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United States Center at COP 22

7-18 November 2016 | Marrakech, Morocco

Highlights for Monday, 14 November 2016

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Participants during the event on “Unlocking Private Finance for Climate: From Talk to Action”

IISD Reporting Services - U.S. Center - Marrakech 2016 IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ meeting coverage, has provided digital coverage of selected U.S. Center events every day, during the Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016.

The following side events were covered on Monday, 14 November 2016:

Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Mizurakis
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Unlocking Private Finance for Climate: From Talk to Action Organized by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance and the Climate Policy Initiative


The event was moderated by Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative.

Ricardo Nogueira, US Department of State, looked at the gaps in unlocking investments. He explained how the Lab identifies, develops and launches transformative climate finance instruments.

John Morton, National Security Council, US, noted extraordinary climate-change related agreements in 2016, such as the Kigali Amendment on hydroflurocarbons of the Montreal Protocol and limiting civil aviation emissions by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). He explained how the Lab gathers pioneering ideas geared to use public funds; and “incubates” them with private sector funds.

Paul van de Logt, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, said the Lab needs to focus on barriers on getting investments for, inter alia, water and renewable energy investment. Karsten Löffler, Managing Director, Allianz Climate Solution, stressed the need to scale-up investments in solutions to climate adaptation. He explained that insurance companies usually analyze risk assessment and risk reduction before committing to financing in climate adaptation projects.

Vikram Widge, Climate Finance and Policy, International Finance Corporation (IFC), predicted that at least US$90 trillion will be needed in next 15 years to ensure constant and consistent low-carbon pathways.

Ricardo Nogueira, US Department of State, explained how the Lab brings good climate ideas from the private and public sectors that can be scaled up to make significant differences in climate adaptation. He enumerated the components of the “secret sauce” that have led to the success of the Lab, namely: attracting US$600 million and G7 recognition; diversity of membership and ideas brought to the table; on-the-ground knowledge at international and regional labs; and effective networks.

Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO, ACWA Power, stressed the importance of making climate adaptation investments contain adequate interest rates to permit long-term loans.

During discussions, participants addressed, inter alia: financial instruments for energy utility companies; blending private sector investment in the Lab with carbon market mechanisms; getting private finance excited in adaptation funding; and technical assistance to developing countries in guidelines for loans.


Panel (L-R): Paul van de Logt, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Netherlands; Karsten Löffler, Managing Director, Allianz Climate Solution; Vikram Widge, IFC; Ricardo Nogueira, US Department of State; and Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO, ACWA Power


Ashley Allen, US State Department, introduced the panelists.

Noting that private sector investment in energy has reached a tipping point, John Morton, National Security Council, US, praised that investment in renewable energy surpassed fossil fuel investment in 2015.


Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative, moderated the event on unlocking private finance for climate.

Paul van de Logt, the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, noted that the private sector needs to step in to provide the funding required in climate adaption projects.


Ricardo Nogueira (right), US Department of State, explained that the Lab aims to drive millions of dollars of private investment into climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.


Drawing attention to the Oasis Platform for Catastrophe and Climate Change Risk Assessment, Karsten Löffler, Managing Director, Allianz Climate Solution, explained how this open platform sought to model natural catastrophes in terms of exposure and asset levels.

Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power, underscored that currency risk is critical in considering projects in developing countries.

Noting that financial institutions tend to be risk-adverse, Vikram Widge, IFC, explained the attractiveness of forest bonds.


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US Support for Adaptation and the NAP Global Network Organized by the US State Department, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network


This event was moderated by Carrie Thompson, USAID, and focused on US support for adaptation on: building capacity; improving access to information for planning and decision-making; and increasing access for financing implementation. Thompson explained how the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network is providing support to developing countries to meet their adaptation commitments.

Fatou Thiaw, Director, US Collaboration Management for Sustainable Fisheries Program, Senegal, presented on COMFISH, a project supported by the USAID to increase communities and ecosystems resilience to climate change in Senegal. She focused on the economic importance of fisheries; COMFISH’s roles and strategies, the NAP process and how the process relates to Senegal’s fisheries sector.

Clifford Mahlung, Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Jamaica, presented on his country’s drought forecast service. He drew attention to the results of drought service evaluation such as drought’s devastating effect on agricultural outcomes; and information that has helped farmers faced with the uncertainty of rainfall drought.

John Furlow, USAID and NAP Steering Committee Member, presented on support on climate change information and moving from planning to implementation in Samoa to support project implementation and access to finance in climate adaptation. He drew attention to the Adaptation Pacific-Wide Program, which seeks to integrate adaptation and disaster reduction strategies in NAP, and which has support from the Least Developed Countries Fund of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

Hayley Price-Kelly, Director of Operations, NAP Global Network Secretariat and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), presented on the NAP Global Network Secretariat, whose objective is to harness the collective knowledge and resources of governments, practitioners, donors and civil society. She drew attention to two recently established global peer groups that convene annually and a peer exchange program. She urged participants to get involved by signing online as a network participant and indicating their expertise to the Secretariat.

During discussions, participants addressed, inter alia: expanding early warning systems from the agricultural to the fisheries sector; using stakeholder processes in collaboration with meteorological services to identify priorities in fisheries management; distinguishing the drought impacts caused by El Niño from those caused by climate change; potential resistance from stakeholders involved in participative projects; and importance of traditional knowledge in adapting to agricultural practices to climate change.


(L-R): Clifford Mahlung, Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Jamaica; Carrie Thompson, USAID; Fatou Thiaw, Director, US Collaboration Management for Sustainable Fisheries Program, Senegal; and John Furlow, USAID


Noting that fisheries provide employment to 17% of the working population in Senegal, Fatou Thiaw, Director, US Collaboration Management for Sustainable Fisheries Program, Senegal, explained how the project seeks to promote sustainable behavior change and policy dialogue at the local, managerial, research and political levels.

Carrie Thompson, USAID, explained that USAID seeks to support developing countries in their transition from planning to implementation of their climate strategies and their sustainable development goals (SDGs).


Clifford Mahlung (left), Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Jamaica, highlighted that most meteorological stations in his country indicate below-normal rainfall conditions for most of the year; but that above-normal rainfall is forecasted for the periods from October through December. John Furlow (right), USAID, presented on a USAID project in Samoa to support project implementation and access to climate change adaptation finance.


Participants during the event


A view of the room during the event


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Launch of the NDC Leaders Compact: Countries Leading the Way on Climate Action Organized by the US Agency for International Development (USAID)


The event, moderated by Eric Postel, USAID, showcased leading actions and accomplishments by countries in implementing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and explored successful approaches and lessons for achieving national climate change targets.

Jonathan Pershing, US Special Envoy for Climate Change, said that the NDCs are at the heart of how countries will implement the Paris Agreement going forward and that they will be tailored according to each country’s development and national circumstances.

Andrea Guerrero Garcia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia, highlighted a national initiative to analyze mitigation potential from each sector to determine major emissions sources requiring attention and resources. She underscored barriers in NDC implementation including: insufficient information to design specific activities that produce greenhouse gases (GHGs), and inadequate financial tools and mechanisms.

Highlighting national legislation, Harun Warui, Ministry of Environment, Kenya, explained how public participation was essential for the adoption of the country’s Climate Change Act and its Climate Change Framework Policy, particularly in validating the opinions of marginalized groups.

John Yeboah, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), explained how the Centre promotes market penetration of energy efficiency in West Africa. He highlighted the importance for coordination agencies in allowing countries to determine their own priorities in implementing their NDCs.

During discussions, participants addressed, inter alia: the importance of the adaptation and energy efficiency component in NDC preparation in African countries; the use of NDCs as a tool for donor and multilateral organization to better identify developing country needs; and distribution of responsibilities in implementing NDC in government departments. One participant inquired about differentiating between carbon market, mitigation and NDC activities.


Panel (L-R): Eric Postel, USAID Associate Administrator; Andrea Guerrero Garcia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia; Harun Warui, Ministry of Environment, Kenya; and John Yeboah, ECREEE


Andrea Guerrero Garcia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia, explained how specialists from each sector in Colombia were trained to transfer their skills to work on climate change problems.

Jonathan Pershing, US Special Envoy for Climate Change, highlighted countries that may provide benchmarks in terms of NDC implementation, such as Kenya, Nigeria, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.


Harun Warui, Ministry of Environment, Kenya, stressed the importance of the establishment of the climate change fund in driving Kenya’s climate change agenda.

John Yeboah, ECREEE, stressed the importance of inter- and intraministerial collaboration between countries in Western Africa in implementing their NDCs.

Eric Postel, USAID Associate Administrator


Andrea Guerrero Garcia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia, and Jonathan Pershing, US Special Envoy for Climate Change

Participants discuss with organizers of the event on the NDC Leaders Compact.


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Funding for coverage of the U.S. Center at COP 22 has been provided by the US Department of State.
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