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Sustainable Transformation – Nordic Experiences of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) as Building Blocks for Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) Presented by: Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and the Nordic Council of Ministers
This side event, moderated by Ash Sharma, NEFCO, focused on Nordic financed NAMAs in Asia, Latin America and Africa, providing insights on how NAMA development helps achieve sustainable impacts and contributes to sectoral transformation, as well as building the foundation for implementation of INDCs and national targets.
Peer Stiansen, Chair of the Nordic Working Group for Global climate Negotiations (NOAK), stressed that cooperation constitutes the key theme both under the auspices of the UNFCCC and for Nordic countries. He underscored the importance of the Nordic Partnership Initiative (NPI) that draws considerable resources and political attention, highlighting that it paves the way for new types of cooperation, which involves partnerships in the broad sense, going beyond project based activities.
Luu Linh Huong, Ministry of Construction, Viet Nam, presented the Vietnamese draft NAMA Readiness Plan for the cement sector, noting its objective of strengthening, in the long run, national capacity to develop and implement an appropriate GHG mitigation action plan. She highlighted, inter alia: the establishment of a sector database as well as a Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) database; Marginal Abatement Cost (MAC) analysis for selected mitigation actions; NAMA financial assessment, including the cost of NAMA enabling activities; and the current and recommended NAMA-related legal and institutional frameworks.
Alberto Galante, Director, Perspectives Climate Change, discussed a solid waste NAMA in Peru, aiming to create a complete NAMA concept with a strong sectoral transformational change impact and to attract international financing. He highlighted main outputs, namely: a new GHG inventory for the sector; mitigation options and MAC curves; financing scenarios; emissions scenarios benchmarking; design of the MRV system; and the NAMA financing structure.
Sudhir Sharma, UNEP Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Partnership, described the INDC process as the culmination of multiple steps, which provides for a country-wide framework for addressing climate change and enables the close coordination between implementation actions for sustainable development and climate change. He stressed that INDCs could be defined as short-term goals for achieving the long-term strategy, which is the development of Low Emission Climate-Resilient Development Strategies (LECRDS). He also recognized the private sector’s role in the implementation of NAMAs, highlighting the UNEP DTU Partnership ADMIRE (Adaptation, Mitigation, Readiness).
Martina Jägerhorn, NDF, provided an overview of the NAMAs that NDF is financing as building blocks for INDCs. She addressed NDF’s objective to facilitate climate investments in low-income countries and underscored its 2016 strategy that includes: project preparation; innovations; private sector engagement; pilot projects; and emerging climate change issues. She noted past and present calls for proposals and provided highlights of the last biennium, including award-winning projects financed by the NDF.
In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, among others: the potential for replication of successful programs; NAMAs in Africa; and market based versus non-market based approaches.
Presenting the draft NAMA Readiness Plan for the Vietnamese cement sector, Luu Linh Huong, Ministry of Construction, Viet Nam, called for the integration of NAMAs into national development planning processes.
Sudhir Sharma, UNEP DTU Partnership, underscored that sustainable development is key to action on climate change.
Martina Jägerhorn, NDF, emphasized the Nordic contribution to sustainable transformation through the NDF.
Launch of the ‘Because the Ocean’ Declaration Presented by: Governments of France and Chile, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Global Ocean Commission, and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDRRI)
At this event on Sunday, 29 November 2015, a number of high-level representatives signed the ‘Because the Ocean’ Declaration including: Anote Tong, President, Kiribati; Tommy Remengesau, President, Palau; Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile; Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France; Catherine McKenna, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Canada; Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden; Inia Seruiratu, Minister of Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji; Oslin Sevinger, Minister for Regional Planning, Infrastructure and Integration, Aruba; Amparo Martínez Arroyo, Director General, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, Mexico; and Amb. Rebecca Riley, New Zealand representative to the OECD.
Moderator Richard Black, Environment Correspondent, BBC, highlighted that the signing of the ‘Because the Ocean’ Declaration would better protect the environment.
Romain Troublé, General Secretary, Tara Expeditions, lauded the commitment of governments to the declaration, and stressed the need to raise the profile of oceans at COP 21. José María Figueres, Co-Chair, Global Ocean Commission, highlighted the role of Chile in spearheading an ocean action plan under the UNFCCC. Teresa Ribera, Director, IDDRI, underlined the need to “break down the communication silos” between climate and oceans practitioners, and called on leaders to sign the Declaration in order to spur concrete action.
Lamenting that oceans are usually overlooked in climate discussions, Prince Albert II, Monaco, called on the international community to adopt stringent tools to protect oceans, including through the designation of ocean and marine protected areas and raising awareness of ocean acidification. He then highlighted solutions to climate change offered by oceans, including the potential for offshore wind turbines, wave energy and biomass.
Kiribati drew attention to over 400,000 square miles of marine protected areas in his country and committed to stronger action to curb ocean pollution. Canada noted the need to include the scientific community and fisheries sector to promote the resilience of marine species.
Palau announced his country’s designation of a large scale marine sanctuary encompassing the entire island, as well as its Exclusive Economic Zone. Aruba highlighted the country’s mangrove cleaning plan. Mexico called for the creation of synergies between multilateral environmental agreements and development initiatives. New Zealand announced the designation of a 600 kilometre square ocean protected area, noting that this is double the size of the country.
In a panel discussion, Sweden stressed that the sustainable development goal (SDG) on oceans concerns equality, justice and poverty eradication, and called for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to address issues of sea-level rise, ocean acidification and reforestation along the sea shore. Fiji announced that Pacific Small Island Developing States are willing to champion SDG 14 on oceans.
Chile stated that beyond the Declaration, countries need to commit to an oceans action plan under the UNFCCC.
In the discussion, participants raised the need to measure ocean acidification in vulnerable countries and for awareness of the role of oceans within civil society organizations working on climate change; and stressed the linkages between the health of the ocean and the livelihoods and food security of half the world’s population, and the importance of linking biodiversity conservation and climate change.
The Declaration, inter alia: pledges support for the proposal for a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the oceans-climate nexus; reaffirms commitment to reinforce ocean resilience by meeting the targets under SDG 14 on oceans and states express support for the convening of the High-Level Conference on Oceans and Seas in Fiji in June 2017; and expresses the need to establish an ocean action plan under the UNFCCC starting in 2016.
Prince Albert II, Monaco
Catherine McKenna, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Canada
Anote Tong, President, Kiribati
Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France
Tommy Remengesau, President, Palau
Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign
- Inés de Agueda (Coordinator) | email@example.com
Investing in Resilience - Responding to the Adaptation Needs of the Most Vulnerable Presented by: the Global Environment Fund (the GEF)
Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, the GEF, welcomed participants to the session which considered new funding commitments from countries, followed by a panel discussion on key outcomes and lessons learned from existing and past funding.
France pledged an additional €25 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) in 2016, underscoring the importance of providing the means of implementation for the most vulnerable to fight against the harmful effects of climate change on agriculture, people and the economy. Canada stressed strong support for the GEF, noting its unique position to generate synergies and innovation, and announced a new contribution of CAD$30 million to the LDCF over the next two years.
Denmark hoped for increasing private sector involvement in adaptation funding, noting that many Danish companies are already developing adaptation solutions in the water sector, and pledged US$22 million to the LDCF in 2016. Finland pointed to the threat climate change poses to development achievements, calling for climate change considerations to be integrated into development planning. She drew attention to the €1.6 million donated to the LDCF this year by Finland.
Sweden stated strengthening resilience is crucial in eradicating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and highlighted the importance of fully involving women for successful adaptation. She noted that Sweden intends to contribute 100 million Swedish Kronor in 2016. The UK announced £30 million to the LDCF in 2016, underscoring furthermore that adaptation support would account for 50% of UK climate financing between 2016-2020.
The US announced its contribution of US$51 million to the LDCF in 2015-2016, stating the number and scope of the INDCs submitted by LDCs is a testament to the will to be part of a truly global agreement. Italy highlighted work with Small Island States of the Pacific region, including support to set up early warning systems, and pledged US$2 million to the LDCF by the end of 2015, hoping to increase this amount in 2016.
Ireland pointed to adaptation support for sub-Saharan Africa in 2014, noting the development of National Adaptation Plans (NAPAs) as key, and pledged €6 million to the LDCF by 2020. Germany underscored the need to focus on climate justice to support LDCs to adapt to climate change and achieve people-centered, climate-smart sustainable development, and announced €50 million to the LDCF in 2015-2016.
During the panel discussion, Benin described adaptation projects enabled through work with GEF and UN Development Programme (UNDP), underscoring energy as the “alpha and omega of development,” and noting that 60-70% of the population currently have no access to energy. He detailed the “lumière pour tous” project, aimed at enabling lighting in all households in Benin, underscoring security and educational benefits.
Ethiopia observed the vulnerability of his country to climate change risks, noting that more than 80% of the population is entirely dependent on agriculture for food security and jobs. He discussed work with GEF and UNDP, with support from the LDCF, to build resiliency in highland areas at risk of land degradation due to heavy rains.
Comoros explained impacts of climate change on his country, underscoring economic dependency on agriculture and fishing. He thanked the LDCF for providing funds to respond to immediate needs, detailing a project to improve education of best practices in agriculture as one measure being undertaken.
Angola, for the LDCs, observed that 46 of 48 LDCs have submitted INDCs, noting that only one fifth of the estimated US$5 billion needed to achieve objectives of their NAPAs has been mobilized to date, stating expectation that the LDCF would ensure full implementation by 2020.
Moderator Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change, thanked countries for their “significant contributions,” totaling US$248 million, noting these would improve lives across the world. She underscored the need for a different narrative on adaptation funds, stating they should be considered as the means for enabling a safe world for all, rather than as aid for poor developing countries.
Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, the GEF, highlighted that GEF funding, and mobilization of funding for projects, is expected to directly reduce the vulnerability of 7 million people.
Leonel da Silva, Angola for LDCs, noted the important role played by GEF to respond to the differentiated economic and social needs of LDCs, and provide the resources to assist those most in need and with lowest capabilities to undertake adaptation.
Michel Sapin, Minister of Finance, France, stated that continuing to provide funds for adaptation is fundamental in the fight against climate change.
Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change, stressed the need for a climate agreement that is people-centered and consistent with climate justice, having the most impact for those most affected and least responsible for climate change.
Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, underscored the importance of addressing climate justice, stating that LDCs had contributed the least to climate change but are the most vulnerable to its effects.
COP 21: The Key Issues Presented by: South Center and the Third World Network (TWN)
This side event, moderated by Meena Rahman, TWN, presented perspectives on the UNFCCC negotiations towards a successful Paris agreement.
Juan Hoffmaister, Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) Coordinator, Adaptation and Loss and Damage, stressed the need for the Paris agreement to equally consider adaptation and mitigation measures, noting that although adaptation has made great strides on paper, implementation has been challenging. He urged establishing a set of key principles to empower adaptation, cautioning that these should not become conditionalities for adaptation finance.
Su Wei, China, stressed that the cause of the current climate crisis is the historical accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over 200 years, and underscored the need for differentiated responsibilities to be highlighted and respected in the Paris agreement. He stressed that developed country parties must take the lead in reducing emissions and also honor their commitments to support developing countries to meet their obligations.
Calling for the Paris agreement to be just, equitable, durable and ambitious, Ravi Prasad, India, underlined that the agreement must reflect the principles of the UNFCCC, highlighting the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR). Noting the high level of ambition of developing countries to address climate change as reflected in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), he called on developed countries to honor their commitment to provide financial and technical support to developing countries.
Gurdial Nijar, Spokesperson, Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs), noted “disturbing signs” of attempts to dismantle the fundamentals of the Convention, highlighting discussions relegating CBDR as “a concept of the past.” He stressed that there are serious consequences to some discussions being held, drawing attention to language on the peaking of emissions which threatens developing countries’ ability to address poverty and food security.
Calling for the Paris agreement to stand on the legs of adaptation, mitigation and means of implementation, Mariama Williams, South Centre, underscored that the narrative of climate finance is not “about solidarity” but climate justice and historical responsibility. On the OECD report on climate finance, she highlighted questions regarding the veracity of the climate finance disbursed, noting that the sources cited include a combination of official development assistance; loans from multilateral development banks and funds from the Global Environment Facility; and climate-related support in export credit.
During discussions throughout the event, participants raised issues including on, inter alia, the feasibility of a 1.5˚C target, the feasibility of a proposal of an international criminal tribunal for climate justice, the positions of India and China on the loss and damage language proposed by the G-77/China, and whether there is still time to craft an ambitious agreement.
Juan Hoffmaister, Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) Coordinator, Adaptation and Loss and Damage, called for addressing permanent loss and human mobility under any language on loss and damage in the agreement.
Drawing attention to a report of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on climate change funding, Ravi Prasad, India, highlighted that the funds in question are “not new or additional” to official development assistance.
Su Wei, China, noted that the objective of the Paris agreement is to enhance the implementation of the Convention, guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).
Gurdial S. Nijar, Spokesperson, Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs), called for clear options for policymakers to take decisions on political issues such as CBDR and the long-term goal.
- Yvonne Miller (Coordinator) | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Potential for Crediting Mitigation Actions Across Countries with Different Types of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) Presented by: The Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC)
This session was introduced by the JISC Chair, Julia Justo Soto, and moderated by Benoît Leguet, Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) and JISC member.
Marcelo Rocha, adviser to the Brazilian delegation, called for building on experience with existing mechanisms, including the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) and addressing questions of accounting, accountability and transparency.
Daniel Rossetto, Climate Mundial, urged timely reform of the CDM and JI, as opposed to creating new market mechanisms. Roland Geres, FutureCamp, illustrated experience with joint implementation in Germany, outlining lessons learnt, success factors and barriers.
Presenting lessons from experience with design and implementation, Benoît Leguet, I4CE, highlighted that joint implementation is a flexible policy tool, which can be used to help countries achieve their INDCs and to raise the level of ambition. He added that, while JI is small compared to the CDM, the post-2020 crediting mechanism under an INDCs system may look more like JI than like the CDM.
Panelists then discussed expectations of the Paris agreement and how to move towards a more streamlined system for crediting mitigation actions across countries. Geres emphasized the need for international guidance and supervision to ensure the pursuit of common interests and environmental integrity while using joint implementation as a domestic climate policy instrument. Rossetto called for recognizing Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and Emission Reduction Units (ERUs) issued pre-2020 for compliance with commitments post-2020. Rocha urged to continue promoting the CDM and JI, and to address the question of their role in the Paris agreement. Leguet emphasized the role of UNFCCC institutions in ensuring transparency.
Closing the session, Justo Soto announced that the JISC would present its report to the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) on Tuesday 1 December, making the case for a continuing role for JI post-2020.
Roland Geres, FutureCamp, explained that offset mechanisms may “perfectly complement” other means for emission reductions, but need to be defined and regulated, also at the domestic level.
Benoît Leguet, Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) and Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC), explained that domestic crediting mechanisms are a ‘policy tool’ and not an ‘offset.’
Daniel Rossetto, Climate Mundial, called for fast-tracking emission reductions in developing countries, by funding INDCs.
Impacts and Indigenous Adaptation Strategies from the Amazon and Canada Presented by: Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Instituto de Ecología y Antropología de Acción (INFOE)
This side event, chaired by Estebancio Castro, COICA, addressed indigenous adaptation and mitigation strategies from the Amazon and Canada, the Indigenous Amazonian Fund (FIA) and the need for titling and governance of Indigenous territories and Indigenous REDD+. Speakers included Indigenous leaders and delegates from donor countries, amazonian governments and environmental organizations.
Fermin Chimatani Tayori, Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, Peru, presented on the development of Amazonian Indigenous REDD+ in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. He underlined the holistic territorial management of the Reserve, which involves: co-management between Indigenous Communities and the Peruvian government; the incorporation of environmental functions beyond carbon sequestration; full community participation, including for monitoring, reporting and cultural mapping; and building knowledge to ensure local food security.
Perry Bellegarde, Little Black Bear First Nation Chief, Canada, discussed the climate change and human rights struggles of Indigenous peoples in Canada, saying “we have a little breath of light” because Canada’s new prime minister has committed to working towards the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). He said Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge will be needed around the decision-making tables as we phase out our dependency on fossil fuels.
Jorge Furagaro, COICA, spoke on the adequacy of climate funds and the establishment of FIA. He said indigenous financing should: prioritize secure recognition and titling of indigenous territories; work directly with territorial organisations rather than increase NGO intermediation; converge with indigenous territorial funds, rather than compete with them; and reduce bureaucracy. He emphasized that the FIA would help ensure Indigenous communities have full participation in projects and management plans within their territories.
Gustavo Suárez de Freitas Calmet, Programa Nacional de Conservación de Bosques, Peru, outlined progress in national laws and forest programmes relating to Indigenous Peoples. He explained Peru’s national forest law provides for community forest management, and the National Forest Service is working to facilitate access to funds for Indigenous Peoples, develop indigenous life plans for their communities and improve intercultural communication. He supported the FIA, saying climate finance has to succeed in trickling down to the communities affected.
During discussions, participants expressed concern about: invasive species and changing hunting patterns; how to effectively access climate finance such as funds for REDD+ and those in the Green Climate Fund (GCF); and how to build constructive cooperation between Indigenous communities and government agencies. Speakers clarified that one of the central aims of the FIA is to ensure funds trickle down to the communities actually implementing climate mitigation and adaptation programmes.
Fermin Chimatani Tayori, ECA-Amarakaeri, Peru, said the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve feels strongly that territorial management should be broader than carbon sequestration.
Perry Bellegarde, Little Black Bear First Nation Chief, Canada, said we have a responsibility to protect our lands and the waters and “we must work to get the Indigenous worldview into the minds, hearts and spirits of delegates at COP21.”
Jorge Furagaro, COICA, said REDD+ covers 5 million hectares in Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador.
Gustavo Suárez de Freitas Calmet, Programa Nacional de Conservación de Bosques, Peru, said Indigenous Peoples are the most important actors for contributing to forest conservation, but they often do not get much benefit from REDD+.
Justice and Future Generations:
Achieving Intergenerational Equity in Paris and Beyond
Intergenerational Equity Group, SustainUS, and the Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations
Moderator Timothy Damon, SustainUS, opened the session on intergenerational equity and justice for future generations.
Anna Braam, Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, described: concepts of justice, generation and justice between generations; intergenerational equity and climate change; and the rights and interests of future generations. René Kieselhorst, Humboldt-University of Berlin, discussed ways to operationalize intergenerational equity, underscoring economic valuation, the need for a long-term goal, and a permanent standalone mechanism to address loss and damage.
Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, underscored the development path over the next 15 years as crucial. He supported calls for including a strong reference to intergenerational equity in the Paris agreement. Ralien Bekkers, Yale University, read a statement from Devika Raj, University of Exeter, which noted the sadness of the reality of climate change for Small Island Developing States that are “seen as the globe’s barometer,” and called for greater participation of young people from the global South in UNFCCC decision-making processes.
Damon discussed discounting in economic analyses of climate action, calling for a discount rate of between 0-1.4%, on future costs and benefits, arguing that higher rates cause distortions of climate decisions. Noting that the current INDCs would likely lead to warming of 3ºC, Irene Garcia, World Future Council, called for a new strategy to shift from high to low carbon economies in a fair and equitable way to ensure achievement of wider sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Bekkers spoke on the need to act now for future generations, noting that if the long-term goals are not stressed, it will be difficult to implement action for future generations. Aili Liimakka Laue, ILI ILI – Akademisk studenterorganisation, discussed the collective rights of Inuits and Indigenous Peoples, underscoring the need for greater representation at the UN to defend these rights. She stressed the need to respect traditional knowledge, highlighting its potential to provide answers to protecting the Earth.
Nimra Amjad, Founding Director, Pakistan Sustainability Network, called for more inclusive language to be used in policy, observing the Eurocentric nature of many discussions that do not incorporate knowledge from the global South or Indigenous Communities. She called for official youth representatives in all delegations, and a youth arbitrator with an equal voice to be present in negotiations.
Irene Garcia, World Future Council, called for a signal from the COP that investment in high carbon technologies is risky.
Anna Braam, Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, underscored that “risky politics” now could violate the rights of future generations to a green climate.
Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, said “we do not have the right to gamble with the future of future generations.”
Ralien Bekkers, Yale University, lamented that young people, closest to future generations, are not listened to nor taken seriously, and called for action to change this status quo.
- Timothy Damon (Coordinator) | email@example.com
- Anna Halbig (Coordinator) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Results of World Wide Views on Climate and Energy Presented by: UNFCCC Secretariat
This side event, moderated by Yves Mathieu, Coordinator of World Wide Views (WWViews) on Climate and Energy, heard from seven national coordinators of the consultation that took place on 6 June 2015, collecting the views of 10,000 citizens who took part in 97 debates in 76 countries.
Christian Leyrit, President, French National Commission for Public Debate, said the results show how strongly citizens are mobilized and committed to climate and energy issues, and noted 66% of citizens worldwide feel that climate change is an opportunity to improve their quality of life.
Bjorn Bedsted, Deputy Director of the Danish Board of Technology, presented on the methodology of WWViews to help close the gap between decision-makers and citizens. He emphasized that it is a consultation, not a campaign, and noted the majority of citizens from both developed and developing countries think COP21 should do whatever it takes to limit climate change to within 2ºC.
Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network International, considered how to strengthen civil society voices in the international climate negotiations. He said the process of building awareness is an equally, if not more, important element of such consultations.
Maimouna Saleck, President, Biodivercities, outlined the WWViews national consultation in Mauritania, celebrating the representative nature and diversity of the participants. She lamented the low level of uptake from the national government when the results were made available.
Tze-Luen Alan Lin, President, International Climate Development Institute, underscored the opportunity WWViews provides for citizens to influence international policy; put pressure on negotiators; and improve the quality and legitimacy of international decision-making.
Charline Diot-Labuset, Fondation Nicolas Hulot, France, observed the high level of commitment among citizens to move forward on climate and energy issues. She said WWViews is an important tool for facilitating the fundamental shift needed to fight climate change, and called for the methodology to be used systematically in the run-up to every climate COP.
Monica Araya, Director of Costa Rica Limpia, underscored the unique value, power and inspirational nature of the WWViews methodology. She said it facilitates dialogue and consensus-building in a way that makes citizens feel empowered, and sends a signal to the international negotiations.
During discussions, participants commented on the groundswell of global citizens required to put pressure on decision makers, and noted the multi-dimensional nature of the consultation process, as it both impacts policy and empowers citizens. Speakers clarified that the results have also been used to build resources among various stakeholders, including schools, museums and policy think tanks.
Monica Araya, Director of Costa Rica Limpia, said the WWViews consultation on Climate and Energy has set a powerful precedent for putting pressure on international decision-makers.
Maimouna Saleck, President, Biodivercities, celebrated the creativity, inspiration and consensus-building among the citizens who took part in the Mauritania consultation.
Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network International, pointed out that citizen consultations are a two-way process where organizers are both taking information and building citizens’ understanding of an issue.
Sustainable Use of Natural Resources:
An Essential Solution to Climate Change
UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Resource Panel (IRP), the Nordic Council of Ministers and New Nordic Climate Solutions (NNCS)
This side event, moderated by Ligia Noronha, Director, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), focused on synergies between decarbonization and the decoupling of natural resource use from economic growth, and presented key policy-relevant messages on how to select clean, safe and sustainable low-carbon energy technologies.
Hans Jørgen Koch, Executive Director, Nordic Energy Research, underlined the long-standing cooperation between Nordic countries concerning electricity production, noting the region’s environment of incentives for green technologies have resulted in considerably lower CO2 emissions than that of other countries with similar levels of economic development. He urged regional cooperation stating that no tendency exists in the Nordic region to ensure that supply is secured by national resources, focusing instead on regional ones. He stressed that the combination of heavy reliance on green resources, the framework to incentivize them and efforts to ensure energy efficiency in the region have had no detrimental effect in terms of economic growth.
Edgar Hertwich, expert member of the IRP, presented the report “Presentation of the Green Energy Choices: The benefits, risks, and trade-offs of low-carbon technologies for electricity production.” Addressing the challenge to select technologies for electricity generation that can reduce both GHG emissions and avoid impacts on human health and ecosystems, Hertwich presented the assessment approach and method, which consists of comparing nine electricity technologies, taking into account impact categories in a life-cycle perspective. He concluded that photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, hydropower and wind have low impact on human health and ecosystems, compared to coal and natural gas with and without carbon capture and storage.
Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair of the IRP and Former European Commissioner for the Environment, provided an overview of the IRP, its mission and structure, and its objective to create a critical mass of scientific knowledge, and called for a shift from individual resources to systems thinking. He then presented the IRP’s “10 Key Messages on Climate Change,” a report that captures the key findings and messages of the IRP’s work and highlights the intrinsic nature and synergy between decarbonization and decoupling. He addressed, among others: the importance of a whole system perspective to mitigate GHG emissions; decarbonization and improvements in the efficient use of electricity; water decoupling; land use and land-based production systems; sustainable food systems; cities and their infrastructure; and international trade in resources. He concluded that systemic changes are needed, including reconsidering societal values.
During discussions, participants addressed, inter alia: social impacts of decoupling in addition to human health impacts; land use; consideration of renovating fossil fuel plants; and ways to change the economic paradigm.
Addressing Nordic cooperation on green energy and overall emissions, Hans Jørgen Koch, Executive Director, Nordic Energy Research, noted they may well brag that “they are 25 years ahead of the rest of the world.”
Moderator Ligia Noronha, Director, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), noted that an ethical shift is necessary to address the links between decarbonization and the decoupling of natural resource use from economic growth.
Quoting Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair of the IRP, noted “everything has to change to remain the same.”
Edgar Hertwich, expert member of the IRP, presented the main outcomes of the IRP report on Green Energy Choices, comparing health and environmental impacts of different technologies for electricity generation.
- Moira O’Brien-Malone, Head, Communications, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics | email@example.com
- Zura Nukusheva-Béguin, IRP Secretariat | firstname.lastname@example.org
China’s Forestry Actions and Creative Risk Management Methods for Climate Change Presented by: China Green Carbon Foundation (CGCF)
This session was introduced by Li Nuyun, China State Forestry Administration and China Green Carbon Foundation (CGCF).
Li Nuyun presented forest action on climate change in China, identifying the competent administration departments and programmes. She introduced the CGCF, which promotes afforestation and reforestation, producing not only carbon sequestration but also biodiversity conservation and local benefits.
John Innes, University of British Columbia, presented the preliminary results of a CGCF sponsored project on low carbon economy. He introduced an index to assess and measure low carbon development and its potential, illustrating the results of its application to the case-studies on: the Chinese cities of Fuding and Zherong.
Niu Gensheng, Lao Niu Foundation and China Charity Alliance, explained that inner Mongolia is an ecological barrier for China, cautioning that this barrier is “being broken.” He presented a project to re-build the ecological barrier in inner Mongolia, protecting habitats and achieving sustainable development.
Guangyu Wang, University of British Colombia, chaired a discussion where participants debated various themes, including the role of forests in China’s five-year plan; the role of companies in achieving carbon neutrality; and methodologies for forest fire protection.
Li Nuyun, China State Forestry Administration and China Green Carbon Foundation (CGCF), explained that forest expansion in China is the largest in the world.
John Innes, University of British Columbia, presented the preliminary results of a CGCF sponsored project on low carbon economy.
Niu Gensheng, Lao Niu Foundation and China Charity Alliance, presented a project in inner Mongolia to re-build the ecological barrier, protect habitats and achieve sustainable development.
- Guiyang Zhuang | email@example.com
Nairobi Work Programme Focal Point Forum
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