The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Tuesday, 15 November 2016:
- Taking the Clean Energy Transformation from Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to Action
- High-Level Event on Sustainable Economic Transition and Economic Diversification
- Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Implementation and Experience Sharing
- Carbon Markets and Carbon Pricing in Asia
- Sand and Dust Storms
- SDG 17: Building Capacity for 2030 Agenda through Climate Action Solutions for Regional Implementation
- Advancing Global Goals on Forests & Climate Change
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENBOTS Meeting Coverage, is providing daily web coverage from the Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis and Liz Rubin
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Taking the Clean Energy Transformation from Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to ActionPresented by the International Council for Sustainable Energy (ICSE), European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5), and Global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Institute
Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), moderated the session.
In his keynote speech Lord Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics (LSE), underscored the need to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in the next 20 years, as well as avoiding lock-in in carbon-intensive infrastructure, as critical to reach net zero GHG emissions in 60-70 years. He said that in order to achieve this, CCS has to be considered seriously and be a big part of the response. He emphasized that, by mid-century, 4-5 Gt of CO2 reductions through CCS will be needed.
In his introduction, Brad Page, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Global CCS Institute, referring to the newly released 2016 Global Status Report on CCS underscored that CCS is a key technology for addressing climate change. He noted that there are 38 large-scale CCS facilities with a capacity of 70 MtCO2/year in the pipeline, with 21 in operation or under construction. He stressed there are many industrial applications for which CCS is the only mitigation option.
Maarten Neelis, Ecofys, stressed that one year after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, national policies have made little progress. He emphasized the need for energy efficiency, a shift away from fossil fuels, and carbon pricing.
Kane Thornton, Chief Executive, Clean Energy Council of Australia, said renewables such as wind and solar will continue to be deployed because in many countries they are the lowest cost options. He outlined challenges such as the lack of long-term policies and grid integration challenges.
Grady Crosby, Vice-president, Johnson Controls, explained that his company’s sustainability strategy is based on three pillars: meeting customers’ sustainability needs; enhancing sustainable operations; and sustainability of the supply chain.
James Wolf, President, Global Policy Associates, stressed the need for CCS, noting that in the developing world 70% of energy will be from fossil fuels by 2040. He underscored enhanced methane recovery with CCS as a win-win technology with climate and environmental benefits.
Christoph Bals, Policy Director, Germanwatch, described the low-carbon development plan for Germany as a re-industrialization process, noting that if the US steps out as a competitor, that would be good for the German clean energy industry.
Kolja Kuse, President, Clean Carbon Technology, emphasized the use of carbon fiber composites derived from algal oil as a way to replace cement, steel and aluminum, establishing carbon neutrality in the building sector and allowing for carbon sequestration. He estimated this could achieve emission reductions of 4 GT CO2 per year.
In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, among others: the need for a carbon price; savings as a driver for industry action; how to include carbon fibers in national plans; life-cycle analysis of carbon fiber materials; and the consistent underestimation of renewables in International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts.
Britta Waschl, European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5), closed the session by calling for ambitious action now.
Kolja Kuse, President, Clean Carbon Technology, explained how to make the building materials sector carbon-neutral by using carbon fibers derived from algae processed with solar energy, combined with natural materials such as granite, and disposed of in a manner providing carbon capture for up to 10,000 years.
Brad Page, CEO, Global CCS Institute, compared renewable energy with CCS investment since 2006 and said that CCS investment needs to be ramped up.
Maarten Neelis, Ecofys, said national climate plans and projected fossil fuel growth do not match in many countries.
Christoph Bals, Policy Director, Germanwatch, underscored the use of carbon fiber to reduce both carbon emissions and concentrations.
Kane Thornton, Chief Executive, Clean Energy Council of Australia, said short-term policies have created a challenging investment environment for renewable energy projects.
James Wolf, President, Global Policy Associates, said in the near term only CCS can control carbon emissions.
High-Level Event on Sustainable Economic Transition and Economic DiversificationPresented by the Presidency of the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 22)
Noting that the Paris Agreement is not an end in itself but a framework for “us to work together and act to honor our shared future,” Nizar Baraka, President of the Scientific Committee, on behalf of the COP 22 President, noted the need for a clear long-term plan, concrete actions and programmes, and timelines for these in order to ensure an equitable transition to low-carbon development.
Tomas Anker Christensen, on behalf of the President of the UN General Assembly, noted that the sustainable transition to low-carbon economies and economic diversification will be vital to implementing the Paris Agreement, drawing attention to the need to find a balance between the challenges and opportunities presented by the transition in order to get the mix right for individual countries.
Welcoming the “durable, flexible and credible” Paris Agreement, David Nabarro, speaking on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, stressed the need to move away from fossils fuels and towards low emission development, calling for national and regional policy decisions to take into account the commitments contained in the Paris Agreement.
Tomasz Chruszczow, Chair, Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), moderated a discussion session. Andrei Marcu summarized a background paper, which notes that, while some countries are advanced in transformative economic pathways, others will require assistance, and highlights the need for buy-in from stakeholders working on climate change and sustainable development. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), said that even before the Paris Agreement his country had policies in place to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, adding that: climate action is being mainstreamed into all sectors; the government is working with the private sector to achieve green growth; and there is a need to turn NDCs into investment instruments.
A representative of the European Commission noted that the EU has decades of experience in green technology innovations, stressing the importance of the low-carbon transition and noting that there is no conflict between economic growth and environmental protection. He highlighted an EU decision to spend 20% of its budget on climate action. Hafez Ghanem, World Bank, outlined the World Bank’s commitment to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including through: increasing financing by a third; increasing adaptation support; supporting adaptation and mitigation policies; crowding in private sector finance; and supporting collective action in the region.
Frank Rijsberman, Head, Global Green Growth Initiative (GGGI), described the work of the institute, including on assisting countries in developing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and on building in-country capacity to develop bankable projects.
Stressing that “you fail if you don’t act when you are faced with change,” Norway highlighted that his country is moving to green competitiveness, and noted that there is no silver bullet to save the climate and thus it needs to be mainstreamed.
Underlining that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities will inform approaches to economic diversification, South Africa noted that the socio-economic challenges of implementing response measures must be minimized, and that the Forum on Response Measures should conduct assessments on the effects of response measures on third parties, particularly developing countries.
Noting that a just transition of the workforce will require appropriate training in order to contribute to the growth of a low carbon economy, the Maldives noted the need for legislative, economic and social changes in order to achieve the Paris Agreement, stressing that some countries will need assistance to implement the Agreement, and underscoring the involvement of all stakeholders to drive ownership, which will in turn drive implementation.
Noting that “there are as many paths as there are parties,” Poland shared his country’s path of economic growth decoupled from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Singapore said his country has moved away from being a labor-based economy and has diversified into a knowledge-based economy. He stated that energy efficiency will continue to be key, noting that the country is working on floating solar PV. He stressed that mitigation actions should not undermine trade. He noted that response measures need to take into account the special situation of certain states, and reiterated his commitment to meeting the mandate on response measures.
In the roundtable discussion, Solway Group stressed the need to seek convergence on domestic carbon policy measures, and called for the development of global regulatory measures in order to achieve specific goals. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) noted that the member countries are impacted by both climate change and response measures to address climate change, highlighting the need to move from rhetoric to implementation and noting that the obligations and commitments under the UNFCCC lie with developed countries. Ghana noted that experiences shared speak to the fact that countries can diversify, and noted the importance of an understanding of what transitioning to low-carbon economies means for third parties. Ecuador stated that the country has reached 90% renewable energy in ten years, and noted the need to ensure financial support for transitioning to low-carbon economies. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) noted that to have an equitable transition, and stressed that there must be investment in diversification plans to ensure that workers are not left behind. The World Business Council on Sustainable Development noted the COP 22 Low-Emissions Solutions Conference demonstrates that the world has moved into the implementation phase.
Sarah Baashan, Co-Chair, Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), stressed that the global narrative on low-carbon growth has changed because the domestic narratives are dynamic, and various countries are able to share their experiences with transitioning to low-carbon development.
In the closing session, Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia, noted that the Paris Agreement is legally binding, and called for innovative, win-win solutions in diversification that are accessible and beneficial to all. He stressed the need for innovative partnerships to address the challenges posed by diversification, including the loss of jobs.
Jonathan Pershing, US, noted that the UNFCCC is a platform to exchange ideas, set goals and norms and evaluate the adequacy of the responses; and underscored that although there will be constraints in the transition process, there is ongoing work through bodies like the World Bank that shows that this is possible.
Closing the meeting, Baraka called for participatory processes, balancing the pillars of sustainable development, and people as the center of the development agenda.
From L-R: David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; Nizar Baraka, President, COP 22 Scientific Committee; and Tomas Anker Christensen, Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly
Tomasz Chruszczow, Chair, Subsidiary Body for Implementation
Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates
Nizar Baraka, President of the Scientific Committee, speaking on behalf of the COP 22 President
David Nabarro, speaking on behalf of the UN Secretary-General
Tomas Anker Christensen, speaking on behalf of the President of the UN General Assembly
Andrei Marcu, Advisor to the COP 22 Presidency
Mahama Ayariga, Minister, Ministry for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana
Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Maldives
Masagos Zulkifli, Minister, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore
Sarah Baashan, Co-Chair, Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA)
Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secertary-General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Khalid Al-Falih, Minister, Ministry of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia
Hafez Ghanem, World Bank
Jonathan Pershing, Special Envoy for Climate Change, US
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO, Solvay Group
- Fati Aboulfaraj (Coordinator) | [email protected]mail.com
Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Implementation and Experience SharingPresented by the Climate Change Strategy Department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China, the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC), China, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
This side event, co-moderated by Xie Ji, Director-General of Department of Climate Change, NDRC, China, and Frank Rijsberman, Director General, GGGI, discussed the implementation of East Asia countries’ NDCs in the post-Paris Agreement era.
Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative on Climate Change, China, noted that following the ratification of the Paris Agreement countries need to be held accountable to their responsibilities. He underscored the need for transformation of development modalities at the national level, highlighting potential collaboration on green development, as well as the importance of regional carbon markets.
Underscoring the long history of cooperation between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, Cho KyeungKyu, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, emphasized, among others: emissions trading schemes at the provincial and national levels; carbon markets; and sharing of best practices on low-carbon development, also at the community level.
Emphasizing the cooperation platform among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, which will enable technical synergies contributing to emissions reduction, Kouichi Yamamoto, Minister, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, underscored the importance of concrete measures, including on emissions trading schemes and renewable energy, to deepen mutual understanding.
Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates, highlighted three key messages to ensure NDC implementation, namely: integration of policies in the national agenda; inclusion of the private sector, academia and all relevant stakeholders; and negotiation of the requirements, looking not just at costs but also at opportunities.
Stressing that current commitments do not suffice to achieve the determined goals, Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, underscored: carbon pricing as a critical market instrument to curb emissions and induce investments to low-carbon alternatives; emissions trading schemes and carbon taxes; result-based finance mechanisms; capacity building and regional knowledge exchange; and non-market instruments, including performance-oriented regulations, licencing, labelling and certification.
Rijsberman moderated the second part of the event, highlighting, inter alia: green growth with social inclusivity and environmental sustainability; GGGI’s technical expertise and sharing of knowledge; and identification of opportunities for collaborative work, including South-South cooperation.
Tian Chengchuan, NDRC, China, on behalf of Xie Ji, Director-General of Department of Climate Change, NDRC, China, provided an overview of China’s low-carbon development pathway, focusing on the goals and main contents of its NDC. He highlighted eight key tasks relating to low-carbon energy revolution, industrial systems, cities and towns, regional development and technology innovation, as well as operation of national emissions trading schemes, capacity support and international cooperation.
Discussing the Green Partnership among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, Kim Sang-Hyup, Former Senior Secretary to President for Green Growth, Office of the President, Republic of Korea, noted that the imminent agenda is on fine dusts, while the rising agenda addresses the Asia Super Grid, an interconnected power grid going from Mongolia to Japan.
Noting the pivotal role of China in green finance, Scott Vaughan, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), IISD, underscored the role of infrastructure from a low-carbon perspective, as well as the importance of public-private partnerships regarding infrastructure. He emphasized that infrastructure can be an important source of emissions at the national level, urging for reconsideration of the relationship between infrastructure spending and NDC goals’ alignment. Noting that there is no shortage of liquidity for green bonds, Vaughan stressed the notion of “de-risking” to attract investors and scale up projects.
Stressing the role of local and subnational governments, Hironori Hamanaka, Chair of the Board of Directors, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), focused on best practices in low-carbon city pilot projects, presenting case studies from the cities of Toyama, Higashimatsushima and Kitakyushu in Japan.
Ren Zhengang, Director of the Blue Economy Office, Qingdao NDRC, provided insights from the low-carbon development pilot work in Qingdao.
From L-R: Frank Rijsberman, Director General, GGGI; Kouichi Yamamoto, Minister, Ministry of the Environment, Japan; Cho KyeungKyu, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea; Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative on Climate Change, China; Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; and Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates
Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, urged for doubling the ambitions of current NDCs by 2030.
Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative on Climate Change, China, stressed the proactive attitude towards climate change of major emitters, like China and the US.
Cho KyeungKyu, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, emphasized tripartite cooperation among China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates, underscored key points to ensure NDC implementation in the United Arab Emirates.
Kouichi Yamamoto, Minister, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, called for a balance between reducing emissions and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Xie Ji, Director-General of Department of Climate Change, NDRC, China, co-moderated the session, noting its focus on NDCs’ implementation.
Scott Vaughan, President and CEO, IISD, and Kim Sang-Hyup, Former Senior Secretary to President for Green Growth, Office of the President, Republic of Korea
Scott Vaughan, President and CEO, IISD, Cho KyeungKyu, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, and Frank Rijsberman, Director General, GGGI
Kouichi Yamamoto, Minister, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates
Kouichi Yamamoto, Minister, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Carbon Markets and Carbon Pricing in AsiaPresented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP), the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy of Tsinghua University, and the Climate Change Center (CCC), Republic of Korea
This side event, moderated by Akihisa Kuriyama, IGES, discussed prospects for carbon markets in Asia in the context of the international policy framework of the Paris Agreement.
Urging for cooperation and sharing of experiences, Han Duck-soo, CCC Chairman and Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, stressed that carbon markets and pricing will be one of the key determinants for the success or failure of global efforts to tackle climate change.
Noting that the combined CO2 emissions of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea account for one third of global ones, Hironori Hamanaka, Chair of the Board of Directors, IGES, said that implementing carbon prices is expected to achieve emissions reductions, allowing the achievement of NDCs’ goals, as well as to attract investments towards decarbonization of the economy.
Liu Bin, Deputy Director of Institute of Energy Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, underscored cooperation between China and Japan on carbon market mechanisms, including quantitative methodologies. Addressing the current status of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in China, Zhou Jian, Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, presented on, inter alia: experiences and lessons learned from the pilot carbon market, underscoring legislation, data quality and allowance allocation; the overall structure of the national carbon market; the two-tiered management system of emissions allowance, including guidelines and methodologies; and challenges, including the process of verification of CO2 reports, the balance between different stakeholders, and the linking of the national and pilot carbon markets.
Joo-jin Kim, CCC, Republic of Korea, addressed the Korean ETS (K-ETS), highlighting its key features, emissions status and transaction trends. Noting that regulated companies are getting used to the carbon price, he emphasized that government interventions intended to lower credit prices have undermined the credibility of K-ETS credit prices. Addressing carbon markets and pricing in Japan, Yuzi Mizuno, IGES, discussed the national carbon tax, the domestic ETS and the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM).
A panel discussion followed, moderated by Hamanaka, which addressed: the kind of benefits associated with carbon pricing policies; revenue generation and use; concerns around negative impacts on competitiveness; and potential for linking different carbon markets.
Duan Maosheng, Director, National Carbon Market Research Center, Tsinghua University, underscored that signals that carbon prices send change the decision-making process of companies, and noted technical difficulties regarding linking carbon markets, saying that it should currently be seen as a long-term vision. Kim emphasized that the issue of competitiveness is less about price and more about uncertainty, noting that the discussion about linking carbon markets is premature. Mizuno said that carbon tax revenues promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, and stressed that before linking different carbon market systems, the coordination of their designs needs to be addressed.
In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed best practices to attract industries to carbon pricing, and vulnerabilities of isolated carbon markets in terms of carbon leakage and international competitiveness.
From L-R: Hironori Hamanaka, Chair of the Board of Directors, IGES; Duan Maosheng, Director, National Carbon Market Research Center, Tsinghua University; Joo-jin Kim, CCC, Republic of Korea; and Yuzi Mizuno, IGES
Han Duck-soo, CCC Chairman and Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, underscored that China, Japan and the Republic of Korea have valuable experiences dealing with carbon markets and pricing.
Liu Bin, Deputy Director of Institute of Energy Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, discussed national centers that play an important role for knowledge generation regarding low-carbon technologies.
Hironori Hamanaka, Chair of the Board of Directors, IGES, discussed carbon pricing initiatives as tools to achieve NDC-related emissions reductions.
Joo-jin Kim, CCC, Republic of Korea, noted that the K-ETS covers 67% of Korea’s national emissions, 23 subsectors and 520 entities.
Yuzi Mizuno, IGES, stressed the need for substantial discussions in Japan to introduce real carbon pricing, including the ETS.
Zhou Jian, Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, said that allowance allocation in carbon markets is the visible hand of the government.
- Akihisa Kuriyama (Coordinator) | [email protected]
- Beetsnara Han (Coordinator) | [email protected]
- Alun Gu (Coordinator) | [email protected]
Sand and Dust StormsPresented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator, Iran, moderated the event. He described the drivers of sand and dust storms (SDS) as the “perfect storm” combining anthropogenic causes, such as land and water management, and those induced by climate change, such as hotter and drier weather. He underscored the economic, health and environmental impacts of SDS. Lewis noted a growing international consensus on SDS in 2016, including General Assembly Resolution 70/195, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Resolution 72/7 and UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) Resolution 2/21.
Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President and Head of Department of Environment, Iran, stressed a growth in the number and intensity of SDS. She explained the differences between sand storms and dust storms, noting health effects, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, meningitis and eye infections. Ebtekar identified 10 hot spots where SDS originate and emphasized that each province in Iran has a local action plan to address SDS hot spots. Noting the transboundary nature of SDS, she stressed the need for international-level environmental impact assessment of projects affecting water availability in the region. She emphasized SDS are a peace and security issue.
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, said the economic impact of dust storms is at least US$13 billion yearly in lost GDP. She highlighted the Global Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms by UN Environment, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), noting it calls for increased cooperation on: early warning systems; mitigation of the worst effects; preventive measures; and research on SDS impacts on climate, oceans and other systems.
Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment described SDS as a huge human, economic, health and environmental issue. He included SDS in air pollution, noting that the WMO estimates 7 million people worldwide die prematurely every year due to air pollution. Noting past success addressing environmental problems such as ozone depletion and acid rain, he said SDS can be addressed, but require coordinated political action in the region. He underscored planting trees and building codes as key to address SDS.
In the ensuing discussion, a participant noted the role of Turkey’s dams in regulating water supply to its neighbors. Participants also discussed, inter alia, international sources of climate finance to address SDS and the role of UN agencies in addressing SDS.
Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President and Head of Department of Environment, Iran, emphasized that SDS are not small in magnitude and highlighted negative impacts on agricultural productivity.
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, said UNDP is committed to work with countries and other agencies on SDS.
Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator, Iran, highlighted the nexus between climate change and SDS.
Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, described SDS as “a big killer.”
- Sadaf Nikzad | [email protected]
SDG 17: Building Capacity for 2030 Agenda through Climate Action Solutions for Regional ImplementationPresented by the UN
Yvo de Boer, President, Sustainability Challenge Foundation, moderated the session, and highlighted the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and its impact on the climate arena.
Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), noted the importance of an integrated framework to pursue climate change challenges together with sustainable development goals (SDGs). She noted that actions to strengthen resilience also promote poverty reduction and diversification of livelihoods.
Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), underscored the need to integrate climate issues in “everything we do to implement the Paris Agreement.” He said that the UNECE Air Convention is the first one to combat short-lived climate pollutants. He noted the co-benefits of regional water management.
Abdalla Hamdok, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said access to adequate finance and technology transfer are key to Paris Agreement implementation.
Roula Majdalani, speaking on behalf of Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), underscored the effects of climate change on infrastructure, food security and water availability. She noted that implementation of the Paris Agreement depends on building capacity in the Arab countries. She noted that, due to conflicts in her region, climate action will not feature as a priority since there are more pressing issues to be dealt with in post-colonial times.
Joseluis Samaniego, Director, Sustainable and Human Settlements Division of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), described how his region has been fighting poverty, noting the need to “repackage” the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and climate action to enable structural changes. He noted a regional initiative to promote public participation mechanisms and climate justice that will be translated into better climate policies.
David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, outlined the evolution of the movement that brings together climate and development in an unstoppable momentum.
From L-R: Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE; Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary, ESCAP; Roula Majdalani, speaking on behalf of Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary, ESCWA; Yvo de Boer, President, Sustainability Challenge Foundation; Abdalla Hamdok, Executive Secretary, ECA; and Joseluis Samaniego, Director, Sustainable and Human Settlements Division, ECLAC
Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary, ESCAP
Yvo de Boer, President, Sustainability Challenge Foundation
Roula Majdalani, speaking on behalf of Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary, ESCWA
Abdalla Hamdok, Executive Secretary, ECA
Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE
Joseluis Samaniego, Director, Sustainable and Human Settlements Division, ECLAC
- Laura Altinger Zahar (Coordinator) | [email protected]
Advancing Global Goals on Forests & Climate ChangePresented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, noted Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 focus on conservation and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems, and said a green growth economy is crucial to implement these policies.
Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway, underscored that the Paris Agreement and SDGs have ambitious language on forests, and noted that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals must be in global balance for the years 2034-2071 and reach net zero emissions.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Global Climate and Energy Lead, noted the cost of poverty needs to be included in the policies to halt deforestation, and congratulated Brazil on its successful efforts in doing so.
Siti Nurbaya, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia, noted the importance of REDD+ in assisting Indonesia in implementing its forest policies and combating illegal logging. She noted Indonesia’s moratorium on new primary forest concessions.
Everton Lucero, Vice Minister for Climate Change at the Ministry of the Environment, Brazil, noted the last decade’s significant results in reducing emissions by controlling deforestation in the Amazon, and the need to strengthen such measures to achieve Brazil’s ambitious NDC.
Robert Bopolo Mbongenza, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Democratic Republic of the Congo, outlined the infrastructure actions implemented by the Central African Forest Initiative to promote forest conservation and poverty reduction.
Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, UK, highlighted his concern that large amounts of resources are dedicated to developing innovative and new industrial processes to take carbon out of the atmosphere, whereas a small amount of resources is dedicated to protecting and enhancing natural carbon systems.
Caroline Olory, Ekuri Initiative, Cross River State, Nigeria, underscored that policies need to promote sustainable forest management and community livelihoods, especially recognizing the communities’ rights.
Charlotte Streck, Co-Founder and Director, Climate Focus, noted the NGO groups that formulated fact-based assessment of actions taken under the New York Declaration on Forests. She underscored the need to improve legality in the supply chain, and establish more monitoring activities.
Marco Albani, Director, Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, World Economic Forum, noted the need to eliminate deforestation from private sector supply chains of palm oil, soy, paper and beef products by no later than 2020. He noted the public-private platform can accelerate progress and motivate companies to include such commitments in their policies.
Karsten Sach, Director General, Climate Policy, European and International Policy, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), noted the need for countries to strengthen national policies and to include indigenous peoples, community stakeholders and the private sector. He underscored the importance of building capacity and developing large-scale partnerships in all regions to achieve forest goals.
Shuji Oki, Director General, Japan Forestry Agency, noted his country actively supports forest climate activities in developing countries, by elaborating methodologies for field activities.
Room view during the event
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, said that restoring forests is essential to combat climate change, as is explicitly stated in the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway, underscored that forests are an indispensable part of the climate solution.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate and Energy Lead, highlighted the need to reduce deforestation, involving all different actors.
Siti Nurbaya, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia, noted the role of conservation and management of forests in enhancing carbon stocks in developing countries.
Everton Lucero, Vice Minister of Environment, Brazil, outlined policies to reduce deforestation in all Brazilian biomes, including the Cerrado.
Robert Bopolo Mbongenza, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Democratic Republic of the Congo, noted the national forest strategy, including result-based payments and financial issues.
A participant listens to the presentations.
Caroline Olory, Ekuri Initiative, Cross River State, Nigeria, noted the importance of ensuring that indigenous peoples’ voice are heard at COP 22.
- Jan Kellett | [email protected]