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IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) Coverage
IISD RS is providing daily web coverage of selected side events the Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014, from 1-12 December 2014, from Lima, Peru.
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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the
Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014

1-12 December 2014 | Lima, Peru

Daily Web Coverage (Click on the Following Links to See our Daily Webpages)

The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Thursday, 11 December 2014.

COP 20 graffiti artists creating a visual message on climate change.
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Side Events (ENBOTS) Coverage on Thursday, 11 December 2014

Al Gore, Former Vice President of the US, noted that not recognizing the problem of climate change is unethical and immoral.


This side event, moderated by Nicolas Ibarguen, Fusion/Univision, addressed the increased use of information and communications technology (ICT) across all sectors of society, as a means to reduce energy use, cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build resilience to the effects of climate change.

Ibarguen noted, among others, the necessity to stand up to the challenge of climate change, the opportunities arising from the Lima and Paris meetings, and the Momentum for Change Initiative’s impacts on the ground.

Al Gore, Former Vice President of the US, underscored that over a period of two centuries, coal and oil were the source of energy for global civilization, appearing cheap as the real price was not included in the price tag. He underscored the need for a price on carbon to send the correct market signals, noting that estimates show current subsidies for coal may be 20 times higher than for renewables. Gore said that this also creates enormous opportunities to address apparent inefficiencies, pointing to information technology as the provider of requisite tools to eliminate wasteful streams of GHG. Gore gave examples from, inter alia, the industry, agriculture and transport sectors to illustrate the availability of ICT tools to redesign production systems.

Addressing business engagement, Laurence Tubiana, Special Representative for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, stressed that domestic decisions heavily depend upon how societies see the future and called for a “positive spiral to increase commitment.” She highlighted the importance of finance, technology and the actions of businesses, as well as the need to inter alia: establish a global carbon price and related policies; align businesses to support policy change; and address countries’ conservatism in matters of technology.

Kevin Moss, Vice President, Net Good and Environmental Strategy, BT, addressed the company’s goal to help customers reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of their business by 2020, and pointed to BT’s Smart 2020 report that clearly recognizes green growth opportunities. He underscored the need to move a step forward and use ICT in order to transform everyday activities at the individual, home and city levels.

Moderator Ibarguen then introduced a second panel, which provided insights from projects that impact lives on the ground. A video introduction portrayed the ICT role in transforming human lives and the energy sector.

Neera Shrestha Pradhan, Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), provided background information on floods in the Hindu Kush Himalayas region, focusing on the community-based flood early warning system (CB-FEWS). She described the structure of the system and pilot studies in the Jiadhal and Singora rivers, and noted that the system: is people-centered; is understandable to those at risk; provides guidance to act; and uses low-cost ICT tools.

Partha Jyoti Das, Water Climate and Hazard Programme, Aaranyak, stressed that due to diverse traditions, acceptance of particular technologies varies among communities. He shared success stories from Dihiri, India, and noted the way forward includes the enhancement of ICT tools, as well as the “out-scale and up-scale” of CB-FEWS.

Harit Pranlal Soni, Ecolibrium Energy, said that while 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity, one in every four kilowatt hours (kWhs) is wasted or mismanaged. He presented on, inter alia: his company’s modus operandi; the architecture of the technology; general features and methodology; data collection; and methods of analysis, and shared success stories underscoring the vision to “create a world where every watt counts.”


Laurence Tubiana, Special Representative for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, stressed the need to align businesses to support change of policy with regard to climate change.

Kevin Moss, Vice President, Net Good and Environmental Strategy, BT, spoke of the potential for transformation at the individual, home and city levels.

Nicolas Ibarguen, Fusion/Univision, underscored the necessity to stand up to the challenge of climate change.

Building a Common Indicator on Land-Based Adaptation for
Reporting on the Rio Conventions

Hosted by China and co-convened with the Governments of Costa Rica, France, Morocco, Myanmar, Panama and Senegal, with support from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, said China has demonstrated that zero land degradation can be achieved in drylands through sustainable land management measures.

Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, said paying lip service to adaptation is no longer an option.


Moderated by Lucien Chauvin, Correspondent for Time Magazine and The Economist, Peru, this high-level event focused on the linkages between climate change adaptation and sustainable land and ecosystem management, responding to the question of how monitoring progress on these linkages can be achieved.

Xie Zhenhua, Vice Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, China, outlined ongoing climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives, noting China aims to peak its carbon emissions by 2020 or earlier. He said that China will continue to share knowledge on concrete adaptation activities that contribute to multiple co-benefits, including through biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration, noting this synergistic approach not only helps link the three Rio Conventions but is an “economic way” to do mitigation in drylands.

Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, underscored the challenge facing the sister Conventions, noting that 25% of terrestrial ecosystems globally are highly degraded, 75% of genetic biodiversity of agricultural crops has been lost and land use from agriculture is responsible for 20% of carbon emissions globally. She emphasized that against this backdrop, a new climate agreement can only be viable if it pays equal attention to mitigation and adaptation, and works in synergy with the other Rio Conventions to build the adaptive capacity and resilience of the most vulnerable communities. She said that a first step towards this has been taken through the ongoing efforts to develop common indicators on land degradation.

Speaking on the positioning of adaptation and resilience issues in the climate negotiations, Hakima El Haite, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Environment, Energy, Mining, Water and Environment in Charge of Environment, Morocco, underscored the need to focus on the links between mitigation and adaptation and the role of technology transfer in tackling land degradation.

Mirei Endara, Minister of the Environmental Authority, Panama, highlighted negotiations on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), noting that while mitigation indicators have reached a high level of sophistication, measurement of adaptation progress is less well developed. She said that her delegation therefore does not support including adaptation in the INDCs, but favors moving on with a climate agreement that allows space for developing a mix of bottom-up approaches to deal with countries’ vulnerabilities.

Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, Minister of Environment, Energy, Sea, Coasts and Wetlands, Costa Rica, cautioned against dichotomizing mitigation and adaptation efforts, noting both are key in effectively tackling climate vulnerability. He described resilience as a more useful concept in dealing with land management as it enables a focus in the negotiations on “what land needs to do,” as well as capacities required by vulnerable communities to address climate change.

Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, France, emphasized sharing of early warning information “in real time” as key to boosting resilience capacity. Noting that outstanding issues around adaptation are not about “legality,” she reiterated the wish of the COP 21 Presidency to work in a collaborative manner with all parties to conclude the new climate agreement.

Abdoulaye Baldé, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal, outlined land management initiatives in his country, emphasizing the need for scaling up technical and financial support.

Discussing the land, biodiversity, climate change and water nexus, and the role of enhanced synergies between the Rio Conventions in tackling these challenges, Gutiérrez proposed exploring new approaches to landscape management under REDD+. Endara said the common indicators initiative will help to articulate a common language and a shared sense of purpose. She highlighted a national campaign to reforest one million hectares of degraded land, which aims to preserve and enrich natural forests, restore watersheds and revitalize forest-based economies.

Uahekua Herunga, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia, said that while Namibia has already met its commitments for 2015, common sense dictates that “that the person who has made the house dirty should clean it.” He called for “bigger polluters” to support mitigation and adaptation efforts in the region through financial and technical suppport.

Sakhile Koketso, UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, highlighted progress made by the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group Meeting on Indicators for the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (AHTEG-SP), noting the Group was specifically mandated to collaborate with other Conventions on indicator development. She said the AHTEG-SP is currently identifying a small set of potential indicators for measuring post-2015 progress and suggested this would be a good entry point for collaboration among the Rio Conventions.

On provisions for Africa’s land restoration efforts in the new climate agreement, Girardin said there is broad agreement that countries have different capacities to meet their obligations, and announced French support for African countries in the lead up to the Paris climate conference. She noted the need for solidarity in these efforts, as part of broader efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development.

During discussions, participants posed questions on, inter alia: the role of the Green Climate Fund in technology transfer, capacity building and financial support for sustainable land management; and how to stimulate private investments in the land sector through payments for ecosystem services.

During a brief closing ceremony, the ministers of Panama and Costa Rica signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UNCCD Secretariat for the implementation of a project in Panama to demonstrate how to translate the concept of land degradation neutrality into practice.


L-R: Hakima El Haite, Minister Delegate for Environment to the Minister of Environment, Energy, Mining, Water and Environment, Morocco; Abdoulaye Baldé, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal; Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, France; Uahekua Herunga, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia; Mirei Endara, Minister of the Environmental Authority, Panama; and Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, Minister of Environment, Energy, Sea, Coasts and Wetlands, Costa Rica

More Information:


Sergio Zelaya
[email protected]

Integrated Climate Risk Management for a Resilient World

Organized by the Delta Electronics Foundation, Taiwan; the Governments of the Netherlands, Tuvalu, Germany, Switzerland and Japan; Mountain and Glacier Protection Organization (MGPO), Pakistan; Munich Re; the World Bank Group; the World Resources Institute (WRI);
and Zoi Environment, Switzerland

L-R: Annika Fawcett, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands; Eiji Otsuki, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Mataio Tekinene, Ministry of Environment, Tuvalu; Peter Höppe, Munich Re; Aisha Khan, CEO, MGPO, Pakistan; and James Close, Director, Climate Change Group, the World Bank Group


Johan van der Werff, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Peru, introduced the Aqueduct Flood Analyzer.

Angela Yeh, Delta Electronics Foundation, highlighted her organization’s work in rebuilding a school for indigenous peoples in a mountainous area in Taiwan.

Charles Iceland, Aqueduct Director, WRI, underscored the importance of the tool in providing a rational approach to flood protection.


This event, moderated by André Wehrli, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), highlighted the importance of Integrated Climate Risk Management (ICRM) as an efficient and effective approach to reduce the risk of future losses and damages due to climate change.

Highlighting his country’s long history in addressing floods and offering to share experiences and lessons, Johan van der Werff, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Peru, introduced the Aqueduct Flood Analyzer, a tool that analyzes the risk of flooding, describing it as a powerful instrument for policy makers in planning adaptation strategies.

Charles Iceland, Aqueduct Director, WRI, noted that the Analyzer enables users to programme different flood scenarios, and view a global inundation map, which provides information on the number of people affected and the economic impacts.

Angela Yeh, Delta Electronics Foundation, and Shuuichi Endou, President of Tuvalu Overview, spoke on building resilience to climate change in Taiwan and Tuvalu. Yeh highlighted her organization’s work in rebuilding a school for indigenous peoples in a mountainous area in Taiwan, noting that the new school now serves as a disaster shelter as well as a “net-zero energy-green school.”  Endou highlighted mitigation and land reclamation efforts in Tuvalu, through the planting of mangroves on heavily eroded lands. He called on alternative energy and water technologies to enable the country to build greater resilience.

Roberto Mendez, SDC Bolivia, presented contributions from the Bolivian experience on ICRM, stressing the importance of legally-binding resilience frameworks being mainstreamed into national planning process.

Eiji Otsuki, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), shared the effect of investment for disaster risk reduction (DRR) on the economy, noting that data proves “the sooner the better” as the best DRR investment policy. He drew attention to the benefits of DRR investments for sustainable development.

Panelists then discussed enabling factors and constraints for the adoption and implementation of the ICRM approach. Mataio Tekinene, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, Tuvalu, highlighted his government’s climate change policies and collaboration with civil society actors, and called for external partnerships, noting that “if you save Tuvalu, you save the world.”

Urging capacity building and awareness raising on ICRM, Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, BMZ, stressed the need to: undertake a more comprehensive climate risk assessment, and recognise more gradual slow-onset changes as part of climate risk approaches.

Otsuki noted JICA’s focus on, inter alia, pre-disaster prevention and mitigation measures, and assisting developing country governments to mainstream DRR into national policies.

James Close, Director, Climate Change Group, the World Bank Group, highlighted the Bank’s project screening process to ensure climate change resilience in order to monitor the deployment of its resources.

Annika Fawcett, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands, stressed the importance of climate data and knowledge, noting that this is a challenge in many developing countries, and emphasizing the need for thorough risk analyses in cases where data is scarce.

Aisha Khan, CEO, MGPO, Pakistan, lauded community custodians in her country for understanding climate risks, and listed financial, institutional and political constraints for the implementation of ICRM.

Highlighting effects of climate change on the insurance industry and stressing the need to act now, Peter Höppe, Munich Re, drew attention to a corporate climate center dedicated to producing data on climate-related risks, and providing new renewable energy products to interested stakeholders.

Concluding the event, Wehrli stressed the: need to act now; importance of understanding the risks; importance of preparedness in terms of policy and cooperation; and urgency of investing in disaster prevention tools.


Annika Fawcett, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands, emphasized the need for thorough risk analyses in cases where climate data is unavailable.

Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Special Envoy for Climate, BMZ, stressed the need to address climate risk and mainstream it into national planning processes.

US Commitments on International Resilience

Organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President and US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Kelly Sims Gallagher, OSTP, mentioned future workshops on training decision makers to use the Earth Explorer web tool.

Amanda McCarty, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), reported on three types of training facilities, including in-house, on-site and distance learning training initiatives.


This event, moderated by Kelly Sims Gallagher, OSTP, served to highlight President Obama’s new commitments at the UN Climate Summit in September on global resilience, and to invite NGOs, the private sector, and developing country partners to join in the new consortium on climate information for global resilience. 

Thomas Vilsack, US Secretary of Agriculture, via video, reminded participants that farmers face the impacts of climate change that put their families and farms at risk. He announced a new network to assist farmers with analyzing risk in order to adapt and prepare for climate change and extreme weather events. He said that this would put the food supply chain on a strong footing in the years to come.

John Holdren, OSTP, via video link, introduced the commitments made from the White House OSTP, including to: commit NOAA to develop and release new extreme weather risk outlooks on a 15-30 day timeframe globally; greatly expand the international training desk programme for developing country meteorologists; establish a new public-private partnership funded by USAID on climate information for global resilience; and declassify and release global elevation data in high resolution.

Kit Batten, USAID, outlined a 35-point plan to integrate adaptation into its programmes, and announced US$150 million for the establishment of a Global Resilience Partnership, focused on building systemic approaches to address climate and population change. As objectives, she highlighted: identifying critical capacity gaps; catalyzing alliances across all sectors; enabling regional and global learning; advancing data-driven analytics and measurements; and designing flexible financial mechanisms. She described the private-public partnership initiative on climate data tools and resilience development, aimed at translating data into useful tools for decision makers.

Kelly Sims Gallagher, OSTP, presented on the recent release of an online decision-making tool using Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data to provide information on elevation and topography. She noted the objective is to: improve understanding of past and present change; develop relevant forecasts; and identify those lands, resources, and communities most vulnerable to global change processes, particularly flooding.

Amanda McCarty, NOAA, presented on the administration's support for international resilience, emphasizing the need to partner with the meteorological community to enhance access to regional and local databases, and to close the prediction gap based on short-term weather prediction by developing medium- and long-range climate data. She reported on the international information desks, aimed at distributing climate products that will deliver expert assessments on weather data, including on wind, waves, monsoons and other events.

On the key needs for developing countries, Alfred Grϋnwaldt, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), emphasized: extending data provision to increase capacity building; ensuring information is distributed to decision makers; and incorporating climate information from all relevant users and services. He stressed the importance of developing risk outlooks to enable advance preparation.

During the ensuing discussion, participants deliberated on: the potential of translating technical tools into languages other than English; mainstreaming adaptation and mitigation actions into development banks’ portfolios; and providing historic information on weather events.

Kit Batten, USAID, regretted not having adequate weather information, saying: “we don’t have the data to understand climate change.”

Alfred Grünwaldt, IADB, stressed the importance of engaging with different networks and communities.


Belete Tafere, Minister for Environment and Forests, Ethiopia, estimated US$7.5 billion annually for the country to achieve middle-income status, and stressed generating these funds from internal and external sources.

Henrik Harboe, Co-Chair, GCF Board, called on developing countries to present strong projects for funding consideration.

Mary Robinson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, lauded the recent capitalization of the Fund with pledges of over US$10 billion, stressing this as a symbol of faith in the capacity of the UNFCCC to deliver assistance to developing countries.


This event, moderated by Mary Robinson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, highlighted priorities for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board and Secretariat in 2015, as well as supporting country actions.

Stressing the Secretary-General’s call for the GCF not to be bureaucratic, Robinson noted concerns among parties including that the funds will be inaccessible, and the small island developing states (SIDS), which have attained middle-income status, will be locked out of funding processes.

Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director, GCF, gave an overview of the first year of the Fund, highlighting design finalization and US$10 billion in capitalization through “record-breaking fundraising efforts,” and stressing that the next step is to turn pledges into contributions. She said in the coming months, the GCF will be accelerating dialogue with developing countries on nominating their focal points and national designated authorities; and drew attention to a plan to showcase sample project proposals at COP 21, calling on governments, private sector actors and the civil society to present projects that meet the GCF criteria to facilitate the process.

Highlighting his country’s green economy strategy and growth and transform plans, Belete Tafere, Minister for Environment and Forests, Ethiopia, stated his government’s intention of reaching middle-income status by 2025 through a low carbon pathway. He called for the GCF to move quickly to the disbursement phase, noting his country’s need for investments in green transport infrastructure and green power, among others. He stressed that gender and other social considerations have been included in the development of national plans.

Henrik Harboe, Co-Chair, GCF Board, stressed the need to mobilize capital as well as assist private sector financiers to find green projects to invest in. He spoke on the Fund’s Private Sector Facility, noting that its design is yet to be finalized and drawing attention to a private sector advisory group tasked with designing this Facility to meet parties’ needs. He expressed hope that at the third GCF Board meeting in October 2015, the first financing decisions will be taken, urging countries to present strong proposals.

Abdoulaye Baldé, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal, drew attention to his country’s plan to set up a national climate change fund, with 90% capitalization from external sources, to address both adaptation and mitigation. He noted ambitious national projects for which GCF support is required, including in agriculture, rail infrastructure and food security, and suggested the establishment of a monitoring, reporting and verification mechanism to check on the disbursement and use of GCF funds.

Tony de Brun, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Marshall Islands, called for the GCF to have “less process and more access,” noting that SIDS have been disadvantaged in the past when accessing funds due to low capacities and inflexible rules.

In the ensuing discussion, participants sought clarification on, inter alia: the composition of the private sector advisory group; eligibility of REDD+ projects for GCF funding; and the criteria for accessing support for readiness activities in countries not covered by the initial funding tranche. In response, Cheikhrouhou said the private sector advisory group is an ad hoc body, made up of 10 participants, half from developing countries, and including two NGO representatives. Noting that it is important not just to deploy resources quickly, but also wisely, she noted the GCF is exploring ways of also supporting feasibility studies. She invited interested national implementing entities as well as candidate implementing organizations to put forward their REDD+ proposals and institutional development support needs, noting there is scope to provide additional resources for readiness.


Participants at the side event

More Information:

Michel Smitall
[email protected]

L-R: Kimo Goree, Vice President, IISD; Suzi Malan, ENB; and Ilze Saunders, Miss Earth South Africa 2014
Participants cooling off on the COP 20 grounds
COP 20 participant promoting veganism as a means to peace
Specific funding for coverage of side events through ENBOTS has been provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <[email protected]> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Tallash Kantai, Suzi Malan, Wangu Mwangi, and Asterios Tsioumanis, Ph.D. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon. The Photographer is Liz Rubin. The Editors are Dan Birchall <[email protected]> and Liz Willetts <[email protected]>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Specific funding for coverage of side events through ENBOTS has been provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 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 <[email protected]>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from the Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014 can be found on the Linkages website at The ENBOTS Team at the Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.
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