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IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) is producing daily reports of selected side events of this meeting starting on Monday, 7 December 2009.
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ENB on the Side - A Special Report on Selected Side Events at the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP 15 and COP/MOP 5)

7-18 December 2009 | Copenhagen, Denmark
 

IISDRS - UNDP - UNEP - FAO - UNFCCC


Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu with participants at an Oxfam International side event.
 
Events convened on Tuesday, 15 December 2009
 
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Oxfam International Climate Hearing at Copenhagen
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Presented by Oxfam International
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L-R: Mary Robinson, former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International Executive Director; and Peruvian farmer Cayetano Huanca and his translator.

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Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International’s Executive Director, explained that over the last year, more than 1.5 million people have attended climate hearings in 36 countries to listen to the stories of those who are most affected by climate change but least heard by decision makers. He said their stories comprise the moral imperative for a fair, ambitious and binding deal in Copenhagen.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu stressed the need to listen to, heed and act on the voices of those at the frontline of climate change who, he said, know its impacts better than anyone else. He continued that testimonies from global witnesses reflect a disaster already in progress, but that human beings have the power to “rein it in.” He stated that unless a deal is signed in Copenhagen that recognizes the need for the highest polluters to pay the highest price, it is the poorest – who have done the least harm – who will suffer most.

Climate witnesses shared how climate change has impacted their lives, communities, countries and continents. Peruvian farmer Cayetano Huanca described how changes in seasonality, increased water scarcity and the introduction of new diseases have impacted agricultural and pastoral livelihoods. Bangladeshi Cyclone Aila survivor Shorbanu Khatun described how the cyclone had exacerbated her struggles as a single mother trying to earn a living from heavily degraded and increasingly drought-prone land. Ugandan farmer Constance Okollet described how seasons have been replaced by a constant string of droughts and floods that devastate crops each year.

Pelenise Alofa, a witness from Kiribati, said human rights are being bought and sold at COP 15. She stated that humans have mountains in their hearts and called on leaders to conquer their mountains because climate change is a matter of life and death.

The witnesses called for: industrialized nations to reduce their emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020; developed countries to provide financial compensation to help developing countries to adapt to already-occurring climate change; and leaders to recognize that climate change is destroying the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable.

Mary Robinson, former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, elaborated Oxfam International’s verdict, which is based on the climate hearings, and which finds that climate change is undermining human rights on an unprecedented scale. She said the verdict includes calls for 40% emission reductions and long-term, predictable and additional funding on the scale of US$200 billion annually by 2020. Following the side event, the verdict was delivered to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer.


   
 
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Mary Robinson, former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Oxfam International's climate hearings demonstrate the existence of a deep and global injustice.

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Cayetano Huanca, Peruvian farmer, argued that indigenous peoples should not pay for the consequences of climate change, and said they will continue to speak up until they see real change among decision makers.

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Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu recalled that there is a great deal of good in the world and called on humankind to find that good to protect their one home, Earth.

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Bangladeshi Cyclone Aila survivor Shorbanu Khatun (left, with her translator) said people suffering the impacts of climate change in her community used to think that the world was punishing them, but now they know that climate change is manmade, they wish to seek compensation.

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Constance Okollet, Ugandan farmer, described how floods and droughts have brought cholera, meningitis and malaria to her community.

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Pelenise Alofa, a witness from Kiribati, stressed that climate change is not negotiable, and called on leaders to right what is wrong in the world and act immediately.

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Contacts
Bert Maerten (Coordinator) <bmaerten@oxfam.org.uk>

More information

http://www.oxfam.org
http://climatehearings.org

 
   
 
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Climate Justice and Sustainable Development: Intensifying the Dialogue Between the EU, India and China
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Presented by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) and Action for a Global Climate Community (AGCC)
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L-R: Prabhat Upadhyaya, TERI; Peter Luff, AGCC; Philip Thörn, IVL; and Francis Johnson, SEI.

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This session focused on cooperation and partnerships across the global South and North, especially China, India and the EU, to promote climate change responses that contribute to sustainable development.

Peter Luff, AGCC, said there are three positions for those addressing climate change; protesting, negotiating and taking practical action. He introduced the panelists as part of the “third camp” of practical action. Philip Thörn, IVL, described an analysis of the EU-China CDM Facilitation Project. He said CDM projects were found to generate certified emission reductions (CERs) and at least modestly promote sustainable development, but noted barriers to technical knowledge transfers.

Prabhat Upadhyaya, TERI, presented results from a study entitled “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in India: Financial Mechanisms and Opportunities for EU-India.” He noted that policy and financial support are needed to catalyze major transformations in the energy sector. Francis Johnson, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), on behalf of Göran Nilsson Axberg, SEI, outlined a report on “Financial Mechanisms and Opportunities for EU-India Collaboration,” commenting that intellectual property rights must be addressed in technology transfer efforts and that sectoral approaches for carbon credits are promising.

Peter Luff, AGCC, introduced the “High Level India-EU Dialogue: Solutions for Sustainability” initiative, and John Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, reflected on the cost of “dirty development” and the potential for financial and technology transfers to developing countries to support clean development. Philip Riches, International Court for the Environment Coalition (ICE), stressed the need for an international court accessible to both state and non-state actors, explaining that such an institution could assist with interpreting conflicting international environmental commitments.

Participants discussed: how to link poverty relief and environmental protection; uncertainty of climate feedback effects; and distributional equity for CDM projects.

   
 
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Philip Riches, ICE, explained that, in addition to the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court and Permanent Court of Arbitration, there is a need for an International Court of the Environment.

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Peter Luff, AGCC, said that regardless of the outcome of Copenhagen, it is critical that action on climate change take place, and commented that the organizations involved in the session were serious about contributing to these efforts.

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Philip Thörn, IVL, noted that CDM projects in China tend to promote environmental protection more than social or economic development, and he questioned whether the international community expects too much from the CDM.

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Contacts
Peter Luff (Coordinator) <peterluff@hotmail.com>
Philip Thörn (Coordinator) <philip.thorn@ivl.se>
Philip Riches <philip.riches@stonechambers.com>


More information

http://www.ivl.se/en
http://www.climatecommunity.org

http://sei-international.org

   
 
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The Best Laid Plans - Turning Ideas into Action on Mitigation, Adaptation and Finance
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Presented by the World Resources Institute (WRI)
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L-R: Bharat Jagdeo, President of Guyana; Jacob Werksman, WRI; and Fred Stolle, WRI.

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Jacob Werksman, WRI, introduced the event, which focused on the challenges of implementing the COP's anticipated agreement and making progress on national-level mitigation and adaptation plans.

Bharat Jagdeo, President of Guyana, outlined a national-level REDD pilot project being undertaken in Guyana that, in addition to the core REDD-related aims, focuses on making the economy more climate-resilient and stimulating low-carbon opportunities outside the forest sector.

Fred Stolle, WRI, explained that REDD readiness is a complex and practically challenging undertaking that requires comprehensive mapping, monitoring and a good understanding of the drivers of deforestation. He concluded by underscoring the importance of political will to ensure the inclusion of diverse stakeholders, and for strong accountability and governance.

Heather McGray, WRI, explained that adaptation is an iterative process that needs to remain flexible as climatic conditions continue to change. She proposed a National Adaptive Capacity Framework that helps countries to: assess capacities for performing key functions; plan for adaptation; implement plans; and reassess the progress for a new cycle. Smita Nakhooda, WRI, stated that climate change must be integrated into energy planning towards decarbonizing the power sector, and suggested that finance is critical for leveraging opportunities.

The panelists were joined by Zou Ji, WRI, and Brian Dawson, AusAID, to respond to questions from participants. Participants discussed, among other things: the social and economic effects of climate change; the Chinese model for climate resilience; technology transfer; corruption in the logging industry; and Guyana's sea defenses.

   
 
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Bharat Jagdeo, President of Guyana, suggested that REDD projects must have strong social and governance safeguards, including: vigorous systems of monitoring, reporting and verification; protection of communities' rights; and transparent finances.

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Heather McGray, WRI, stated that a country's entry into adaptation will depend on local conditions, such as whether it is a coastal or forest-rich country.

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Smita Nakhooda, WRI, recommended that countries explore diverse options towards achieving energy security that also contribute to climate change mitigation. 

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Contacts

Smita Nakhooda (Coordinator) <snakhooda@wri.org>
Jacob Werksman (Chair) <jwerksman@wri.org>

More information

http://www.wri.org

   
 
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Financing Climate Action in Developing Countries: A United Nations System Perspective
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Presented by the World Bank and UNDP
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L-R: Kseniya Lvovsky, World Bank; Lasse Ringius, IFC; Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP; Michele de Nevers, World Bank; Olav Kjørven, UNDP; and Sylvie Lemmet, UNEP.

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Olav Kjørven, UNDP, introduced the side event, which highlighted the challenges of accessing climate change funding and outlined strategies for combining and leveraging finance through both existing and new instruments. Michele de Nevers, World Bank, highlighted that public finance is insufficient to respond to climate change investment needs, saying there are promising models for leveraging funds from multiple sources, including the private sector. Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP, noted the challenges involved in leveraging such funds, including the combination and sequencing of funds from different sources.

Kseniya Lvovsky, World Bank, outlined pilot climate financing funds and instruments, including the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, under the Strategic Climate Fund. Sylvie Lemmet, UNEP, distinguished between types of investments needed for climate-resilient development, and explained they required varied solutions, from official development assistance and foreign direct investment, to NAMA- and NAPA-linked subsidies and grants for capacity and expertise building.

Lasse Ringius, International Finance Corporation (IFC), described how International Financial Institutions (IFIs) can help build the capacity of local FIs to enter the carbon market through knowledge and outreach, transaction support and scaled-up sectoral approaches. Angus Friday, World Bank, and Marcel Alers, UNDP, presented the “Climate Finance Options Knowledge Platform,” a joint UNDP-World Bank project currently under development. Friday explained that the Platform is a decision-support tool for multiple audiences to access information about funding sources and to share experiences from climate projects. Alers demonstrated the Platform website on-screen.

In discussions, panelists considered: the impact of the global financial crisis on climate-related investments; access to climate finance at the local level; and several issues currently under COP negotiation, including how to ensure the predictability and long-term stability of these funds and tracking and accountability mechanisms for climate finance.

   
 
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Kseniya Lvovsky, World Bank, described risk-mitigation financial tools that are supporting fuel switching and geothermal uptake projects in African countries.

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Michele de Nevers, World Bank, identified the need to leverage foreign financing into developing countries as investments and not as official development assistance.

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Lasse Ringius, IFC, reminded participants to “not forget the private sector” in developing climate financing strategies.

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Contacts

Angus Friday (Coordinator) <efriday@worldbank.org>
Olav Kjørven (Co-Chair) <olav.kjorven@undp.org>
Michele de Nevers (Co-Chair) <mdenevers@worldbank.org>

More information


http://www.worldbank.org
http://www.undp.org

   
   
 
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First Steps Towards a Low Carbon United Nations
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Presented by UNEP/Environment Management Group (EMG)
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L-R: Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP; Edouard Dayan, Director General of  UPU; Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP; Stephan Herbst, Toyota; Michael Adlerstein, Executive Director UN Capital Master Plan; and Jan-Christoph Napierski, Denmark.

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Achim Steiner, UNEP, launched a report entitled “Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN,” explaining that the process had entailed: an assessment to establish the source of GHGs; methodologies to manage the carbon footprint; and measures put in place to remove that footprint.

Jan-Christoph Napierski, Denmark, detailed steps taken to minimize and offset emissions associated with COP 15. Noting an estimate that COP 15 would produce 40,500 tons of GHGs, he said the emissions were offset through a CDM project in Bangladesh.

Stephan Herbst, Toyota, detailed his company's investment in hybrid technology and explained that the key challenge is presented by the low-energy density of batteries relative to other types of energy.

Michael Adlerstein, Executive Director of UN Capital Master Plan, detailed the ongoing renovation of the UN headquarters building. He highlighted that the energy consumption of the renovated building would be reduced by 50%.

Edouard Dayan, Director General of the Universal Post Union (UPU), outlined the UPU's efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by reverting to more energy efficient lighting and investing in video conferencing. He outlined the future refurbishment of UPU's headquarters.

Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP, outlined her agency's work on the UN Secretary General's initiative to ensure the UN acts as one on climate change by, among other things, producing a baseline of UNDP's operations and training staff on climate change. She concluded by stating that the UN is working hard to make their operations “climate proof.”

   
 
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Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP, said her agency is working in concert with other agencies to “green the UN.”

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Christoph Napierski, Denmark, explained that in preparation for COP 15 the Bella Center invested €2.5 million on energy saving measures resulting in a 20% reduction of CO2 since 2007.

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Achim Steiner, UNEP, stated that while some people liken working towards carbon neutrality to “scaling the Himalayas,” in fact carbon neutrality is already being achieved at the local level.

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Contacts

Aniket Ghai <aniket.ghai@unep.ch>


More information

http://www.unemg.org/sustainableUN

http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/kick-the-habit/
http://www.sustainability.cop15.dk

   
 
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Beyond Cap and Trade: Subnational Leadership - Sooner. Stronger.
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Presented by The Climate Registry (TCR) and Georgetown Climate Center
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L-R: Governor Christine Gregoire, Washington state; Premier Gordon Campbell, British Columbia; Premier Jean Charest, Quebec; Governor James Doyle, Wisconsin; and Premier Greg Selinger, Manitoba.

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The event reported on a wide range of sub-national efforts to address climate change in US states and Canadian provinces. Diane Wittenberg, CTR, and Vicky Arroyo, Georgetown Climate Center, opened the event. Stressing the importance of sub-national action, Wittenberg quoted UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo De Boer, saying sub-national governments “haven’t waited for national leadership but have been on the front lines for many years.” Arroyo added that it is critical that the voices of those who are taking action be heard.

Underscoring that many across the world are looking to the US to take leadership on climate change, Governor Christine Gregoire, Washington state, stressed that we cannot afford to fail at any level of government when it comes to protecting the planet, adding that the “US cannot and will not fail.” Noting the Obama administration has put an approximate 17% reduction by 2020 on the table, she added that she expects comprehensive climate legislation to pass in the coming months and that this will lead to strong state-level partnerships.

Premier Gordon Campbell, British Columbia, emphasized the importance of developing a low-carbon economy, and said if international-level negotiations are not successful, sub-national entities will have to do more. He highlighted his province’s target of a 33% reduction by 2020 and his province’s revenue-neutral carbon tax, stressing that governments need to give individuals the tools to make the right choices for themselves.

Highlighting that 50-80% of what will be done to reduce GHG emissions will be done at state and provincial levels, Premier Jean Charest, Quebec, said national governments must engage with their citizens and stressed the role provinces can play in this endeavour.  Referencing the results from a leaders’ summit earlier in the day, he said leaders are recognizing that a new economy is emerging and stressed the importance of seizing the opportunities this presents.  He highlighted various provincial-level polices in Quebec, including the first carbon tax in North America.

Noting the need for a “green energy world,” Governor James Doyle, Wisconsin, agreed with Charest on the need to seize new economic opportunities. He highlighted various measures aimed at doing so in the main pillars of his state’s economy, including in manufacturing, agriculture, and innovation and research. Doyle noted the large, potential job-creation opportunities in the alternative energy sector.

Premier Greg Selinger, Manitoba, noted the importance of hydropower in achieving emission reduction goals in Manitoba, and emphasized the involvement of first nations as “equity stakeholders” in dam projects. Noting energy efficiency plans that incorporate low-income programming that engages inner city people, he pointed to resulting social justice and energy benefits. He also highlighted a coal tax that is due to come into place in 2011 and recent increases in Boreal protected areas.

   
 
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Governor Christine Gregoire, Washington state, highlighted various state-level policies in Washington state, including: statutory targets; tax incentives; and clean energy standards.

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Referring to the potential role for China and India in climate change action, Premier Jean Charest, Quebec, asked “unless we are ready to demonstrate that we are committed and ready to do what needs to be done, how can we persuade others to do as much?”

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Noting the large potential job-creation opportunities in the alternative energy sector, Governor James Doyle, Wisconsin, said states that do not get behind these types of ideas may find themselves wondering why all the jobs “went in the other direction.”

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Contacts

Robyn Camp (Coordinator) <robyn@theclimateregistry.org>
Vicki Arroyo (Co-Chair)<arroyo@law.georgetown.edu>
Diane Wittenberg (Co-Chair)<diane@theclimateregistry.org>

More information


http://www.theclimateregistry.org
http://www.georgetownclimate.org



   
 
 
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