Dialogue for Climate Action: Voluntary Principles for Catalyzing Climate Action through Dialogue


  • The World Bank Group and partners have launched a set of principles aimed at guiding dialogue between governments and the private sector as they seek to fight climate change
  • The six Principles for Dialogue on Climate Action were published on May 23 during the Dialogue for Climate Action event in Vienna, Austria
  • Twelve organizations endorsed the principles and agreed to include them in climate action implementation plans

VIENNA, May 23, 2016—Developing countries need $100 billion in new investments by 2020 to bolster their resilience to the financial and environmental impact of climate change. The private sector, with its significant financial resources and dedication to innovation, has a lea­ding role to play in the urgent global effort to reduce the negative effects of climate change and create the healthy, thriving zero-carbon economy of the future.

To support countries, the private sector and their global partners as they implement the long-term climate goals agreed upon during the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, the World Bank Group and 12 international partners have come together to draft a set of six principles that promote effective dialogue between the government and the private sector. The aim is to ease collaboration and coordination in order to identify challenges and implement solutions to climate change. 

" Effective dialogue is critical because it helps build trust, drive action, and create a collective sense of ownership over the monumental task of mitigating climate change "

Alexios Pantelias

Acting Practice Manager for Competitive Sectors in the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness global practice

“Effective dialogue is critical because it helps build trust, drive action, and create a collective sense of ownership over the monumental task of mitigating climate change,” said Alexios Pantelias, Acting Practice Manager for Competitive Sectors in the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness global practice. “These principles form a foundational framework for collaboration between companies and governments and will ideally lead to a range of proposals and strategies that accelerate innovation and lead to green growth in developing countries.”

The six Principles for Dialogue on Climate Action promote inclusion, urgency, awareness, efficiency, transparency, and accountability. 


Climate dialogues should bring together a wide variety of public, private, and civil society stakeholders able to integrate global challenges with regional environmental and economic needs. Private sector representation should span formal to informal and large to micro enterprises, giving them a voice in decisions that impact them directly. Inclusive dialogues will be needed at both national and sub-national levels, with effective coordination between them.

Climate change poses an immediate as well as long-term threat. Pacific islands and low-lying states confronting rising seas, glaciers disappearing, and city dwellers enveloped in healthendangering smog are but a few examples. Dialogues should be driven by the need for ambitious and urgent action prioritized based on country context and the most pressing local and regional challenges posed by climate change.

To be informed of the multiple challenges of climate change, but also the range of solutions and possible actions, requires a drive for awareness within the climate dialogue process. This includes respectful attention to the varying opinions of stakeholders as well as knowledge-sharing and the building of a common understanding of issues and opportunities among stakeholder groups. Awareness-building is a continuous process that should occur at national and sub-national levels.

Participation in dialogues, while inclusive, should be appropriate to the country context so as to encourage efficiency in decision-making. An effective governance framework coupled with a well-structured process will avoid gridlock and enable participants to identify, prioritize, and resolve issues through climate action. Leadership from government and the private sector should aim to convene and motivate diverse stakeholders to work together effectively toward solutions aimed at meeting ambitious targets.

To build trust, climate dialogues must be transparent in their agendas, discussions, and outcomes and must function in a consistent and predictable manner. Policies, goals, and timelines concerning data-sharing and confidentiality, online presence, and dialogue participants, governing structure, and process should be made public. The confidentiality of sensitive business-related data must be respected.

Accountability in a dialogue helps build trust, confidence, and a sense of ownership. Inclusive dialogues should reach a common understanding of targets and results through a transparent process. To build accountability, dialogue recommendations must be fact-based and datadriven so that impacted parties can be confident they are based on a solid foundation. Results of recommendations should be trackable to accurately measure performance and achievements stemming from the dialogue.