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2017 Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) at COP 23

13 November 2017 | Bonn, Germany

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The Low-Emissions Solutions (LESC) conference took place at the GOP Theatre in Bonn, Germany, on the sidelines of the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Organized by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the conference sought to create a space for in-depth dialogue with policy-makers on implementing ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions at scale by taking action at the city, local and project levels.

Convened in a relaxed dinner format designed to encourage interaction among participants from governments, business, academia and civil society, the event included open discussion at the table level and during “ice-breaker” sessions, as well as spotlight presentations on what is still needed and how public-private partnerships can support the common objectives between countries, cities, business and academia.

The outcomes of the LESC conference, including a synthesis of the table-level discussions, will inform the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action High-Level Roundtable on Innovation on 14 November.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided web coverage and a briefing note from the 2017 LESC at COP 23. The briefing note is now available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Herman Njoroge Chege
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L-R: Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI; Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD; and Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, SDSN

Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD, said the move to a low carbon society is inevitable.


Guido Schmidt-Traub, Executive Director, SDSN, announces the launching of a massive online open course (MOOC) on climate solutions.

Ashok Sridharan, Mayor, Bonn, Germany, said the COP should be about building coalitions with all stakeholders at all levels.


Moderator Leena Wokeck, CSR Asia, welcomes participants to the LESC.




Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO, Solvay

Paul Ross, City of Edmonton, Canada

Johanes Van der Merwe, City of Cape Town, South Africa

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, identified the leaders on climate action as the private sector first, followed by cities and regional governments.

Larissa Rose, CEO, Queensland Renewable Fuels Association

Barbara Kreissler, Philips Lighting

Mauricio Rodas, Mayor, Quito, Ecuador

Johanna Partin, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance


Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI

Table-talks discussions



Participants interact during the dialogues.

Feike Sijbesma, CEO, Royal DSM, said companies that do not prepare for cabon pricing put themselves at risk.

Manuel De Araujo, Mayor, Qualimane, Mozambique, said local governments live climate change impacts every single day.

Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Fiji, said the Bonn Zone is where the real action takes place.

Specific funding for coverage of the 2017 LESC at COP 23, has been provided by WBCSD