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Issue #246 | 16 December 2015

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Recent Guest Articles
   
The Green Climate Fund Starts Funding Climate Action in Developing Countries
A few weeks ahead of the start of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21), where climate negotiators are set to gather to seal the fate of the Universal Climate Agreement, the Green Climate Fund sent a strong message to the world community. More.
Héla Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director, Green Climate Fund Secretariat

Getting Policies Right on the Road from Paris: How the Clean Energy Solutions Center Can Help Countries Implement Their INDCs
As the international community works to ensure that the climate agreement will be inclusive, fair, and ambitious, the critical question on everyone's mind is “What's Next?” More.
Nils Vikmång, State Secretary for Energy, Ministry of the Environment and Energy of Sweden, Santiago Creuheras, Director General for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Deputy Ministry for Planning and Energy Transition, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy, SENER, and Dave Turk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Climate and Technology, U.S. Department of Energy

Cities and Regions Pushing Forward on Climate Action; What Will Global Leaders Do?
Global leaders are now gathered in Paris for the UN Climate Summit and the world anxiously follows the negotiations. More.
Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General

Delivering Carbon Capture and Storage: a 2°C Solution
For the first time in history, business is playing an active role in this transformational journey and is coming to Paris with concrete solutions to help governments in tackling climate change. More.
Peter Bakker, President and CEO, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Making Climate Finance Count – Two Reports to Increase Transparency in the Lead Up to COP 21
As 2015 draws to a close, there is a strong hope that the Paris Climate Summit could represent a turning point in the global fight against climate change. More.
Barbara Buchner, Senior Director, Climate Finance, Climate Policy Initiative

More, Faster and Now: The Importance of Strengthening Efforts pre-2020 to Tackle Climate Change
Africa sees Paris as a crucial opportunity for the world to deliver an outcome that is science-based, fair and strengthens global rules and institutions to address climate change. More.
Senyi Nafo, Africa Group Spokesperson and Lead Negotiator for Pre-2020 Climate Ambition

The UNECE Water Convention's Contribution to the 2030 Agenda
In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the range of water issues receiving international attention has considerably expanded. More.
Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

New Thinking on Agriculture and Fossil Fuel Subsidies
New Zealand shows our support by playing to our strengths: on land sector issues, in looking for a level playing field for energy, and in driving efforts to ensure international carbon markets operate efficiently and with environmental integrity. More.
Jo Tyndall, Climate Change Ambassador, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Policy Brief
   
Balancing Urgency and Integrity in Climate Finance: The Green Climate Fund's Daunting Task
November 2015 began with an historic meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), where the Board of this new international financial institution (IFI) approved the funding for its very first projects and programmes, totaling US$168 million and allocating an additional US$195 million over time. More.
Virginia Wiseman, Thematic Expert for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (US)

Moving from Gray to Green: Identifying the SDG Indicators
The indicators through which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be assessed will provide the final piece of the SDG package. More.
Faye Leone, Content Editor, SDGs and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)

Combating Desertification through Multilateral Action
Delegates who convened for the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 12) considered whether the Convention would take on a goal akin to the Aichi Targets for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the objective of limiting temperature increases to 2˚C from pre-industrial levels for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). More.
Lauren Anderson, Content Editor, Biodiversity, Forests, Land and Water (US)

INDCs: Foundation for a Successful Outcome in Paris?
INDCs outline the climate actions that individual countries intend to undertake in the post-2020 period, under the new climate agreement to be decided on in Paris. More.
Leila Mead, Thematic Expert for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (US)

New Reports and Resources
   
Climate Strategies and Metrics: Exploring Options for Institutional Investors

Human Development Report 2015: Work for Human Development

World Migration Report 2015

Climate Change and Human Rights

The Economics of Land Degradation in Africa: Benefits of Action Outweigh the Costs

Land Degradation Neutrality: An Evaluation of Methods

Natural Capital Impacts in Agriculture: Supporting Better Business Decision Making

Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty

Executive Summary of Emissions Gap Report

Latest News
   
UNFCCC COP 21 Adopts Paris Agreement

December 2015: On 12 December 2015, in Paris, France, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement (FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1), a universal, legally-binding agreement to take effect from 2020. Commenting on the new Agreement, COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister, France, stated, "The Paris Agreement allows each delegation and group of countries to go back home with their heads held high. Our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual effort." More.

Photo: L-R: Laurence Tubiana, COP 21/CMP 11 Presidency; UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres; and COP 21/CMP 11 President Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister, France, celebrate the adoption of the Paris Agreement.


CCAC Strengthens Efforts to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

December 2015: The High Level Assembly (HLA) of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) committed to ambitious action over the next five years to reduce emissions of the short-term climate pollutants (SLCPs) - black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). More.

Photo: Co-Chair Hakima El Haite, Minister of the Environment, Morocco


ITTC-51 Addresses Transparency-Related Matters

November 2015: Observer participation and a disclosed loss of funds due to high-risk investments, as well as selection of a new Executive Director for the Organization, were the focus of discussions at the 51st session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-51) and the associated sessions of its four Committees. More.

Photo: The incoming Chairperson, Jennifer Conje, presents a framed gavel to the outgoing Chairperson, Bin Che Yeom Freezailah, during the last day of ITTC-51.


MOP7 Marks Global Opening of UNECE Water Convention, Adopts Reporting Mechanism

November 2015: The seventh Meeting of the Parties (MOP7) to the 1992 Helsinki Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes marked the global opening of the Convention to countries beyond the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region, adopted a reporting mechanism, and endorsed a policy guidance note on assessing the benefits of transboundary cooperation on water issues. More.

Photo: Christian Friis Bach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Executive Secretary, UNECE


AEWA MOP6 Adopts 22 Resolutions and 6 Action Plans

November 2015: The Sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP6) to the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), ended with the adoption of 22 resolutions, including action plans for seabirds and guidelines for the sustainable use of waterbirds across the African-Eurasian Flyway. More.

Photo: L-R: Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary; Jacques Trouvilliez, AEWA Executive Secretary; and Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, State Secretary for Environment, Germany


CBD SBSTTA 19 and Article 8(j) Working Group Progress Biodiversity Mainstreaming, Guidelines on PIC and TK Benefit-Sharing

November 2015: Allowing for more input from representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities, the 19th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) made progress on agenda items related to biodiversity mainstreaming, while the concurrent meeting of the CBD Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions developed guidelines on prior informed consent (PIC) and fair and equitable benefit-sharing from the use of traditional knowledge (TK). More.

Photo: Co-Chair Jae Choe (Republic of Korea), on behalf of the COP 12 Presidency, gaveled the meeting to a close at 1:18 pm.


Montreal Protocol Parties Set Roadmap for HFC Amendment

November 2015: Following protracted negotiations, delegates at the 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP 27) agreed to a road map for negotiating an amendment on the feasibility and ways of managing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). More.

Photo: Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat


Other News
Sustainable Development
   
UN Secretary-General, UNGA President Brief States on Paris Agreement, Next Steps

Second Committee Concludes "Main Part" of Work

GGGI Launches Inclusive Green Growth Partnership

Member States, World Bank Discuss Inclusiveness in SDG Implementation

APEC Ministers Commit to Implementing UN Goals, Address Energy Intensity

G20 Summit Discusses 2030 Agenda, COP 21

IAEG-SDGs Receives 4,588 Comments on "Green" Indicators

10YFP on SCP Selects Board Members

UN Statistical Commission Updates Member States on Indicator Development

LAC Countries Continue Negotiations on Principle 10 Instrument

UN Security Council Discusses Working Methods, SDG 16

Post-2015 Development Agenda
   
Experts Consider Inclusiveness in 2030 Agenda

UN Security Council Adopts First Resolution on Youth, Peace, Security

Briefing Highlights Decent Work in SDGs, Indicators

UN Secretary-General Makes Recommendations on UN Peace Operations

International Day Highlights Persons with Disabilities in 2030 Agenda Implementation

UN Security Council Discusses Links with 2030 Agenda

Stakeholders Make Recommendations on 2030 Agenda Follow-Up

UN Environment Management Group Reflects on Role in Achieving 2030 Agenda

Fifth Committee Discusses Assessment Scale, Financing 2030 Agenda and Peacekeeping Operations

ECOSOC Launches Second Phase of Dialogue on Positioning of UN Development System in Context of 2030 Agenda

DCF Symposium Addresses MOI for 2030 Agenda

Trade, Finance & Investment
   
Business Leaders Commit to Advancing Low-carbon Economy

ESCAP Committee Considers Regional Forum on Tax Cooperation

Donors Pledge US$248 Million to LDC Fund

MDBs Issue Joint Statement on Increasing Climate Investments

November 2015 Climate Finance Update

Forests, Desertification and Land Issues
   
CGIAR Announces Initiative to Increase Soil Carbon Sequestration

COP 21 Land Day Addresses SDG and Rio Conventions Linkages to Climate Resilience

LPAA Forest Event Features Commitments to Protect and Restore Forests

FAO, ITTO and Partners to Improve Forest Concession Policies and Practices

UNCCD Publishes Science-Policy Brief on 'Pivotal Soil Carbon'

UNCCD Publishes Brief on Land-Climate Nexus

IASS, Partners Discuss 2030 Follow-up and Review for Land and Soils

APEC Forest Ministers Stress SFM for Long-Term Sustainable Development

Biodiversity and Wildlife
   
2016 WED and WWD to Focus on Illegal Wildlife Trade, Elephants

Illegal Wildlife Trade Taskforce Prepares "Zero-Tolerance" Policy Declaration

NEPAD with Partners Launch African Resilient Landscapes Initiative

UNESCO African Network Discusses Aligning the Man and Biosphere Strategy to the SDGs

CMS African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Working Group Meeting Focuses on West Africa

Palau Becomes First Pacific Country to Ratify IUU Fishing Agreement

World Forum on Natural Capital Issues Open Letter to World Leaders

IWC Workshop in Oman Focuses on Entanglement and Stranding Responses

CBD AHTEG Report Proposes Operational Definition of Synthetic Biology

UN Corruption Conference Urges Action on Wildlife and Forest Crime

Workshop on Illegal Trade in Cheetahs Makes Recommendations to CITES SC66

Water, Oceans and Wetlands
   
Governments, Partners Launch International Partnership for Blue Carbon

UNEP-WCMC Indicator Measures Global Change in Wetlands

Oceans Day Urges Single Climate-Ocean Agenda

Ballast Water Management Convention Nears Entry into Force

World Toilet Day Event Focuses on Sanitation and Nutrition

Sustainable Ocean Summit Discusses Role of Ocean Industry in Blue Economy, SDGs

Second Committee Event Discusses Solutions to Water Scarcity, Drought

Climate and Atmosphere
   
Advisory Group Highlights Sustainable Transport for Addressing Climate Change, SDGs

Saint Kitts and Nevis, Venezuela Submit INDCs

LPAA Results in Over 70 Major Climate Action Initiatives

UNEP and ICLEI Announce Collaboration

IUCN and WBCSD Announce Partnership to Help Businesses Address Climate Change

Zero Routine Flaring Initiative Receives 20 New Endorsements

Buildings and Construction Alliance Aims to Reduce GHG Emissions

Angola, Brunei Darussalam, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, Palau and Tuvalu Submit INDCs

Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition Launched

UN Secretary-General Launches Climate Resilience Initiative

Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform Communiqué Presented to UNFCCC

CDM Approves First Methodology for Aviation Sector

October-November 2015 NAMA Update

Commonwealth Members Commit to Ambitious Legally-Binding Climate Agreement

ICAO, IMO Report to SBSTA on Aviation and Maritime Fuel Emissions

FAO and Partners Launch Upgraded Web Platform to Estimate Carbon Stocks in Trees

Cook Islands, Iran and Qatar Submit INDCs

Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Submit INDCs

Group on Earth Observations Adopts Mexico City Declaration

Saudi Arabia, Sudan Submit INDCs

Sustainable Energy
   
Energy Day Launches Major Initiatives on Renewables, Efficiency and Access

International Solar Energy Alliance Launched

UNECE Committee Explores Pathways to Sustainable Energy

CARICOM Celebrates Energy Week, Energy Centre Inauguration

SE4All Hub C2E2 Organizes Workshop to Accelerate Energy Efficiency

Japan, SE4All Partner on Energy Efficiency Outreach

Chemicals Management
   
EEA Reports on Europe's 2014 Flows of Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

FAO, WHO Update Pesticide Guidelines

Key meetings in the next two weeks
   
76th Session of UNECE CHLM: 14-16 December 2015. Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland

World Summit on the Information Society Review (WSIS+10): 15-16 December 2015. New York City, US

Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference: 15-18 December 2015. Nairobi, Kenya

28th Session of the North American Forest Commission: 11-14 January 2016. Campeche, Mexico

CITES SC66: 11-15 January 2016. Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland

Sixth Session of the IRENA Assembly: 16-17 January 2016. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


IISD Reporting Services will cover the 66th Meeting of the Standing Committee (SC66) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), from 11 to 15 January 2016, from Geneva, Switzerland


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