Building climate policies under consensus: Argentina´s National Climate Change Cabinet

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 12:12

The Argentinean National Climate Change Cabinet (GNCC, for its Spanish acronym), created by Presidential Decree in 2016, is chaired and coordinated at a high political level by the head of the ministerial cabinet, and brings together representatives of approximately 12 ministries and government secretariats.

The GNCC is structured through periodic meetings of cross-cutting roundtables. It has established a working structure that is cross-sectoral and inter-jurisdictional in nature in order to articulate participatory and synergistic processes between the different areas of the national government, as well as between the national government, the provinces and the City of Buenos Aires (i.e. the subnational level). The aim is to integrate mitigation and adaptation actions into sectoral planning.

Since its creation, the GNCC has become a space for consensus at the highest political level in terms of climate policies. It has opened a space for synergies among the sectors, which has resulted in enhanced understanding and more involvement in climate action. The sectors are more supportive and committed, evidenced by the participation in meetings and the collaboration in developing the Sectoral Action Plans that entail mitigation and adaptation measures. The cabinet provides an institutionalised meeting space for all sectors and provinces to discuss and commit to climate action.

Argentina´s GNCC qualifies as a good practice case as it is based on a high-level political buy-in and involves key ministerial stakeholders, the subnational level (representatives from the 24 provinces), as well as NGOs, environmental associations, academia, and the public and private sector, in the process. Through the multi-level governance process, GNCC secures a holistic implementation of its approach.

Impact of activities

Impacts of the aforementioned activities include:

  • Review of the NDC, presented during COP22 in Marrakech: The NDC was widely consulted on and agreed upon across the sectors;
  • Preparation of Sectoral Action Plans that together cover 90% of the country's emissions, including roadmaps for their implementation;
  • Capacity building and increased participation of the subnational level, including their concerns in decision-making on climate change policies;
  • Higher level of ministerial support and commitment to climate action;
  • Increased involvement of ministries and government secretariats, both in the identification of the mitigation measures, and in their future implementation;
  • Enhanced civil society involvement in national processes: Instances of dialogue and participation were created with members of civil society, NGOs, environmental associations, academia, and public and private sector, through meetings of the extended thematic tables. There the proposals of the different sectors were socialised and validated.
Institutions involved

The GNCC arises from a proposal of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAyDS), nowadays the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development (SAyDS). SAyDS is responsible for the technical coordination of the cabinet. The Prime Minister´s Office is responsible for the political coordination. The number of ministries that make up the cabinet varies; some are ministries, while others are government secretariats. When the GNCC was created in 2016, 12 ministries participated in the process.