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What is the Global Stocktake?

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By illuminem

· 6 min read

This article is part of Carbon Academy, a new illuminem series exploring the essential concepts within the world of carbon

1. Definition

Rooted in the framework of the Paris Agreement, the Global Stocktake represents a comprehensive and transparent assessment of countries’ collective efforts to combat climate change, serving as a crucial tool for evaluating the effectiveness of policies and actions undertaken worldwide.
Decision 19/CMA.1 defines the Global Stocktake as “a Party-driven process conducted in a transparent manner and with the participation of non-Party stakeholders” (para. 10). The aim is to enable countries and other stakeholders to see where they are collectively making progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement – and where they’re not. 
The global stocktake functions as a comprehensive inventory assessment. It involves a thorough examination of all aspects concerning the world's progress in climate action and support. Through meticulous analysis of this data, stakeholders glean valuable insights into the effectiveness of existing initiatives and pinpoint areas necessitating stronger efforts.

2. Objectives

At COP24 held in Poland, it was agreed that the Global Stocktake would address the following areas:

  • Mitigation
  • Adaptation
  • Means of implementation (e.g. finance, technology, capacity building)

3. Three Phases

The Global Stocktake has three main phases: 

  • first phase: Data collection and preparation
  • second phase: Technical Assessment. This will take place as a series of inclusive dialogues; one of these took place in Bonn in June 2023, where a synthesis report has been crafted as the foundational text for later discussions.
  • third phase: Consideration of Outputs, an event at COP28 where governments will take a decision on the global stocktake at COP28, intended to lay the groundwork for the next round of climate negotiations to be put forward by 2025. 

The infographic below provides additional clarity on these three phases:

Source: WRI Authors

4. Who is in charge? 

The governance of the global stocktake consists of four governing bodies:

  • The Conference of the Parties acting as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) with the responsibility to conduct the global stocktake.
  • The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) are tasked with assisting the CMA in conducting the global stocktake, especially with the technical dialogues.
  • The technical dialogues are facilitated by two co-facilitators, each from a developing and developed country, mandated to ‘summarize [technical dialogue] outputs in summary reports, taking into account equity and the best available science, for each thematic area’ (19/CMA.1, para. 31).
  • A High-Level Committee consisting of the CMA Presidencies and the Chairs of the SBSTA and SBI chair the high-level events of the global stocktake.

5. Timeline

The Global Stocktake operates on a cyclical basis, with periodic assessments scheduled every five years and with the first-ever stocktake set to conclude at COP28. This iterative process allows for adjustments in strategies and commitments, enabling nations to stay on track towards the overarching goal of keeping temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

5.1. The first Global Stocktake at COP28 

Below we offer a concise overview of the key points of the COP28 Global Stocktake , all grouped under the relevant three objectives of the Global Stocktake: Mitigation, Adaptation, and Means of Implementation. 


The following has been agreed upon for Mitigation:

  • Urgently aligning global efforts with scientific recommendations is crucial for significant and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This involves swift and fair transitions, like decarbonizing industry and transport, and stopping deforestation. 
  • Peaking global emissions as soon as possible and working towards net-zero emissions by mid-century, adapted to each country's circumstances, are vital for meeting the 1.5°C target.
  • Focusing on just energy transitions, including scaling up renewable energy and improving energy efficiency by 2030, is essential for Paris Agreement goals and offers opportunities for job creation and economic growth.
  • Immediate action is needed to reduce methane and non-CO2 emissions, phase out fossil fuels (especially coal), and end inefficient subsidies, with developed nations leading the way.
  • Preserving and restoring natural ecosystems, especially forests and oceans, is critical for limiting temperature rises and addressing climate change.


These are the steps laid out for Adaptation:

  •  Recognizing adaptation efforts is crucial, as is promptly addressing the adaptation finance gap, estimated at USD $194-366 billion annually. Doubling adaptation finance by 2025 is a positive step, but overall financing must significantly increase, with enhanced access to grants and concessional finance for all developing nations.
  • Key areas for adaptation action include water systems, agriculture, food security, and health. Natural ecosystems, particularly through ecosystem-based solutions, play a critical role.
  • Global endeavors to prevent, minimize, and address loss and damage are essential, necessitating comprehensive risk management and improved early warning systems. The operationalization of loss and damage funding at COP28 signifies a significant milestone, propelling momentum for impactful outcomes and bolstering climate action across all fronts.

Means of Implementation

Deliberations for Means of Implementation include the following:

  • Accessible and affordable finance is essential for fully implementing climate plans, especially in developing nations. This requires increasing concessional finance and redirecting financial flows towards low-emission, resilient development.
  • Promptly fulfilling commitments, including delivering the USD $100 billion and setting ambitious new climate finance goals, is crucial.
  • Reforming the international financial system is necessary to better support global climate action and sustainable development, including debt restructuring.
  • Expanding fiscal space and improving access to finance, particularly for adaptation and resilience in developing countries, is vital. Avoiding unilateral measures that hinder national development efforts is key.
  • Increased support for capacity building, technology development, and transfer is critical for innovation and local production of climate solutions.

5.2. Towards COP29

Negotiators have launched a two-year work program aimed at gauging progress toward the overarching targets. However, the framework still lacks a clear roadmap for increasing adaptation finance, notably the goal of doubling it by 2025. Addressing these finance issues will be crucial agenda items for negotiators at COP29.

6. Conclusion

The Global Stocktake plays a pivotal role in shaping climate policy and decision-making on a global scale, with far-reaching implications at both national and international levels. By shedding light on areas requiring additional support and resources, it facilitates the crucial mobilization of finance and technology transfer, particularly to vulnerable regions. Moreover, it acts as a catalyst for heightened ambition, urging nations to elevate their climate actions and set more audacious targets.
In essence, the Global Stocktake embodies a cornerstone of international climate governance, providing a robust framework for assessing progress and cultivating collaboration. By fully harnessing its potential and embracing collective action, we can effectively navigate the challenges of climate change, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.

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