deemed consistent with recent global economic developments and developing countries should thus establish low emission development strategies, accordingly with their respective capabilities.

Representing together over 30 percent of the world’s total emissions, the Umbrella group countries take the view that a global solution to climate change should unavoidably take into account their interests.

As a consequence, the Umbrella Group called for contributions from all Parties at COP21. In addition, it demanded a strengthened transparency system. But the group also highlighted the need to ensure that support continues to flow and to put countries into the position to achieve their NDCs. Moreover, the Umbrella Group was a proponent of the below 2°C target at COP21 and called for a proper operationalisation of this long-term temperature goal. However, since COP21, the group has referred in its statements to both 1.5°C and 2°C, in line with the final formulation in the Paris Agreement. Besides, the group stressed the importance of adaptation at COP21 and the need of a global stocktake as a review mechanism of the agreement. In the negotiations of the “Paris rulebook” to clarify the modalities, procedures and guidelines of the agreement, the members of the Umbrella Group have made only individual submissions. The group only issued statements at the negotiations and for instance expressed its disappointment with the lack of progress at COP22 within the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA).

 

Useful resources

Party Groupings on the UNFCCC website.

All statements of the Umbrella Group in the international climate negotiations can be accessed on the Submission Portal of the UNFCCC.

Herold A. et al., (2014): The development of climate negotiations in view of Lima, EP Policy Department, Brussels.