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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016

7-18 November 2016 | Marrakech, Morocco

Highlights for Thursday, 17 November 2016

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Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016

The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Thursday, 17 November 2016:

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENBOTS Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage from the Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016.
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Realizing the Potential of the Paris AgreementPresented by the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Arizona State University, the Trustees of Tufts College and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Robert Stavins and Robert Stowe, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, co-moderated the panel.

Daniel Bodansky, Arizona State University, US, drew attention to outstanding issues to be addressed in the Paris Agreement including: what type of rules address specific issues; to whom do rules apply; in what cases is the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) action required; what is the default if the CMA fails to adopt rules; and what is the “binding-ness” of rules? Discussing the recent US election, he highlighted three scenarios for US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and potential implications for the UNFCCC and climate change mitigation broadly.

Stavins stressed that as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are anchored in domestic political realities, the question is if they will adequately address ambition. As an answer to this challenge, he highlighted policy instruments to establish linkages to heterogeneous regional, national and sub-national policies. He stressed that the task for ongoing research is to determine which linkages are desirable, feasible and wise.

Ottmar Edenhofer, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, stressed that, while the Paris Agreement was a diplomatic success, the crucial question is how it will solve the public goods problem of international cooperation. Referencing the game theory in relation to public goods, he noted that contribution drops when free-riding is observed, and voluntary contributions are non-transparent. He stressed that an important shortcoming of the Paris Agreement is its projects-based finance transfer scheme, which limits alternative financing options.

Kelly Sims Gallagher, the Fletcher School at Tufts University, underscored that bilateral and multilateral agreements can be complementary to the UNFCCC. She stressed that agreements among smaller, like-minded sets of countries are the “new imperative.” She pointed to two examples, including: the 2008 Brazil-Norway bilateral agreement to reduce deforestation, and two US-China joint statements which launched early articulation of NDCs.

During discussions, participants addressed, inter alia: challenges of linking bilateral and multilateral agreements to the UNFCCC; communication of proposed measures to the broader public; and collective versus common obligations.

From L-R: Robert Stavins, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Ottmar Edenhofer, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; Robert Stowe, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Daniel Bodansky, Arizona State University; and Kelly Sims Gallagher, the Fletcher School at Tufts University

Robert Stavins, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, stressed that the success of the Paris Agreement will not be known for decades.

Daniel Bodansky, Arizona State University, described the Paris Agreement as a “hybrid outcome.”

Ottmar Edenhofer, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, underscored that “coal alone will absorb most of the available carbon budget.”

Kelly Sims Gallagher, the Fletcher School at Tufts University, said that bilateral and multilateral agreements can be “highly complementary and catalytic for the Paris Agreement”; and announced the establishment of a Climate Policy Lab at the Fletcher School.

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Research for Climate ActionPresented by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Research for Climate Action (RCA)

The event was moderated by Nathan Hultman, Director, Center for Global Sustainability, University of Maryland.

Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched the Research for Climate Action partnership. Laurence Tubiana, Climate Change Champion, underscored the evolution of research in climate policy, noting the importance of embedding research into policy making. She argued that sound policies and investment plans are key to addressing climate change.

Daniel Kammen, Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), University of California, Berkeley, emphasized the vast research needs for meeting mid-century climate targets. He noted research is more effective with international collaboration, and presented the Smart Villages Network.

Robert Orr, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change, underscored the importance of mobilizing new constituencies for immediate action on climate change and highlighted RCA’s role in providing applied research to help decision makers address specific climate change problems.

Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), underscored the importance of supporting efforts to accelerate action through multi-level and multi-actor policies. He emphasized that different sectors need different goals, adding that RCA’s key focus is determining which research questions it will seek to answer.

Suzana Kahn Ribeiro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, underscored the need for academia to map disruptive possibilities for climate mitigation. She emphasized that while Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the national level, most action is local, particularly regarding adaptation. She said RCA can be policy-prescriptive, and should have a complementary role to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Hultman then stressed that the post-Paris climate process is multi-stakeholder in nature, and emphasized that research is now demand-driven.

Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics and Political Science, said academics need to provide answers in time frames relevant for policymakers, and communicate better. He suggested focusing first on the largest and most urgent problems, noting that the greatest mitigation impact is in energy, cities and land use. He added that it is crucial to avoid lock-in into carbon-intensive infrastructure, and stressed the need to deal simultaneously with adaptation, mitigation and development. Stern said more research is needed on the transition to low-carbon pathways.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, among others: the importance of communication and outreach from the scientific community; how to make climate services available to users; lack of resources to engage researchers from developing countries; the role of traditional knowledge; linking academic and practitioner knowledge; and behavioral policies.

From L-R: Nathan Hultman, Director, Center for Global Sustainability, University of Maryland; Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI; and Suzana Kahn Ribeiro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics and Political Science, with Robert Orr, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change

Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI

Suzana Kahn Ribeiro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Nathan Hultman, Director, Center for Global Sustainability, University of Maryland

Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE

Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE

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A Common Natural Intangible Heritage: A Platform for Ethics and Justice on Climate Change PoliciesPresented by the Ministry of Environment, Portugal, and Universidade Nova de Lisboa

This side event, moderated by Francisco Ferreira, Zero - Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável, discussed the Common Home of Humankind (CHH) approach, addressing the bio-geophysical space, defined as “Safe Operating Space of Humankind,” as a new subject of law, enabling thus the inclusion of all positive and negative externalities in a fair and equitable accountancy system.

Ferreira discussed differences and complementarities between the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Common Home of Humanity (CHH) approach. He noted that under the UNFCCC, climate and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the focal points, often disregarding interdependencies that make climate part of the system and not the starting point. He underscored the need for an integrated system, along with a simplified accounting system, and stressed that CHH aims to: legally recognize the Holocene-like state of the Earth system; lay out the guiding principles for the construction of an Earth System Accounting Framework (ESAF); and develop the CHH as a science-based legal construct.

Emphasizing that the project will benefit the whole humanity, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister for the Environment, Portugal, stressed, among others, the need to: link the planetary boundaries to our use of natural resources; establish methodologies and indicators addressing the equilibrium of the Earth system; and recognize the security levels under which the planet is functioning, including their legal dimensions.

Paulo Magalhães, Chair, CHH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, presented on the CHH as a science-based legal construct. He identified the difference between the spatial dimension of the Earth and the quality of the Earth system, noting that the existence of intangible goods, simultaneously inside and outside national sovereignty, poses an important legal question in the realm of international law. Providing a metaphor of the planet as the hardware and the Earth system as software, Magalhães focused on a question originally posed by Alexander Kiss, namely “how can we admit that a good that belongs to no one may be governed by a specific law?”

Discussing the ESAF, Alessandro Galli, Global Footprint Network, noted its construction necessitates that it be grounded in a global legal instrument. Noting that countries could be differentiated between “Earth system damaging” ones that use the Earth system beyond the set baseline, and “Earth system maintaining” ones, he emphasized that economics are concerned with value, not accounting for justice and rights, and thus, economic compensation does not guarantee equity.

Nathalie Meusy, Co-Chair, CHH, and European Space Agency (ESA), discussed the launch of a book titled “The Safe Operating Space (SOS) Treaty – A new approach to managing our use of the Earth System,” which explores a new legal framework together with a novel accounting system to help humanity nurture and strengthen a favorable state of the commons at the planetary level. She underscored that space is not only about technique but also about emotions, and highlighted the “overview effect” – a physical and psychological state astronauts find themselves in when looking at the planet moving slowly – creating feelings of compassion and love for the planet, resulting in a wish to protect it.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: the distinction between finance and economics; the inclusion of philosophy and ethics in the project; the notion of respect regarding the management of natural resources; and near-term deliverables of the project.

From L-R: Alessandro Galli, Global Footprint Network; Nathalie Meusy, Co-Chair, CHH, and ESA; João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister for the Environment, Portugal; Francisco Ferreira, Zero - Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável; and Paulo Magalhães, Chair, CHH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister for the Environment, Portugal, urged for a paradigm shift regarding resource use to “preserve life as we know it.”

Nathalie Meusy, Co-Chair, CHH, and ESA, stressed that space research is a key tool for observing, measuring and monitoring the Earth.

Paulo Magalhães, Chair, CHH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, underscored that “as long as the value of the biosphere is only visible through its destruction, it is impossible to protect it.”

Alessandro Galli, Global Footprint Network, emphasized the bio-geophysical, economic, legal and governance elements of an Earth-centered, legal and governance system.

Francisco Ferreira, Zero-Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável, invited participants to CHH’s first global conference to be held in 2017.

Contacts:
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Can Private Sector Lead the Way?Presented by Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities

Kikuko Shinchi, Consultant, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, moderated the session. He noted the need to scale up the private sector’s engagement in addressing climate adaptation.

Jun Takashina, Deputy Director General for Technology and Environment, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan, said adaptation awareness is increasing and is crucial to ensure sustainable development. He noted that, in addition to the Adaptation Fund (AF), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will strengthen adaptation projects.

Mari Yoshitaka, Chief Consultant, Clean Energy Finance Division Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, outlined a study commissioned by the Japanese government for promoting adaptation activities led by the Japanese private sector. She concluded that greater efforts are needed to encourage more private sector participation, and recognition that adaptation brings business opportunities is required.

Mozaharul Alam, Regional Climate Coordinator, UN Environment Regional Office for the Asia and Pacific, highlighted the importance of innovation in adaptation projects in the Asia-Pacific region. He noted the need for the private sector to include adaptation planning in their mainstream investments, and for promoting existing technology transfers to developing countries.

Daouda Ndiaye, Senior Climate Change Specialist, AF, underscored the need for more resources to address adaptation issues in least developed countries (LDCs). He noted AF projects that support small farmers, and co-financing for medium-size farmers to develop sustainable financial mechanisms. Ndiaye said countries need to develop policies to attract the private sector, which can contribute to achieving the climate finance target of US$100 billion per year by 2020.

Masakazu Murakami, Senior Associate, Responsible Care Department, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., shared experiences from the chemical industry contributing to a low-carbon society in water, food and health sectors. He showcased a long-lasting insecticidal mosquito net, approved by the WHO, to protect people from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Bangladesh, noted the Bangladesh’s strategic adaptation plan and a fund to carry out projects in the country. He highlighted a private sector project that developed rice seeds that can adapt to water salinity.

Toshiaki Nagata, Deputy Director, Global Environment Partnership Office, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan, underscored how public policies can promote private sector activities. He said the private sector can maximize adaptation measures through experience, resilience, technologies and finance mobilization.

From L-R: Mozaharul Alam, Regional Climate Coordinator, UN Environment Regional Office for the Asia and Pacific; Daouda Ndiaye, Senior Climate Change Specialist, AF; Masakazu Murakami, Senior Associate, Responsible Care Department, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd.; Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Bangladesh; and Toshiaki Nagata, Deputy Director, Global Environment Partnership Office, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan

Masakazu Murakami, Senior Associate, Responsible Care Department, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., outlined his company’s new sustainable solutions.

Jun Takashina, Deputy Director General for Technology and Environment, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan, highlighted the importance of the private sector’s role in adaptation via demonstrations of good practices and capacity building.

Daouda Ndiaye, Senior Climate Change Specialist, AF, underscored the need for more resources to address adaptation issues.

Daouda Ndiaye, Senior Climate Change Specialist, AF, with Masakazu Murakami, Senior Associate, Responsible Care Department, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd.

Mozaharul Alam, Regional Climate Coordinator, UN Environment Regional Office for the Asia and Pacific, with Daouda Ndiaye, Senior Climate Change Specialist, AF

Contacts:
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Rights and Equity in Climate Policy: Translating Words into ActionPresented by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

Katharina Rall, HRW, stressed that 17 November 2016 was the first-ever climate justice day at a Conference of the Parties (COP). She underscored the inclusion of human rights in the Paris Agreement.

Luisa Emilia Reyes Zúñiga, Equidad de Genero, Mexico, said that human rights include women’s rights. She noted a pushback on human rights not only from the Global South, but also from the Global North, particularly in the context of immigration. She stressed that the human rights framework is facing a new paradigm.

Joseph Ole Simel, Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organization, Kenya, explained that designing mitigation and adaptation actions without consulting Indigenous Peoples is likely to affect their human rights. He used the example of the Turkana Wind project in Kenya, where, he said, “land was lost, lives were lost and the police were misused.” He underscored the urgent need for alliances between civil society organizations and human rights institutions.

Monica Camacho, Rainforest Foundation, Norway, underscored the importance of reducing emissions from deforestation. She highlighted that areas where Indigenous Peoples have clear land rights have the lowest deforestation rates, noting that land rights lead to long-term planning and management. She stressed that implementation of indigenous rights at the national and local levels is still an issue. She noted the need for dedicated funding with direct access by Indigenous Peoples organizations.

Kate Dooley, University of Melbourne, outlined the work of CIEL’s Human Rights and Climate Change Working Group. She underscored the need for guidance on including human rights in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), adaptation communications, and transparency review. She noted that, for the first time, civil society has not been invited to participate in the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA).

Mariama Williams, South Centre, highlighted that NDCs relate to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and noted how all progress on poverty eradication can be wiped out by a single extreme climate event. She said climate action needs to reinforce implementation of human rights, underscoring that review of NDCs needs to be considered through the lenses of poverty, gender, access to energy, and human rights.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: inclusion of human rights in cross-cutting issues; stakeholder participation in the Green Climate Fund (GCF), particularly Indigenous Peoples; inclusion of the right to development in the rights framework; and the lack of finance for civil society participation.

From L-R: Luisa Emilia Reyes Zúñiga, Equidad deGenero, Mexico; Joseph Ole Simel, Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organization, Kenya; Katharina Rall, Human Rights Watch; Monica Camacho, Rainforest Foundation, Norway; Kate Dooley, University of Melbourne; and Mariama Williams, South Centre

Moderator Katharina Rall, Human Rights Watch, said there is a high level of engagement on human rights.

Joseph Ole Simel, Mainyoito Pastoralist Integrated Development Organization, Kenya, underscored that, without responsible governance, adaptation and mitigation policies can promote land-grabbing and infringe upon human rights.

Monica Camacho, Rainforest Foundation, Norway, underscored the need for flexible mechanisms responsive to the needs of indigenous and community organizations.

Luisa Emilia Reyes Zúñiga, Equidad de Genero, Mexico, said that women environmental activists face the highest level of risk.

Mariama Williams, South Centre, highlighted the relationship between loss and damage and human rights.

Contacts:
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The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Karen Alvarenga, Katherine Browne, Bo-Alex Fredvik, Tallash Kantai, Jennifer Lenhart, Ph.D., Kate Louw, Miquel Muñoz Cabre, Nicole de Paula, and Asterios Tsioumanis, Ph.D. The Digital Editors are Mike Muzurakis and Liz Rubin. The Editor is Elena Kosolapova, Ph.D. <elena@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from the Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016, can be found on the IISD Reporting Services website at http://enb.iisd.org/climate/cop22/enbots/. The ENBOTS Team at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016, can be contacted by e-mail at <tallash@iisd.org>.

Specific funding for coverage of the Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016, has been provided by the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea of Italy, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea of Italy Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union, the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2016 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Wallonia, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD).