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Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2017

8-18 May 2017 | Bonn, Germany

Highlights for Tuesday, 9 May 2017

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A view of the Bonn World Conference Center, venue of the Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2017

The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Tuesday, 9 May 2017:

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage of selected side events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference, May 2017.

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Making Paris Work: Leveraging the Expertise of Non-Party
Stakeholders to Design the Paris Rulebook
Presented by the University of Lapland, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, and the University of Eastern Finland (UEF)

In this panel, participants shared their views on the positive role of non-state actors in designing a cohesive, robust and effective Paris rulebook. Harro van Asselt, UEF and Stockholm Environment Institute, moderated the event.

Achala Abeysinghe, Chair, Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, drew attention to the short time frame for negotiations on the Paris rulebook. Recognizing the key role that non-party stakeholders play, she identified three key processes they should support: expert review, national reporting and submission of relevant information to tackle barriers to implementation. She emphasized that “the Paris Agreement is just an empty shell without the rulebook.”

Sébastien Duyck, University of Lapland, emphasized the importance of the next 18 months for the design of the Paris rulebook. He highlighted potential roles for non-state actors in the transparency framework, including: enhancing trust among parties; strengthening the capacity to assess potential gaps; and providing incentives for parties to deliver on NDCs.

Yamide Dagnet, World Resources Institute (WRI), introduced the Project for Advancing Climate Transparency (PACT), a consortium of experts from developed and developing countries working to advance the development of robust and effective transparency and accountability rules and processes for the Paris Agreement. She agreed that the Paris Agreement could result in an “empty shell” and encouraged non-party stakeholders to contribute to “ratcheting up” ambition.

Offering reasons for African support of transparency, Sam Ogallah, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), cited: a history of double-counting and mistrust; the special circumstances of developing countries which require international support to implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); and the need for accountability and transparency in the delivery of NDCs. He emphasized that the Paris rulebook is key to effective implementation of NDCs in Africa.

Monica Echegoyen, Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), outlined ICAT’s collaboration with agencies and institutions to develop tools for transparency and capacity building. She stressed the present as the best moment to build bridges between the Secretariat, parties, and non-state actors.

Dimitrios Zevgolis, Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission, underlined the importance of a robust and effective transparency scheme. He lauded practitioners and scientists for producing documentation and driving discussion outside the formal negotiations. He pointed to the level of “granularity” provided by civil society organizations as critical to parties’ information gathering.

During the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: direct work with civil society organizations via sharing platforms; the impact of transnational governance initiatives; and whistle-blowing mechanisms.

Dimitrios Zevgolis, Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission, noted that non-state actors are the “watchdogs of transparency and ambition.”

Sam Ogallah, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, questioned “why transparency? For who and by whom?”

Harro van Asselt (center), University of Eastern Finland and Stockholm Environment Institute, said that now is a critical juncture for discussion of non-state actors and the Paris rulebook.

Yamide Dagnet, World Resources Institute, said that “without transparency, it will be very difficult to build trust between countries.”

Achala Abeysinghe, Chair, Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, underscored that the LDC group pushed for the “highest possible ambition” in the Paris Agreement.

Sébastien Duyck, University of Lapland, underscored that umbrella references are insufficient to elaborate the role of non-state actors.

(L:R): Achala Abeysinghe, Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group; Yamide Dagnet, World Resources Institute; Sam Ogallah, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance; Harro van Asselt, University of Eastern Finland, Stockholm Environment Institute; Sébastien Duyck, University of Lapland; Dimitrios Zevgolis, Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission

Monica Echegoyen, Initiative for Climate Action Transparency, said that national governments need guidance on how to engage with non-state actors.

Lukas Hermwille, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

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Climate Action to Address Loss and Damage of Vulnerable Populations and Build ResiliencePresented by the World Food Programme (WFP)

This event, moderated by Martin Frick, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), concentrated on ways to address loss and damage in vulnerable communities, building resilience and enhancing food security, and provided examples of best practices.

Noting that the Paris Agreement’s preamble contains a “strong mention” of food security, Frick stated that, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change is expected to increase the risks of hunger and malnutrition by 20% by 2050, with Africa and Asia most affected. He outlined loss and damage and resilience initiatives, including: the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM); the Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape (A2R) initiative; and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

Nurul Quadir, Bangladesh, noted that his country’s government is: providing agricultural loans to farmers affected by flash floods, along with food “until the next harvest;” investing in researching new varieties of rice that can tolerate salinity and flooding; and working on early warning systems that would increase lead time. 

Pepetua Latasi, Tuvalu, stressed that the fisheries sector is the main driver of her country’s economy, noting that climate change affects tuna fisheries in Tuvalu’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as tuna’s migration patterns change with the rising ocean temperatures. She highlighted climate change impacts that increase farmers’ vulnerabilities, such as sea level rise, droughts, salt water intrusion and inundation. Latasi emphasized Tuvalu’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), noting ongoing efforts to assess loss and damage through early warning systems and meteorological data.

Clifford Mahlung, Jamaica, stated that smallholder farmers in his country, who comprise a significant part of the economy, face numerous climate change impacts, including hurricanes, drought and flooding. He highlighted the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), and said that making money available to those affected immediately after disasters strike is a challenge. 

Describing insurance as a “major intervention” that can help vulnerable communities, Lucy Nganga, Kenya, highlighted the index-based Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme (KLIP). She explained that, since insurance premiums in vulnerable areas are higher than elsewhere in the country, the government covers 50% of the cost. Nganga also stressed the need for data that insurance companies can use.

In the ensuing discussion, participants considered, inter alia: the difficulty of accessing international funding to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities; ways to address climate-induced conflicts in pastoralist communities; the need for location-specific data; national risk reduction strategies by 2020 in line with the Sendai Framework for DRR; infrastructure resilience; and non-economic loss and damage.

In conclusion, Frick stressed the need to: address the interdependence of international, national and grassroots resilience action; use and improve existing data; develop regional and programmatic approaches; and make available fast and easily accessible international funding.

(L:R): Nurul Quadir, Bangladesh; Martin Frick, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO); Pepetua Latasi, Tuvalu; Clifford Mahlung, Jamaica; and Lucy Nganga, Kenya

Martin Frick, FAO, highlighted the importance of innovative loans and insurance systems, and investment in research and development.

Clifford Mahlung, Jamaica, highlighted the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) in his region.

Nurul Quadir, Bangladesh, emphasized the need to address food security as “a hungry man is an angry man.”

Lucy Nganga, Kenya, stressed the need for location-specific data.

Pepetua Latasi (center), Tuvalu, outlined the property registration system in her country, which aims to collect data to define the baseline for assessing infrastructure resilience.

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Long-term Strategies for 1.5ºCPresented by Climate Action Network (CAN) International, CAN Europe and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) European Policy Office

This session, moderated by Ulriikka Aarnio, CAN Europe, discussed options for limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5ºC and the importance of developing national long-term climate strategies towards achieving this goal.

Bill Hare, Climate Analytics, discussed the required emissions reductions for limiting global warming to 1.5°C and the implications this would have for policy makers. Among key messages, he noted that: the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit should be understood in the context of a “global average annual increase in temperature above the pre-industrial average” over a 20-year period; investors and policy makers should reconsider the role of coal in the energy mix; and accelerated deployment of renewables would not avoid the need for negative CO2 emissions.

Stressing that “2050 is now,” Paula Caballero, World Resources Institute (WRI), outlined the benefits of developing long-term climate strategies, including: avoiding lock-in of emissions; informing NDCs, development planning and short-term decisions; realizing financial savings; and fostering innovation by providing the private sector with the right signals.

Imke Lübbeke, WWF European Policy Office, presented findings of the MaxiMiseR project, which assesses the Low-Carbon Development Strategies of EU Member States, taking into account factors such as ambition, actionability, process and public transparency, stakeholder participation, and monitoring plans.

Tom van Ierland, Directorate General for Climate Action, European Commission, discussed the EU’s 2050 low-carbon roadmap developed in 2011. He noted that its targets can be achieved with existing technologies, and stressed the importance of covering all sectors and identifying intermediate milestones.

Ilka Wagner, Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Germany, introduced the German Climate Action Plan 2050, which aims for carbon neutrality by mid-century. She highlighted that all ministries will be asked to propose measures to achieve the plan’s targets and broad civil society participation in the plan’s development.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: the ‘2050 pathways platform’ launched at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 22), which aims to support those seeking to devise long-term climate and sustainable development plans; concerns about the desirability and technological feasibility of bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), given issues related to biodiversity loss, land-use conflicts and water supply; long-term planning as a skill that must be learned; and the “fundamental need” to ensure long-term climate planning is accessible to developing countries.


Bill Hare, Climate Analytics, highlighted “very real differences” in impacts and risks between 1.5°C and 2°C global warming scenarios.

Ulriikka Aarnio, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, moderated the event.

Ilka Wagner, Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Germany, noted that adaptation and sustainable development strategies form a “next step” to her country’s 2050 mitigation strategy.

Tom van Ierland, Directorate General for Climate Action, European Commission, welcomed the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C noting the need to better understand the science surrounding this temperature limit.

Paula Caballero, World Resources Institute (WRI), underlined that, “the more we delay, the more difficult the transition will be.”

Participants during the side event

(L-R): Bill Hare, Climate Analytics; Ulriikka Aarnio, CAN Europe; Paula Caballero, WRI; Imke Lübbeke, WWF European Policy Office; Tom van Ierland, Directorate General for Climate Action, European Commission; and Ilka Wagner, BMUB, Germany

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New Approaches for Analyzing and Visualizing the Integrity of the
Global Climate Governance Regime
Presented by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM-VU), and the University of Melbourne

In this panel, participants shared and discussed new approaches for analyzing and visualizing connections between UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) bodies and institutions, cooperative initiatives and non-state actors. Tim Cadman, Griffith University, moderated the event.

Cadman introduced a theoretical basis for analyzing the climate regime as an “integrity regime.” Outlining characteristics of institutional integrity systems, he stressed that the more comprehensive a regime’s governance values, the greater its legitimacy. He also noted that a lack of clarity on the UNFCCC’s institutional architecture contributes to a perceived lack of transparency around the UNFCCC’s institutional sub-components and activities.

Oscar Widerberg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, outlined preliminary results of network mapping of the connections between non-state and sub-national actors in the climate regime. He highlighted ‘Connect-it,’ a new project which visualizes collaborative climate actions and provides a tool to discover individual and corporate initiatives.

Concentrating on equity and human rights as key governance values in the climate regime, Kate Dooley, University of Melbourne, stressed that differing interpretations of how these values should be implemented leads to “sticking points” in negotiations. She underscored that equity is operationalized through the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).

Lisa Elges, Transparency International, delivered preliminary results of a comparative assessment of the accountability mechanisms of four UNFCCC climate funds. She drew attention to the chains of actors involved in the delivery of climate finance. Elges stressed that clear efforts to establish accountability mechanisms “at the top” of these funds are critical to strengthening institutional governance, providing anti-corruption and development benefits and setting the stage for greater reform.

Klaus Radunsky, Austrian Federal Environment Agency, thanked the scientific community for its contribution to the development of the Paris Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework. He noted the importance of taking stock of transparency mechanisms, and identifying weaknesses and areas for improvement. Celebrating the Paris Agreement’s “reasonably high standard of integrity,” he stressed continuing opportunities for improvement while the rulebook remains under development.

During the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: the need for a conflict-of-interest policy in the climate change regime; the utility of tools to visualize and analyze governance regimes; and centrality measures as decision-support tools.

(L-R): Tim Cadman, Griffith University; Oscar Widerberg, Vrije Universitiet Amsterdam; Lisa Elges, Transparency International; Kate Dooley, the University of Melbourne; Klaus Radunsky, Austrian Federal Environmental Agency

Oscar Widerberg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, is mapping the role of non-state and sub-state actors in the climate regime.

Klaus Radunsky, Austrian Federal Environment Agency, lauded the role of the scientific community in improving transparency.

Kate Dooley, the University of Melbourne, regretted that human rights are not yet formally incorporated into the global climate regime.

Lisa Elges, Transparency International, said that “accountability might be an afterthought” in climate financing.

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Coping with Climate Change in Small Island Developing States (SIDS):
Aligning Adaptation Strategies with Comprehensive Climate Risk Management
Presented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII)

This side event, moderated by Vera Scholz, GIZ, addressed strategies for coping with climate change in the SIDS and ways to link and coordinate adaptation and climate risk management strategies.

Noting that adaptation and disaster risk management (DRM) are treated separately at the institutional level, Scholz called for consideration of ways to align adaptation and risk management, and for defining the role of civil society in this process.  

Highlighting his country’s membership in the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group, Emmanuel de Guzman, the Philippines, noted the Philippines’ microinsurance system benefits nearly 30 million people, but said it was far from providing universal coverage to people at risk. De Guzman said South-South and triangular cooperation could help today’s initiatives reach hundreds of millions.

Sönke Kreft, Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), introduced the initiative, noting that MCII aims to use insurance for the benefit of vulnerable people and nations. He explained that insurance goes beyond the immediate effect of payout, being part of comprehensive climate risk management. Outlining MCII’s seven principles for benefitting the poor, including comprehensive needs-based solutions, client value, affordability and accessibility, Kreft discussed the initiative’s work with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).

Orville Grey, Jamaica, outlined his country’s efforts to build resilience by enhancing adaptive capacity in all sectors. He reported that Jamaica’s Climate Change Policy Framework mainstreams climate change “across the board.” He called for finding alternatives to insurance, noting that people on the ground are often unable to afford it.

Clarence Samuel, Marshall Islands, identified the need to stimulate risk insurance in other vulnerable countries through the V20. He observed that indirect insurance is not a good tool to cover recurrent events, such as drought, and suggested exploring other options.

Philipp Knill, Germany, observed that insurance schemes in Africa and Latin America are relatively young and identified the need to engage the private sector. He said progress on mitigation is required to enable progress on adaptation and resilience.

Dustin Schinn, Global Environment Facility (GEF), said the GEF has supported holistic management of adaptation through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), which together comprise a US$1.5 billion programme. On DRM, he highlighted the importance of reducing people’s vulnerability and exposure in the first place.

Sven Harmeling, CARE International, highlighted a community perspective on increasing resilience, citing a CARE International project in Peru addressing the risks associated with glacial melting. He stressed the need to identify capacities on the ground to help people prepare for and manage emergencies.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: issues associated with relocation of people from zones no longer fit for human habitation; building codes and their enforcement; and criteria for selecting projects for funding.

(L-R): Sven Harmeling, CARE International; Philipp Knill, Germany; Orville Grey, Jamaica; Dustin Schinn, Global Environment Facility (GEF); and Vera Scholz, GIZ

Sönke Kreft, MCII, said climate risk does not only affect people, citing a decrease in Jamaica’s credit rating as an example.

Clarence Samuel, the Marshall Islands; Sven Harmeling, CARE International; and Philipp Knill, Germany

Orville Grey, Jamaica, called for finding alternatives to risk insurance as many people on
the ground are unable to afford it.

Philipp Knill, Germany, reported on the V20 Dialogue with High-Level G20 representatives held in April 2017 where ministers discussed risk management and capacity building in vulnerable countries.

Participants during the side event

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Making the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) Work for People and the PlanetPresented by Germanwatch, Association Actions Vitales Pour Le Developpement
Durable (AVD) and Réseau Action Climat - France (RAC-F) 

This event focused on civil society perspectives on AREI launched at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 21). It was moderated by Lutz Weischer, Germanwatch.

Jens Klawitter, Germanwatch, introduced AREI and its working structure, highlighting the initiative’s aim to harness the African continent’s renewable energy potential. He noted that 19 recent projects approved in Conakry, Guinea, had raised critical questions about whether AREI criteria were being bypassed and whether the projects are new and additional.

Augustine Njamnshi, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), highlighted the results of a recent African Coalition for Sustainable Energy Access (ACSEA) survey on African civil society organizations’ (CSOs) perspective on AREI. Among key findings, he noted respondents’ views that African civil society should have a voting power in the AREI Steering Committee, and their desire to see Northern CSOs bring the positions of African CSOs to the attention of Northern states.

Aïssatou Diouf, Réseau Climat et Développement, underlined the need to ensure AREI “is truly African-led to meet the needs of African people,” recommending capacity building, awareness raising, and increased transparency of pipeline and approved projects to this end.

Stressing “the future has to be renewable-energy based,” Paul Alain Nana, AVD, presented on projects in Cameroon to raise awareness among young people about sustainable development and renewable energy, including through renewable energy field visits.

Seyni Nafo, Chair of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), emphasized that AREI is a product of the “new African climate diplomacy,” in which the continent “does not victimize itself, but takes its destiny into its own hands.” He highlighted four additional initiatives led by African heads of states, on: adaptation, the Sahel region, the Congo Basin, and islands, that also form part of this vision.

Among recommendations for the way forward for AREI, Frank Fass-Metz, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany, included: maintaining a high level of political commitment in African countries; a need to identify implementation priorities; and the need to mobilize private sector investment.

In the discussion, panelists and participants discussed the manner in which the AREI Board had chosen its recent 19 recent projects, with one participant positing these had been approved “in contempt of the initiative’s principles,” while others urged caution in characterizing the Board’s decision-making in this way in the absence of sufficient information.

(L-R): Paul Alain Nana, AVD; Augustine Njamnshi, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA); Lutz Weischer, Germanwatch; Aïssatou Diouf, Réseau Climat et Développement; Seyni Nafo, Chair of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN); and Frank Fass-Metz, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany

Augustine Njamnshi, PACJA, questioned “why is Africa still in darkness as far as energy is concerned?” and called for AREI to integrate stakeholder involvement in its activities to realize its intended results.

Lutz Weischer, Germanwatch, moderated the event.

Frank Fass-Metz, BMZ, Germany, welcomed the “productive process” of engagement between African countries and donor countries in the run-up to AREI’s development.

Among recommendations for AREI, Seyni Nafo, Chair of the AGN, highlighted finalization of the initiative's governance framework and multi-stakeholder engagement with African countries.

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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 Suzi Malan, Ph.D., Katherine Browne, Elena Kosolapova, Ph.D., and Cleo Verkuijl. The Digital Editor is Ángeles Estrada. The Editor is Leila Mead leila@iisd.org. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side is published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The Sustaining Donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are the European Union (EU) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022 USA. The ENBOTS team at the Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2017, can be contacted by e-mail at suzi@iisd.org.