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Cancún Climate Change Conference

Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Cancún Climate Change Conference

29 November - 10 December 2010 | Cancún, Mexico


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Windy weather
Traditional and colorful Mexican wool blankets.

Coverage on Friday, 3 December 2010

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IT Sector and Transformative Solutions:
Evaluating the State of Public and Private Sector Leadership

Presented by Greenpeace International
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Gary Cook, Greenpeace International, introduced "SMART 2020," an IT initiative to reduce emissions.
Ray Pinto, Microsoft, said energy control devices are an effective energy solution.
Michael Terrell, Google, highlighted the importance of liberating data and empowering technology users.

 

 

This event discussed the role of the Information Technology (IT) sector in delivering a clean energy economy through transformative solutions.

Gary Cook, Greenpeace International, introduced "Standards, Monitoring, Accounting, Rethinking, Tools" (SMART 2020) an initiative by the IT community in India to enable development of a low carbon economy through use of new IT solutions. He said use of IT could result in 15% reductions in global emissions by 2020 through the use of measures such as energy monitoring technology. He urged organizations like Facebook to build their technology infrastructures on clean energy. Cook said IT transformative solutions should be promoted at the policy level in order to fast track development in some countries.

Ray Pinto, Microsoft, said the ability to control energy use from household devices will enable users to reduce emissions in their homes. He explained that technology can be developed on cell phones and other electronic devices to contribute to reducing individual energy consumption. He said that by letting consumers send in their utility meter readings by text messages from smart phones, British Gas increased energy efficiency by 12%. Pinto highlighted “Eye On Earth” a global observatory by Microsoft which monitors air and water quality based on citizens’ observations. He emphasized that transformative technology can reduce energy use in developing countries, underscoring that Microsoft is working to create software and technology innovations that help people improve the environment.

Michael Terrell, Google, highlighted the importance of combining technology and data to empower individual technology users. He said climate policy challenges arise because of the disconnect between people and their energy use. He emphasized the need for energy information to be accessible and freely available and noted that being aware of energy consumption can lead to the use of energy saving measures by individuals.

Participants discussed, inter alia, the role of governments in developing energy efficient technology; and possible private sector investments to introduce IT transformative solutions in developing countries.

Contacts:
Naomi Goodman (Organizer)
<goodman@greenpeace.org>
 

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Adaptation Fund: Accreditation Process and Project Cycle

Presented by Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
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L-R: Marcia Levaggi, Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat; Alejandra Mujica, Uruguay National Agency of Research and Innovation; Hopeton Peterson, Planning Institute of Jamaica; Farrukh Iqbal Khan, Adaptation Fund Board; and Assize Toure, Centre du Suivi Ecologique.
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This event discussed the Adaptation Fund (AF) accreditation process for National Implementing Entities (NIEs). Farrukh Iqbal Khan, Adaptation Fund Board, presented on the current status and future of the Board’s work, saying the Board was in a “state of learning” but is accepting project proposals. He said the AF was the first direct access climate funding project in the world, but lamented that it is limited in nature, and expressed uncertainty about its ability to fund the 20 proposals it had received. He called for new ideas and new support, emphasizing that direct access builds capacity in developing countries.

Assize Toure, Centre du Suivi Ecologique (CSE), presented Senegal’s experience with NIE accreditation, noting it was accredited in March 2010. He said as an NIE, Senegal is empowered to switch from a “passive victim” to a dynamic actor in the fight against climate change. He described the role of CSE as working across sectors and cross-cutting environmental issues, highlighting a project on coastal erosion in vulnerable areas, which is likely to become part of Senegal’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).

Hopeton Peterson, Planning Institute of Jamaica, discussed Jamaica’s accreditation experience, saying climate change is a development issue, not only an environmental issue for his country. He said Jamaica earned accreditation in September 2010 after demonstrating “competence” in: financial integrity and management; institutional capacity; transparency; self-investigative powers; and anti-corruption measures. He said currently Jamaica is in the formative stage of a climate change adaptation program.

Alejandra Mujica, Uruguay National Agency of Research and Innovation, described progress in development of science and policy in her country as an NIE. She noted the Timbó Portal, an open access science publication site, as one of the projects funded by the government, and also described a number of agency and sectoral funds used for climate change adaptation work. She said Uruguay received accreditation in September 2010.

Participants questioned, inter alia: the NIE eligibility rules; Small Island Developing States accreditation; and the ceiling of AF funding. On eligibility, Khan explained that the Board is “not afraid of making mistakes but is afraid of not knowing they are making mistakes.”

Farrukh Iqbal Khan, Adaptation Fund Board, said examples from Jamaica, Senegal, and Uruguay show that developing countries can "take charge" of their development in the face of climate change.
Marcia Levaggi, Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat, announced that the NIE Accreditation Toolkit will be launched online in January 2011, in six UN languages, to provide guidance on accreditation.
Hopeton Peterson, Planning Institute of Jamaica, described how Jamaica overcame institutional challenges to become an NIE.

 

 

More Information:
http://www.thegef.org
Contacts:
Marcia Levaggi (Organizer)
<mlevaggi@thegef.org>
 

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The Reformed Financial Mechanism and Accounting of Climate Finance

Presented by Brown University and Oxford Climate Policy
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L-R: Benito Mueller, University of Oxford; David Ciplet, Brown University; Axel Michaelowa, University of Zurich; Saleemul Huq, IIED, Martin Stadelmann, University of Zurich; and Shardul Agrawala, OECD.
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This event discussed recent research on climate finance. J. Timmons Roberts, Brown University, highlighted key issues for climate finance, including those related to mechanisms for raising, governing and delivering funds.

Benito Müller, University of Oxford, summarized the results of two recent papers on climate finance. He highlighted their recommendations for strengthening local governance of climate finance, and reported that between 7,500-12,000 new staff will be needed for the climate regime to process US$ 30 billion.

Axel Michaelowa, University of Zurich, discussed a study on reasons for “over-coding” development funding as mitigation funding. He concluded that self-reporting by donors without oversight is prone to bias, and called for a sensible baseline. Martin Stadelmann, University of Zurich, called for a realistic baseline for new and additional climate finance. He proposed various options, noting that depending on which baseline you choose, Fast Start financing can be anywhere from 0% to 100% new and additional.

David Ciplet, Brown University, discussed the extent to which countries are meeting their pledged commitments from Copenhagen. Highlighting that only 10.3 to 16.1% of pledges are specific to adaptation, he stressed that a more equitable balance between adaptation and mitigation funding is needed.

Saleemul Huq, IIED, discussed the need for recipient countries to have a say in how funds are used. He noted issues of double counting and called for a baseline for new and additional funding. Shardul Agrawala, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), discussed the information presented by the panel noting, inter alia, that “over-coding” should be measured in terms of budgets not projects since large projects tend to have tighter quality control that smaller ones.

Participants discussed, inter alia: the prospects for use of taxes; and examples of new and additional finance.

J. Timmons Roberts, Brown University, said it is possible to track funds and by doing so, avoid problems that have plagued foreign assistance in the past.
Benito Müller, University of Oxford, said Fast Start funding should focus on capacity building to enable country ownership of funding decisions.
Saleemul Huq, IIED, emphasized that it is in everyone’s interest to agree on what the baselines for new and additional funding will be and how we will measure this over time.

 

 

More Information:
http://www.watsoninstitute.org
http://www.eurocapacity.org
Contacts:
J. Timmons Roberts (Organizer)
<timmons@brown.edu>
 

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Shifting to Low-Carbon and Climate-Resilient
Development in Asia and the Pacific

Presented by Asian Development Bank (ADB), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)
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L-R: Kyoko Miwa, IGES; Kazuhisa Koakutsu, IGES; and Kentaro Tamura, IGES.
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This event consisted of three panels highlighting mitigation actions in Asian and Pacific countries. Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, ADB, said Asia must reduce their emissions if the world wants to combat global warming.

The first panel discussed low carbon society (LCS) scenarios. Mikiko Kainuma, NIES, described LCS pathway models, explaining that NIES works with domestic research institutes. Priyadarshi Shukla, Indian Institute of Management, discussed India’s commitments, actions and drivers on LCS. He expressed optimism that India will offer a stronger emission reduction proposal than the current 20% reduction by 2020. Kejun Jiang, Energy Research Institute, China, highlighted that reduction in air pollutants is a significant co-benefit to LCS in China, and emphasized the importance of synergizing domestic climate and water policies.

The second panel discussed responses to climate change at the country level. Singgih Riphat, Indonesia, said his country is currently working on institution- and capacity building, and highlighted potential for geothermal development. Shafqat Kakakhel, Pakistan, discussed the impact of climate change on food and water security in Pakistan, highlighting potential for development of hydropower. Qingchen Chao, China, said her country has, among other thing, developed renewable energy, and enhanced carbon sink capabilities.

The third panel discussed carbon policy. Kazuhisa Koakutsu, IGES, presented on CDM reform saying the design of MRV systems needs to start with monitoring. Kentaro Tamura, IGES, presented results of stakeholder consultations on Asian domestic institutions’ opinions on NAMAs and MRVs. Kyoko Miwa, IGES, said the International Research Network for Low Carbon Societies (LCS-RNet), started by the G8 in 2009, integrates science into LCS policy processes and helps countries develop their own scenarios.

Noting the importance of agriculture in his country, Shafqat Kakakhel, Pakistan, emphasized that agriculture critically depends on water supplied from glacial melt and monsoons.
Kyoko Miwa, IGES, said LCS-RNet facilitates dialogue between policy-makers and researchers to identify gaps, and offers a fellowship for LCS researchers.
Mikiko Kainuma, NIES, described three models for a low carbon society.

 

 

More Information:
http://www.iges.or.jp
Contacts:
David S. McCauley (Organizer)
<dmccauley@adb.org>
 

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Around the Venue
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Spicy corn-on-the-cob is a popular snack food.
Plants at the venue soaking up the Mexican sun.

Related Links
UNFCCC resources
*Side Events & Exhibits website
*Side events schedule
*Cancún Climate Change Conference website
*Cancún Climate Change Conference overview schedule
*Cancún Climate Change Conference programme
*Cancún Climate Change Conference conference documents
*Climate Change meetings archive

General resources
*Host country website
*Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change


IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Climate Change Conference, 29 November - 10 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Global Business Day, 6 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Development and Climate Days at COP 16, 4-5 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2010, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS coverage of the Oceans Day at Cancún, 4 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-second Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 11-14 October 2010, Busan, Republic of Korea (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Tianjin Climate Change Talks - October 2010, 4-9 October 2010, Tianjin, China
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2010, 2-6 August 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - May/June 2010, 31 May - 11 June 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - April 2010, 9-11 April 2010, Bonn, Germany (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-first Session of the IPCC, 26-29 October 2009, Bali, Indonesia (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UNFCCC Technical Workshop on Advancing the Integration of Approaches to Adaptation Planning, 2-14 October 2009, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Bangkok Climate Change Talks - 2009, 28 September - 9 October 2009, UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2009, 10-14 August 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirtieth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirtieth Session of the IPCC, 21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - March/April 2009, 29 March - 8 April 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary report of the UNFCCC Workshop on Integrating Practices, Tools and Systems for Climate Risk Assessment and Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies into National Policies and Programmes, 10-12 March 2009, Havana, Cuba (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference - Poznań, 1-12 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Poznań Climate Change Conference, 1-12 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
*IISD RS archive of meetings on climate change, and backgrounder
*Climate-L - A mailing list for news on climate change policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate-L.org - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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