The following events were covered by IISD Reporting Services on Thursday, 6 December 2018:
Photos by IISD/ENB | Natalia Mroz / Diego Noguera
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High-Level Opening of the COP 24 ICC Business and Industry Day
Presented by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
The official UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 24 Business and Industry Day convened under the theme “increasing climate ambition – a private-public dialogue.” The event was hosted and organized by the ICC, in its capacity as the UNFCCC Focal Point for Business and Industry. Presenters shared experiences and ideas on the leadership and change required to enhance the ambition of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and make zero-emissions development a reality. The event was also organized to contribute to the development of high-level inputs to the Talanoa Dialogue.
Majda Dabaghi, Director of Green Inclusive Growth, ICC, Paris, highlighted the ICC’s work to support the UNFCCC processes in bringing business perspectives into the policy sphere, and to help both small and large businesses around the world to align their business strategies with the goals of the Paris Agreement. She pointed to the growing need for public-private partnerships to increase climate ambition in business communities, stressing that the COP 24 Business and Industry Day is set for this purpose.
Moderator Justin Perrettson, Head of Global Engagements, Novozymes, Denmark, highlighted the need to link climate actions from business and industry with the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting his company’s commitment to the SDGs and to joining the UNFCCC/ICC networks. He called for integrating climate policies into day-to-day business operations and business strategies.
Inia Seruiratu, High-level Climate Champion, and Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development, and National Disaster Management, Fiji, thanking the contribution of business and industry to the Talanoa Dialogue process, emphasized the need to help governments implement, enhance and achieve their NDCs by utilizing and scaling up existing business actions, and investing in technological innovation. He pointed to the need for business and industry to: act on greenhouse gas emission reductions and energy efficiency by deploying new technology and creating sustainable supply chains; and drive sustainable choices for consumers. Seruiratu called for enhanced and accountable public-private partnerships through stronger coordination among governments, the private sector, NGOs and research institutes, saying “we cannot fight this challenge alone.”
Bertrand Piccard, Chairman, Solar Impulse Foundation, Switzerland, spoke about what needs to be done for businesses to undertake climate actions without using the words “climate change,” stressing that the UNFCCC and ICC together can bring actual changes in the business sector. Commenting on the reason for slow growth today, he outlined changes in the world, noting that people have already acquired most of the things they need. He then described three ways for convincing businesses to actually implement climate actions, including through:
- showing energy efficiency technologies are absolutely profitable while contributing to deliver environmental goals;
- helping transform business attitudes; and
- reducing poverty to increase number of consumers.
He introduced the Solar Impulse Foundation’s 1000 efficient solutions (#1000solutions) as an example of progressive climate action.
Patricia Fuller, Ambassador for Climate Change, Canada, underscored the critical role of business in addressing climate change, and making links between the environment and the economy. She spoke about the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, set to meet her country’s emissions reduction target, grow the economy and build resilience to a changing climate. Fuller said the Framework includes a Pan-Canadian approach to:
- carbon pricing;
- measures to achieve reductions across all sectors of the economy, such as setting a regulatory framework and providing incentives to the private sector;
- drive innovation and growth by increasing technology development and adoption to ensure Canadian businesses are competitive in the global low-carbon economy; and
- adaptation efforts to build resilient infrastructure.
She further highlighted her country’s efforts to partner with businesses internationally, including: the “Powering Past Coal” alliance with the UK, inviting government entities from around the world to phase out dirty coal power plants; the Equal Rights Coalition to promote gender equality; and sustainable finance research work in partnership with the private sector in the G7 process.
In the ensuing discussion, participants considered: the need to address business concerns through the design of the carbon pricing scheme; the evolvement of NDCs in Fiji and Canada; and the importance of engaging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve their energy efficiency potentials. Responding to a question on SMEs, Seruiratu stressed the importance of communication, saying, “no one is too small” to contribute to climate action.
Photos of this event courtesy of Stephen Lloyd, ICC
One Planet Fellowship: Using a Gender Lens to Invest in the Next Generation of Climate Adaptation Scientists in Africa
Presented by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), BNP Paribas and African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)
This panel, hosted by BNP Paribas, the ICC and AWARD, brought together actors in the One Planet Fellowship Programme, which was developed to build global networks of African and European agricultural scientists working on gender-responsive climate adaptation solutions for African smallholder farmers. The session focused on the importance of investing in sustainable agriculture in Africa and developing the African scientific capacity to inform this.
During the panelist introductions, Tony Simons, World Agroforestry Center, expressed his embarrassment and noted his positionality as a white male participating in a panel on gender in Africa that included only one African woman alongside four European men.
Moderator Sébastien Soleille, BNP Paribas, highlighted the crucial role of women in adaptation, both in the energy transition to decentralized, renewable-based networks and in building an agricultural sector that sequesters carbon and feeds a growing population. He explained that BNP Paribas’s financial tools aim to support these transitions by building scientific networks between Europe and Africa.
Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Director, AWARD, introduced the One Planet Fellowship and its aim of supporting 600 emerging scientists from Africa and Europe in producing research to support African farmers adapt to climate change. She outlined that the Fellowship awardees will be trained to make gender a fundamental component of their research and approach to science. This is critical, she explained, because women are at the center of agricultural production in Africa and researchers require training on how to support agriculture on the continent to become more productive, sustainable and resilient. “If you’re talking about climate change in Africa and you’re not talking about gender,” she explained, “you’re in the wrong conversation.”
Kamau-Retenberg also stressed the importance of supporting African scientists, noting the lack of African voices in major international scientific bodies, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Improving this representation, she said, would help these bodies give greater attention to issues facing Africa such as adaptation and smallholder agriculture. She noted the need to put women and marginalized groups at the center of the discussions on adaptation. She said inclusion of European scientists in the One Planet Fellowship would enhance their understanding of Africa’s agricultural needs, repeating that “research in Africa needs to be relevant to farmers.” She also stressed that history has shown that gaps between European and African scientists will persist and collaboration of the necessary quality and scale will not occur without intentional efforts to build links between them.
Jean-Jacques Goron, BNP Paribas Foundation, discussed the role of corporate philanthropy in raising awareness of social and environmental issues. He cited the BNP Paribas Climate Initiative, which has funded AWARD in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as an example of how philanthropy can be a catalyst for businesses investing in partnerships. He concluded by saying that “the essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on the most promising solutions.”
Gareth Phillips, AfDB, discussed the Bank’s efforts to facilitate investment in climate-related projects across the continent. He emphasized the critical importance of investing in sustainable agriculture, noting that only a small step separates failure of agriculture to dangerous migration and radicalization. He suggested that while the private sector is starting to change and invest more in agriculture, it is not happening quickly enough. Phillips also stressed the need to develop stronger links between agriculture and adaptation as well as a more compelling, science-based narrative around this. This, he said, would help attract much-needed finance, which should be forthcoming before disasters or agricultural failures, not only afterwards.
Tony Simons, World Agroforestry Center, remarked that financing opportunities for agriculture often start with unusual coalitions. Noting the need to bring back agricultural development to the principles of capturing energy strategically and effectively, he championed the role of research in informing social, technical and policy solutions. In Africa, he suggested, AWARD’s role leading the agricultural revolution will spur a greater societal revolution.
At the urging of session participants, the panelists discussed their plans for future engagement and collaboration, including more on incorporating gender into agricultural financing. They also addressed: the importance of managing sustainable soils; the role of microfinance and regional banks in reaching smallholder farmers and providing them with financial stability; and how smart connectivity tools can help farmers better manage crop insurance in light of climate impacts.