UN Climate Change Dialogues 2020

23 November - 4 December 2020 | Online

Highlights for Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Photo courtesy of Kiara Worth

The third day of the Climate Dialogues considered capacity building, loss and damage, technology, least developed countries (LDCs), and the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP), among others.

Keeping momentum on capacity-building - the work of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building in 2020

This meeting was the final virtual event in the series on “Capacity-building Momentum to Recover Better” that took place throughout November 2020. Yongxiang Zhang, Co-Chair of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB), highlighted that despite setbacks such as the postponement of the 3rd Capacity-building Hub, the PCCB advanced in several areas, including: holding its annual meeting virtually; the development of the PCCB's second workplan; and the launch of the PCCB Network.

After updates on the PCCB’s work, the session featured a roundtable discussion. Shehnaaz Moosa, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), underscored lessons learned from shifting to a virtual format, including: that the manner, frequency, and time period of engagements is more important than the information being shared; and that virtual formats are useful for connecting Global South experts to the global stage for capacity building.

Mattias Frumerie, Standing Committee on Finance (SCF), highlighted that the majority of financial flows go through multilateral development banks or bilateral agencies, rather than the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Pointing to the challenges posed by high turnover in the public service, Espen Ronnenberg, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), stressed the need for the Pacific region to keep building up a cadre of climate professionals.

The Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage event

Le-Anne Roper, ExCom Co-Chair, opened the session with an overview of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) in 2020. She noted that the 2019 WIM review and decisions adopted in Madrid raised significant expectations of the ExCom.

Among other updates on the ExCom’s work, Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel, WIM ExCom, spoke about the new expert group on action and support, noting the group will develop its plan of action at its first meeting in December 2020 or early January 2021. She recalled that decisions adopted in Madrid call for enhanced collaboration between the WIM and the SCF and GCF, and highlighted the expert group would play a key role in this regard.

  • Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel

Ismo Ulvila, SCF Co-Chair, noted the SCF’s 4th Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows will address loss and damage, and pointed to the mandate for the SCF to engage with the ExCom on input to the draft guidance to the operating entities of the financial mechanism.

Among other reflections by parties, Colombia, for the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), called for a strict application of the agreed timeframe to advance the work of the new expert group on action and support, ensuring its plan of action is still adopted in 2020. Supported by ENGOs, AILAC also noted that virtual meeting formats increased the participation of observers, and encouraged the ExCom to continue supporting this trend. Timor-Leste asked about party involvement in the development of the plan of action, and highlighted the need for support on methodologies for risk assessments.

  • Malcolm Ridout

In closing remarks, Ridout emphasized that the ExCom’s work is best when it is technical in nature and enables practical action. He underscored the importance of collaboration, both to understand demand and to receive technical input that increases the quality of WIM products.

Twelfth Meeting of the Research Dialogue - Science for Global Net-zero

The second day of the 12th meeting of the Research Dialogue, moderated by Kakha Mdivani, Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus, focused on factors for enhancing understanding to accelerate adaptation and mitigation.

Discussing options for decarbonizing hard-to-decarbonize sectors, Paul Durant, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), said priorities for action include support for further innovation, improved business models,and enabling conditions.

  • Paul Durant

Joyashree Roy, Asian Institute of Technology, pointed to the need for more research on sustainable consumption, including on macroeconomic effects of large-scale switches to sufficiency lifestyles.

Silvia Kreibiehl, FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate and Sustainable Energy Finance, said misallocation of capital remains a key barrier and public stakeholders are still massively underestimating climate-related financial risk.

The session continued with presentations on: regional action on climate adaptation and mitigation in the Asia-Pacific region; complexity in adaptation research, policy, and action; and engaging with the practical, political, and personal spheres of transformation; followed by a round of discussion and concluding remarks by SBSTA Chair Mpanu-Mpanu.

Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture - Workshop on Improved Livestock Management Systems, including Agropastoral Production Systems and others

The second workshop day started with a keynote address by Harry Clark, New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, who noted that while almost a quarter of the Earth’s warming is due to livestock-related emissions, potential benefits from sustainably managed livestock systems include enhanced nutrient cycling and carbon storage, preserving biodiversity, and supporting livelihoods. Clark also explained that current metrics on global livestock emissions are subject to high uncertainty because certain countries have difficulty in measuring emissions from the sector.

In an extensive question-and-answer session, participants discussed, among others, potential challenges of directing dietary change away from livestock-produced food; and considered the potential co-benefits between mitigation, adaptation, livelihood security for those who raise livestock, and food security measures.

A further segment focused on work undertaken by constituted bodies, such as LCIPP, and financing entities. Among other presentations, Mahamat Assouyouti, Adaptation Fund, discussed the Fund’s work in the livestock sector, noting challenges due to, among others, unpredictable funding; shifting priorities due to COVID-19; and the need for management at all levels in the livestock sector complicating funding distribution. Pierre Gerber, World Bank, underscored that investing in adaptation and mitigation in livestock operations makes economic sense, for both the private and public sector.

In a question and answer session, participants addressed, among others: co-financing requirements; the GEF’s System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR); debt-for-nature swaps; constituted bodies and financing entities taking into consideration outcomes of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture; and coherence and collaboration between the financial mechanisms.

  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Technology Mechanism - Fostering innovation to help countries build climate resilience and reduce GHG emissions

In opening remarks, SBI Chair Karlsen said the “Race to Zero” event held earlier in November demonstrated that investors, banks, and businesses are increasingly allocating resources to the development of technologies aligned with a low-emission and climate-resilient future. She noted governments play a crucial signalling role to these actors, and emphasized the importance of technology transfer to fully realize the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Mareer Husny, Chair of Technology Executive Committee (TEC), recalled the five areas of work identified in the TEC’s rolling workplan: innovation, implementation, support, capacity building and enabling environments, and stakeholder engagement. He highlighted regional workshops on climate-smart cooling solutions, and collaborative work with the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) on gender mainstreaming.

Zhong Ping, CTCN, pointed to webinars on environmentally sound management of COVID-related waste as a response to immediate needs. He said the CTCN launched a program targeting small and medium enterprises and delineated collaborative action with the operating entities of the financial mechanism, including work on GCF readiness proposals.

Claudia Octaviano, National Institute of Ecology and Climate, Mexico, moderated a panel discussion during which the presenters were joined by CTCN Director Rose Mwebaza, Elfriede More, Austria, and Alastair Marke, Blockchain and Climate Institute. Daniele Violetti, UNFCCC, provided closing remarks.

Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform special event

This session focused on advancing safeguards, protocols and good practices for knowledge sharing and exchange of experiences for climate change adaptation, resilience and mitigation. It opened with a ceremonial song from Roberto Borrero, Taíno Tribal Nation.

SBSTA Chair Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu said that without safeguards and protocols, sharing Indigenous and traditional knowledge can infringe on the rights of knowledge holders and see diverse knowledge systems misappropriated.

Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa stressed the importance of sharing knowledge to “save the planet,” and of respect for that knowledge. She said Indigenous peoples and local communities will play a key role in building a more sustainable and resilient planet.

  • Patricia Espinosa

Andrea Carmen, Co-Chair of the LCIPP Facilitative Working Group (FWG), stressed ensuring Indigenous Peoples' rights are respected in climate action is an ongoing challenge.

José Francisco Calí Tzay, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, said climate impacts are detrimental to Indigenous peoples' life systems, identities, languages, spirituality, housing, education, and traditional knowledge, among others.

  • Jose Francisco Calu Tzay

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, LCIPP FWG member representing Indigenous peoples from Africa, spoke about the necessary safeguards around land rights and preserving Indigenous peoples’ intellectual property rights.

Dalee Sambo Dorough, LCIPP FWG member representing Indigenous peoples from the Arctic, stressed that merely understanding Indigenous knowledge as knowledge to be “extracted” would be a deep misunderstanding of the relationship between its holders and their environment.

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