South-South Cooperation on Climate Change (SSCCC) is a broad initiative jointly promoted by China and the United Nations as part of their mutual commitment and concerted effort to support green growth and climate resilience in the global South. With the aim of providing political weight to SSCCC, and consolidating consensus on the need to integrate a South-South dimension into global action against climate change, the SSCCC Forum was launched in 2014, as a high-level event organized on the sidelines of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC.

Delegates at the first two sessions of the SSCCC Forum – held at COP20 in Lima (2014) and at COP21 in Paris (2015) – called for the establishment of a platform for promoting SSCCC, and also recognized the SSCCC Forum as the appropriate setting for bringing together policy-makers to exchange their views on SSCCC and provide strategic directions.

In January 2016, UNEP-IEMP established a Secretariat for the SSCCC Forum, with the view to transform it into a standing policy advisory mechanism. Besides the annual Forum series in the context of the UNFCCC COP, which will continue, new streams of activity will be developed to strengthen engagement with policy processes and enhance dialogue among SSCCC stakeholders. This will create a solid basis for facilitating rapid scaling up of South-South cooperation action on the ground.

Through its activities, the Forum aims to help developing countries set the compass for South-South cooperation in the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The transformation of the Forum, its enhanced functions and the establishment of the Secretariat within UNEP-IEMP were welcomed by SSCCC stakeholders. In a Scoping Meeting on SSCCC organized by UNEP-IEMP in April 2016, bringing together representation of NDRC, UN Environment, UN-EOSG, SDC, ADB, WWF, GIZ, South Centre, UNEP-IEMP, IGSNRR/CAS, CCICED, KWS, and others, three main streams of activity were approved:

  • Element I: Engaging countries politically
    Main activity: Annual Forum Series on the sidelines of UNFCCC COP.

Under this element, the Forum will promote SSCCC at the political level. Ministers from countries of the global South will provide continuing leadership and exchange experiences. The Forum will also provide an opportunity to review and assess strategic directions for SSCCC against accomplishments.

  • Element II: Science-Policy-Action
    Main activity: non-periodic consultation processes to enhance the science-policy interface and the policy-action nexus.

Under this element, the Forum will aim to strengthen the science-policy interface in areas of particular interest to the global South, and to promote policy-action linkages. Guidance will be provided for the scaling up of successful SSCCC initiatives and for the development of new projects, focusing on the role of non-state actors, particularly the private sector.

  • Element III: Climate Finance
    Main activity: conducting non-periodic consultation processes on climate finance in, from and for the South, including a North-South dialogue series.

Under this element, the Forum will promote broader participation of Southern nations in catalyzing financial resources. It will also lend advice on efficient and complementary use of South-originating climate finance. Through an enhanced dialogue between developed and developing countries, new South-South-North cooperation opportunities will be explored.