- Together for Climate Solutions, Opening of the German Pavilion
- Opening of the Talanoa Space: United for Climate Action
- Pacific Islands Inspiring Leadership in Renewable Energy
- Climate Action Network: Yardsticks for Success at COP 23
- The Global Implications of a Rapidly-changing Arctic
- Implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
- Catalysing Climate Action, Realizing the SDGs: Science, Interconnections and Implementation
- Role of Women as Guardians of the Ocean at the Frontlines of the Climate-Development-Nature Nexus
- European Climate Policy After Paris
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) Meeting Coverage, will provide daily web coverage from selected side events at the UN Climate Change Conference 2017.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Ángeles Estrada and Herman Njoroge Chege
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Together for Climate Solutions, Opening of the German PavilionPresented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
This event, moderated by Michael Schroeren, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany, was convened to open the German Pavilion at COP 23, and to outline Germany’s commitments on climate action.
Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany, explained that the Pavilion would provide an opportunity for Germany to present its national climate actions and priorities, including on adaptation and oceans. She described the Fijian COP Presidency as an opportunity to draw attention to the impacts of climate change on small island developing states (SIDS), and pointed to the Talanoa Space, setup in conjunction with Fiji, to provide non-state actors a platform at COP 23 to celebrate their diversity, showcase activities and encourage exchange.
Hendricks stressed that the Paris Agreement would not be renegotiated, and that the focus in Bonn should be on developing guidelines for implementation to ensure mitigation goals are increasingly ambitious. She emphasized the need for transparent, comprehensive and comparable Nationally Determined Contributions, and for measuring progress towards goals, emphasizing that the Talanoa Dialogue would help to close the action gap.
Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, highlighted German funding for global projects, which in terms of emission reductions, is equivalent to 25% of Germany’s total emissions, or offsetting the equivalent of 100 coal-fired power plants. He announced that Germany would invest an additional €1 billion to fund global mitigation and adaptation action.
Highlighting climate protection as an opportunity for both development and investment, Müller emphasized the vital role that German clean technologies play in global climate action. He concluded by outlining Germany’s strategy to become carbon neutral by 2020, stressing that they “are not just talking but acting. ”
The ensuing discussion focused on: ministerial expectations for COP 23; the impact of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement; the allocation of Germany’s €1 billion contribution; and Germany’s mitigation commitments and achievements.
(L-R): Petra Diroll, Spokesperson for Minister Müller; Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany; Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany; and Michael Schroeren, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany
Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany, stressed the importance of moving from words to action, and said this COP offers a space to foster implementation.
Michael Schroeren, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany
Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, said that climate action is a central issue for the survival of humanity, and we only have “one planet, one world and one climate.”
Participants during the event
Participants interact with the panel during the event
Participants follow the event's proceedings
Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, fields questions from a journalist after the event.
Michael Schroeren (moderator) | [email protected]
Opening of the Talanoa Space: United for Climate ActionPresented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Helena Humphrey, Deutsche Welle, moderated the opening of the Talanoa Space, jointly set up by the governments of Germany and Fiji to enable non-state actors to showcase their activities and learn from each other.
Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, and National Disaster Management and High-Level Climate Champion, Fiji, underscored the objective of the Talanoa Space to facilitate open discussions to enable different actors to express themselves and forge relationships. He pledged to “feed ideas” emerging from the Talanoa Space into the negotiations, and called for COP 23 to move further and faster.
Friedrich Kitschelt, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, emphasized that while governments must provide the framework for ambitious climate action, implementation also lies with civil society, business, and cities and local actors. Turning to the risks faced by environmental activists, he underscored Germany’s support to civil society actors.
Lorna Eden, Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Fiji, observed that despite countries and communities around the world facing a unique set of climate-related challenges, solutions developed in one country could be useful for other countries.
Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany, highlighted climate action not only as an issue for national governments but for society as a whole, calling for critical and constructive engagement with policy makers.
During the ensuing panel discussions, Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati, addressed the fate of island states and, echoing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, questioned whether we are “leaving anyone behind.” Christiane Averbeck, Executive Director, Climate Alliance Germany, pointed to the coalition talks in Berlin, challenging the new government to achieve the German climate targets. Responding to a question on phasing-out coal, Hendricks emphasized the need to bring everyone on board during this transition and to prevent climate action from becoming “an elite project.” Holger Lösch, Deputy Director General, Federation of German Industries, underscored the need for a coherent agenda to implement climate action, emphasizing the need to take risks into account.
Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn, described the city’s approach to citizen engagement, climate education and cooperation with cities in the Global South. Kitschelt outlined his ministry’s track record on climate finance, highlighting an additional €1.4 billion specifically for the Adaptation Fund and projects in small island developing states (SIDS). Bernd Bornhorst, Chairman, Association of German Development and Humanitarian Aid NGOs (VENRO), pointed to challenges related to decarbonizing the agricultural sector. Krishneil Narayan, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (CAN), emphasized the need to translate the Paris Agreement into action on the ground.
(L-R): Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Christiane Averbeck, Executive Director, Climate Alliance Germany; Helena Humphrey, Deutsche Welle; Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, and National Disaster Management and High Level Climate Champion, Fiji; Holger Lösch, Deputy Director General, Federation of German Industries; and Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati
Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany, emphasized the value of COPs, not just for advancing the negotiations but also for providing a space for the vibrant exchange of ideas.
Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, and National Disaster Management and High Level Climate Champion, Fiji, stressed that the Talanoa Space is a great symbol for the partnership and friendship between the governments of Fiji and Germany.
Friedrich Kitschelt, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, lamented the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and called upon the country’s responsibility to tackle climate change.
Lorna Eden, Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Fiji, said that if we want to foster a grand coalition for climate action we must learn to truly understand each other.
Participants clap during the event
(L-R): Krishneil Narayan, Pacific Islands CAN; Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn; Helena Humphrey, Deutsche Welle; Friedrich Kitschelt, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany; Lorna Eden, Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Fiji; and Bernd Bornhorst, VENRO
Krishneil Narayan, Pacific Islands CAN, asked how much implementation progress has been achieved in the two years since the Paris meeting.
Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati, recalled that while great progress has been made since Cancún, the needs of island states have yet to be truly addressed.
Christiane Averbeck, Executive Director, Climate Alliance Germany, challenged the German government to live up to its ambition of being a climate leader.
Holger Lösch, Deputy Director General, Federation of German Industries, cautioned that “it doesn’t help to want something badly without knowing how to achieve it,” referring to the need for a coherent long-term agenda.
Pieter Pauw (German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation) | [email protected]
Pacific Islands Inspiring Leadership in Renewable Energy
Presented by Solar Head of State (SHOS) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF)
This event, moderated by James Ellsmoor, Director, SHOS, included speeches from high-level representatives from SIDS, a panel discussion of innovative renewable energy projects in Pacific SIDS, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Tonga, SHOS and PIDF.
Ellsmoor opened the event by emphasizing that its objective is to showcase the innovation and leadership taking place in SIDS on new renewable energy technologies.
Paula Faiva, Tokelau, highlighted Tokelau’s achievements through the Tokelau Renewable Energy Project (TREP), which has enabled the island to become the first nation in the world to source 100% of its electricity supply from renewable energy. She noted that the Tokelau case has been instrumental to demonstrate that solar power is a “no regrets, climate and economic resilient pathway.” She concluded by noting Tokelau’s energy goal to generate 100% of energy used by all sectors from renewable sources.
Paula Ma’u, Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC), Tonga, noted that progress towards their national target of 50% of energy generation from renewables by 2020 was currently only at 11. He noted the commission of a new two-megawatt solar farm, and concluded by recounting the launch of the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Tonga.
François Martel, Secretary General, PIDF, indicated that PIDF has been tasked by Pacific leaders to support a “paradigm shift” to a low carbon future, green growth and the blue economy. He gave an overview of the PIDF’s partnership with SHOS, noting their goal to engage leaders from around the Pacific to continue on the 1.5°C path and implement the Paris Agreement.
Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Permanent Representative to the UN, Palau, noted that Palau’s NDC focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, with a commitment to source 45% of energy from renewable sources by 2025. She gave an overview of the activities on energy that have occurred in Palau since 2015, emphasizing this year’s Energy Summit, which defined what an NDC means for Palau, and assessed the ability of the grid to accommodate shifts in energy generation.
Ida Talagi Hekesi, Chamber Executive Committee, Niue, delineated her country’s journey towards increasing the share of renewables in the island’s energy production and pointed to the fact that in Niue, the energy legislation is outdated and needs revising to accompany the transition to renewables. She further emphasized the need for countries to not only share their success stories, but to also talk about the challenges they encounter so that others can learn from those experiences.
Mokshanand Sunil Dowarkasing, Greenpeace International, recalled that since 1992, SIDS have been recognized by the UN as a special group of developing countries due to the unique challenges they face, especially with regards to climate change. He further emphasized that the transition to renewable energy in SIDS is not just a matter of energy transition but of system change and economic restructuring. Key for successfully implementing this transition, he said, is raising awareness and achieving ownership of the renewable energy projects by local communities and fostering the engagement of local entrepreneurs in this new pillar of the economy.
Dani Robertson, ClimateWorks Australia, described her organization’s work on devising “whole economy approaches” to decarbonization and highlighted that they successfully advised a number of Australian states and territories in developing net-zero plans for 2050.
The ensuing discussion addressed: the role of the private sector in facilitating the transition to renewable energy; challenges in moving from centralized to decentralized grid systems; and participatory approaches to revising legislative tools.
(L-R): Dani Robertson, ClimateWorks Australia; Mokshanand Sunil Dowarkasing, Greenpeace International; Ida Talagi Hekesi, Chamber Executive Committee, Niue; Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Permanent Representative to the UN, Palau; Paula Ma’u, MEIDECC, Tonga; and François Martel, Secretary General, PIDF
Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Permanent Representative to the UN, Palau, said that her country has developed an action plan to evaluate progress towards the target of generating 45% of energy from renewable sources by 2025.
James Ellsmoor, SHOS, highlighted the initiative to install solar panels by the monarch of Tonga, noting its importance for the country and its expanding solar panel initiatives.
Paula Faiva, Tokelau, said that Tokelau is the number one region in the world in reducing per-person greenhouse gas emissions.
Paula Faiva, Tokelau, said that Tokelau is the number one nation in the world in reducing per-person greenhouse gas emissions.
Mokshanand Sunil Dowarkasing, Greenpeace International, addressed polluters around the world: “small islands without capacity are walking the talk, so what are you waiting for?”
Ida Talagi Hekesi, Chamber Executive Committee, Niue, highlighted that successes and failures go hand in hand and events like this one provide a good opportunity to share lessons learned.
Dani Robertson, ClimateWorks Australia, reported that an increasing number of Australian states and territories are pledging to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century.
François Martel, Secretary-General, PIDF, noted that the PIDF plays a important role in shaping renewable energy in the Pacific region and the globe’s energy future.
Yardsticks for Success at COP 23Presented by Climate Action Network (CAN), China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO) and Asociación La Ruta del Clima
In this side event, panelists explored various yardsticks for success in COP 23, including on, inter alia, identifying concrete steps for the implementation of guidelines, and ensuring effective participatory processes and commitment to stay below 1.5ºC. Lina Dabbagh, CAN, moderated the panel.
Eliza Northrop, World Resources Institute (WRI), introduced the Talanoa Dialogue and remarked that it is critical to establishing a virtuous cycle of ambition. She emphasized that the Dialogue must be forward thinking and inclusive, and ideally avoid negotiation. In speaking about the progress on its modalities, she called on negotiators to be clear and comprehensive.
Lucile Dufour, CAN France, underscored the important role of climate finance in the UNFCCC process, noting that it enhances solidarity, unlocks ambition, and would signal developed country commitment to the 2020 targets. She added that special attention needs to be paid to loss and damage finance.
Jenny Jiva, Pacific Islands CAN, drew attention to the natural disasters that her country, Fiji, had experienced recently. She noted an increased sense of urgency, and called on the Talanoa Dialogue to establish actions that ensure a safe, just and sustainable future.
Jenny Jiva, Pacific Islands CAN, drew attention to the natural disasters that her country, Fiji, had experienced recently. She noted an increased sense of urgency, and called on the Talanoa Dialogue to establish actions that ensure a safe, just and sustainable future.
Yongsong Chen, Green Education Center, China, called for increased green education in order to reach the Paris Agreement goals. He stated that green education provides people with the knowledge and skills to take action, and called on the UN to translate conventions into simple teaching materials.
Adrian Martinez, Asociacíon la Ruta del Clima, highlighted the need for civil society participation in negotiations in order to increase transparency. He called for more ambitious public participation, including critically analyzing what participation means.
Following statements by the panelists, moderator Dabbagh invited ambassadors from countries that have hosted COPs to provide comments.
Deo Saran, Fijian Ambassador to Belgium, underscored his country’s goal to empower marginalized people, including through a gender action plan.
Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador for Multilateral Negotiations, Morocco, highlighted the need for private finance.
Brigitte Collet, Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations, Renewable Energy and Climate Risk Prevention, France, reiterated the importance of engagement with civil society.
In the ensuing discussion, participants asked questions about using participation to build empathy and about opportunities for open dialogue during the COP.
(L-R): Lina Dabbagh, CAN; Jenny Jiva, Pacific Islands CAN; Eliza Northrop, WRI; Lucile Dufour, CAN France; Yongsong Chen, Green Education Center, China; and Adrian Martinez, Asociación La Ruta del Clima
Lina Dabbagh, CAN, stressed that “this is not just another COP; this COP must deliver.
Observing that although the Pacific is responsible for “negligible emissions,” Jenny Jiva, Pacific Islands CAN, said that she had seen the effects of climate change first hand, including living through a Category five cyclone in Fiji.
Eliza Northrop, WRI, stressed that the Talanoa Dialogue is part of a process, not a singular moment.
Yongsong Chen, Green Education Center, China, called for support for green education at all levels.
Ambassadors and participants listen to the panelists outline the measures of success they can expect at COP 23.
The Global Implications of a Rapidly-changing ArcticPresented by the Arctic Council (AC), the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), and Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF).
This side event, moderated by Morten Skovgaard Olsen, Denmark, explored recent scientific developments on Arctic climate change and its global impacts.
René Söderman, Senior Arctic Official for the Government of Finland, reported on changes in Arctic temperatures, sea ice, land ice and permafrost. He stated that these changes are affecting weather in the mid-latitudes and expressed hope that Arctic states can display full, early and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement. Noting that no state will be immune to climate impacts, he said that Arctic warming will accelerate climate change globally.
David Barber, University of Manitoba, spoke about Arctic sea ice, highlighting that it provides a good indication of the overall climate system. He reported on the Arctic “amplification” of global temperature changes and, noting changes in summer and winter ice covers, ice mobility and ice quality, suggested that the Arctic would be ice-free within the next 15 to 20 years while the risks of these rapid changes remain little understood.
Pettari Taalas, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), presented data on changes in atmospheric temperature, ocean acidification, sea ice and precipitation in the Arctic. He elaborated on the role of the WMO regarding weather, climate and oceans observation, noting the need to enhance observation systems at high latitudes. He stated that, to date, thermal expansion has been the largest contributing factor to sea level rise, followed by glacial and Greenland ice sheet melt, though Arctic sea ice melt is also a large factor.
Paul Wassman, University of Tromsø, discussed Arctic sea ice and adaptation. He noted the need for more research into the seasonal ice zone and described ‘four apocalyptic riders,’ which affect sea ice cover: warming, ice, light and freshening. He emphasized the effects of more Arctic open water on weather variability and emphasized the need for pan-Arctic comprehension and multi-disciplinary, coordinated system-ecological investigations throughout the seasonal ice zone. He listed essential adaptation measures, including on fisheries and marine protected areas.
Monica Tennberg, University of Lapland, noted the unique demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the Barents region, calling for increased adaptive capacity and developing processes, as well as structures for adaptive governance. Reporting on local government programmes for adaptation planning, she said that, although awareness exists regarding the need to adapt, the plans need to be implemented.
Jason Box, Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark, spoke about Arctic contributions to sea level change. Highlighting that, even when taking the Paris Agreement into account, Arctic temperatures will still rise by 7°C, he emphasized the need to consider strategies to achieve the Paris Agreement more rapidly in order to “buy time” for the Arctic. He noted difficulties in sea level rise modeling and stated that current predictions are probably underestimated. He emphasized that sea level rise is not uniform globally, as it affects tropical regions more than the Arctic due to changes in the Earth’s center of gravity.
Okalik Eegeesiak, Inuit Circumpolar Council, stated that Inuit must be “front and center” to climate action, based on their sovereignty, knowledge and rights. Noting the Indigenous Peoples’ Platform, she highlighted the opportunity for the Platform to link indigenous peoples directly with decision-making to ensure that indigenous rights are upheld. She emphasized that the Arctic Council is effective because Inuit are at the table and able to directly contribute to solutions. In relation to the increased shipping and fossil fuel exploration opportunities in the Arctic, she stressed the Inuit right to free, prior and informed consent.
(L-R) Morten Skovgaard Olsen, Denmark; René Söderman, Senior Arctic Official for the Government of Finland; David Barber, University of Manitoba; Paul Wassman, University of Tromsø; Monica Tennberg, University of Lapland; and Okalik Eegeesiak, Inuit Circumpolar Council
David Barber, University of Manitoba, said that although he began his academic career as a climate skeptic, he was convinced otherwise by the “alarming” evidence he has discovered.
Monica Tennberg, University of Lapland, said that “the main problem” is complacency and called for people to “wake up” to the urgency of the climate change threat.
Paul Wassman, University of Tromsø, described the issue of how ice retreat will affect Arctic marine ecosystems as the “million-dollar question.”
Pettari Taalas, WMO, said that about 75% of Arctic sea ice mass has melted.
Jason Box, Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark, called for early implementation of the Paris Agreement given the inevitability of further climate change in the Arctic.
Anne Birgitte Hansen (Organizer) | [email protected]
Thomas Fries (Organizer) | [email protected]
Implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement Presented by the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP)
Andrei Marcu, Director, European Roundtable on Climate and Sustainable Transition (ERCST), and Senior Fellow, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), moderated the debate. In this side event, panelists explored how international markets can be a tool to meet Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.
Yuji Mizuno, Programme Director, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), explained the context of Article 6 negotiations, highlighting that avoiding double accounting is the most essential task for COP 23 Article 6 negotiators.
Martin Hession, European Commission, declared that the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement must be ensured, and noted that NDCs must generate carbon value at the domestic level.
Martin Lajoie, negotiator on Article 6, Canada, recalled the importance of finalizing a rulebook, which will provide guidelines for countries on implementing the Paris Agreement. He noted that negotiations are a party-driven exercise, but subnational efforts, through a bottom-up approach, must also be scaled up to promote trust.
Constanze Haug, Head of Secretariat, the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP), said that Article 6 provides flexibility for parties to implement the Paris Agreement and noted that carbon markets contribute to technology transfer, provide an incentive for robust measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), and are an important motivator in moving towards significant domestic GHG reduction.
El Hadji Mbaye Diagne, Negotiator, Senegal, explained that negotiations on Article 6 contain three main facets: cooperative approaches; mechanisms for mitigation and sustainable development; and non-market mechanisms. He stressed that many concepts and principles still require common understanding among parties, noting that environmental integrity is interpreted differently.
In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, among others, carbon pricing and strategies to put a price on pollution; clean technology investments; diversification of transport systems; and carbon market tools. They also recalled that countries’ different social and economic contexts require different tools and trajectories to achieve a zero-carbon economy.
Martin Lajoie, negotiator on Article 6, highlighted the importance of building confidence in carbon markets, not only within markets, but also from citizens.
Yuji Mizuno, Programme Director, IGES, said avoiding double counting is one of the most essential goals of the Paris Agreement.
L-R: Constanze Haug, Head of Secretariat, ICAP; Martin Lajoie, negotiator on Article 6, Canada; Andrei Marcu, Director, ERCST and Senior Fellow ICTSD; Martin Hession, European Commission; Yuji Mizuno, Programme Director, IGES; El Hadji Mbaye Diagne, Negotiator, Senegal.
Constanze Haug, ICAP, declared that carbon markets are close to the hearts of all 35 countries under the ICAP.
Martin Hession, European Commission, stated that, for the EU, the CDM approach must be reinvented to avoid a “business-as-usual scenario.”
Kentaro Takahashi, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies |
Catalysing Climate Action, Realizing the SDGs: Science, Interconnections and ImplementationPresented by German Committee Future Earth, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), German Development Institute/ Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) in cooperation with Future Earth and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)
This side event, moderated by Imme Scholz, Vice-Director, German Development Institute, highlighted the need for a better understanding of the interactions between climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and for improved exchange between academia and decision-makers. Panelists discussed, among others: the advantages of South-South cooperation, which relates to the contextual similarity of these countries and consequently facilitates the translation of policy solutions; and the importance of enhancing policy-oriented science in developing countries, especially through institutional support and funding for new researchers.
María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, Director General, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), IAI Representative, shared her perspective on linking national policy frameworks and the 2030 Agenda to scientific research, stating that politics, geography and demographics are essential subjects to address this theme.
Leena Shrivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI University, highlighted that climate science has advanced and been well communicated, but expressed concern over a lack of national actions. She noted India’s NDC commitments, emphasizing examples of science-based action such as circular economy approaches to landfill management, and mapping rural areas according to social-cultural-economic contexts.
Edith Adera, Senior Programme Specialist, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, lamented the lack of solid scientific support for African negotiators, and said that implementing the Paris Agreement and the SDGs are the most critical task for all stakeholders.
Charles Tonui, Environmental Scientist and Research Assistant, African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS), spoke on the need to build on scientific evidence and stressed the importance of multidisciplinary approaches, as well as data translation to policy makers.
Asun St. Clair, Senior Principal Scientist at the Climate Programme, DNV GL Group, Norway, highlighted the need to include a human perspective in climate policy, and that private sector engagement and a cross-sectoral approaches need to be enhanced in order to implement the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.
Martin Visbeck, Chairman German Committee Future Earth and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, highlighted the drastic increase in global population, which requires urgent multilateral cooperation. He stressed the importance of investing in science at the local level to implement global goals.
During closing remarks, St. Clair recalled the need to build trust and to increase basic science knowledge, including social sciences at the national level. Visbeck called for general science literacy and policy coherence in order to address both the SDGs and climate goals.
Leena Shrivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI University, focused on the needs to translate climate science into national enhanced actions.
Imme Scholz, Vice-Director, German Development Institute, highlighted the need for a better understanding of the interactions between climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Edith Adera, Senior Programme Specialist, IDRC, stressed the need for interdisciplinarity when studying climate change impacts.
Asun St. Clair, Senior Principal Scientist, Climate Programme, DNV GL Group, emphasized the need for science to be co-produced with stakeholders, and be policy-relevant.
Martin Visbeck, Chairman German Committee Future Earth and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, highlighted the drastic increase in global population, which requires urgent multilateral cooperation.
Ione Anderson (IAI, International Partnerships & UN Liaison Officer) | [email protected]
Bettina Schmalzbauer (Executive Director, German Committee Future Earth) | [email protected]
Role of Women as Guardians of the Ocean at the Frontlines of the Climate-Development-Nature NexusPresented by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Earth Island Institute (EII)
In this side event, panelists explored the role of women in leading by example in climate change responses, with “climate witnesses” from Pacific Island states sharing their stories, and highlighting the links between gender and oceans. Carol Phua, WWF, moderated the panel.
Raumanu Pranjivan-Sharma, COP23 Presidency, emphasized that women are “powerful agents of change.” She stressed the Presidency’s commitment to the COP’s work on gender and climate change, noting the planned adoption of principles on gender and climate change at COP 23. She outlined the goals of parties under the agenda item on gender and climate change and emphasized that the work of women bridges across climate action, sustainable development, and nature protection.
Elisabeth Holland, University of the South Pacific, recalled the power of women as stewards, saying that the concept of stewardship was “grounded in the very essence of who we are as women.” Relating her experience of visiting a German coal mine, she emphasized the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Penina Moce, WWF Climate Witness, Fiji, relating her experience of climate impacts on the island of Kabara, Fiji, said that less rainfall and accelerated sea level rise has put pressure on water resources and fisheries. She called on industrialized countries to reduce emissions by at least 30% by 2030; developing economies to work with affluent nations to develop their own climate solutions; and for an end to deforestation.
Monifa Fiu, Fiji, spoke about the importance of sharing stories and amplifying them through action. She said that kinship must not be forgotten and recalled the connections both among ourselves and between ourselves and the ocean. She spoke about the resilience of the reefs in her lagoon, noting the “dramatic” changes she has witnessed.
Ingrid Gabriela-Hoven, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, stressed the need to bring a sense of urgency into COP23. She underlined the importance of the COP23 Presidency in supporting SIDS. Reporting on Germany’s development funding, particularly the recent EUR 37 million Blue Action Fund, she acknowledged that more must be done and called for closing the gender gap in the UNFCCC.
Monifa Fiu, Fiji, said that like many attendees, she comes from a small island, but “we are connected by an ocean.”
L - R: Carol Phua, WWF; Raumanu Pranjivan-Sharma, COP23 Presidency; and Elisabeth Holland, University of the South Pacific
Carol Phua, WWF, stressed that climate change “doesn’t affect everyone equally,” but that women are leading by example in climate change responses.
European Climate Policy After ParisPresented by the Climate Partnership of Alpine Municipalities within the Alpine Convention, the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA)
In this side event panelists discussed the Climate Partnership of Alpine Communities and strategies to engage local municipalities in their region. Andreas Pichler, CIPRA, moderated the session and stated that the Partnership, to be launched in 2018, would serve as an example for communities to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Helmut Hojesky, Chair of the Alpine Climate Board, introduced the Alpine Convention, which was signed in 1995 and has eight member states. He noted that involving communities in combatting climate change, an objective of the Board, is crucial, as communities have direct experience and are where impacts are felt.
Pichler introduced the Climate Partnership of Alpine Municipalities, a bottom-up platform to connect communities. In underscoring what municipalities can do in addressing climate change, he noted three key efforts: a strategy on climate change adaptation and mitigation; an energy and climate management system; and evaluation and innovation mechanisms.
Heike Summer, Office of Environment, Principality of Liechtenstein, stated that the government in her country worked closely with its communities to adapt to climate change. She noted that, with the overall goal of minimizing risks and increasing adaptation ability in all sectors, her Office promoted stakeholder involvement from an early stage.
During the ensuing discussion, participants asked to what extent the Board and Partnership engage with similar geographic regions globally, such as the Himalayas and the Andes. Panelists also discussed best strategies for municipalities in moving forward on climate change adaptation, which included providing stakeholders with adequate information.
Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary, BMUB, provided concluding remarks. He said that the COP is useful for the efforts of the Alpine Partnership and Convention, as it provides civil society and politicians with the opportunity to engage in dialogue.
The session concluded with a film on Strengthening Climate Cooperation within the European Union, by the European Climate Initiative.
Helmut Hojesky, Chair of the Alpine Climate Board, stated that Alpine countries feel the effects of climate change much more than other countries.
Heike Summer, Office of Environment, Principality of Liechtenstein, said that though GDP and population are increasing in her country, GHG emissions are decreasing.
A participant poses a question on the global reach of the Climate Partnership of Alpine Municipalities.