Svenja Schulze, Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, Germany, opened the meeting saying ICCA2019 is an important milestone ahead of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019.
The International Conference on Climate Action 2019 began today in Heidelberg, Germany, providing a lively space for enhancing cooperation across government levels.
In her opening remarks, Svenja Schulze, Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, Germany, said that ICCA2019 is an important milestone ahead of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit and for raising climate ambition through vertical collaboration. Winfried Kretschmann, Prime Minister, Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, called for a new culture of cooperation across administrative levels that fosters mutual trust, and pointed to the Under2 Coalition as a good example of transnational climate cooperation between regions. Eckart Würzner, Mayor of Heidelberg, Germany, highlighted that many solutions are already available, for example on renewable energy and sustainable mobility, and that national support is key for implementing local climate projects.
Participants also heard speeches by Luis Alfonso de Alba, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, Shipra Narang Suri, UN Habitat, and Martin Frick, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and a panel discussion on collaborative climate action.
A highlight of the morning was the intervention of members of the German Fridays for Future movement and participants in the Youth Climate Summit that convenes alongside ICCA2019. They called upon decision makers to move from lip service to effectively addressing youth demands, saying, in particular, that Germany needs to accelerate the closing of its coal power plants and become climate neutral significantly ahead of 2050. In closing, they mobilized the audience chanting “We are unstoppable, another world is possible!”
Throughout the opening ceremony, participants engaged in interactive feedback dialogues with the moderator, notably reacting to questions on what impacts the conference should have and whether they were optimistic that progress on environmental justice will be made in 2019.
The afternoon featured a workshop session with eight parallel workshops on topics such as energy, mobility, and resilience and adaptation. In the evening, participants were invited for a reception at the Heidelberg castle.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web udpates from ICCA2019 and a summary report, which is available in HTML and PDF.
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