Saying that “we are lost in an ocean of information,” Martin Hiller, Director General, REEEP, opened the interactive session, which presented information technology (IT) tools to help organize and manage data. He explained that information is much like salt, useless if locked in a silo but useful as an active ingredient.
Geoff Barnard, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), chaired the event, recounting the information explosion on the internet and the urgency of learning how to turn knowledge into action. He introduced the role of knowledge brokers to help connect information users and producers in overcoming Portal Proliferation Syndrome (PPS). He indicated future activities of CDKN: welcoming new members; establishing a secretariat; building national and sub-national portals; and increasing capacity building.
Anne Hammill, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), reported results from preliminary investigations aimed to better understand information users, inter alia: users tend to be research oriented; importance of curation of content on intermediary platforms; platforms do not replace people and the role of offline functions; and the reality of the digital divide.
Fatema Rajabali, IDS, Eldis, presented the Knowledge Navigator, a tool developed in collaboration with regional organizations and experts to support climate change professionals to access the right platforms, “linking people to the issues that connect us all.”
Florian Bauer, REEEP, explained how the tagging tool “reegle Tagging API” has helped to support users find information easily, quickly and correctly by: breaking down silos; avoiding duplication by analyzing unstructured text automatically; and bridging related tagged links to one another. He underscored the importance of consistency in not only sustaining access to information, but in supporting overall communications in climate change.
Jane Ebinger, World Bank, spoke about the Platform for Climate-Smart Planning as a tool to deliver correct data to all stakeholders. She recounted the demand for: a neutral space to access tools; a good search facility and the ability to house both regional and global data sets; and a help desk and remote support.
In addition to hearing feedback from information users and providers in the audience, discussions covered topics, including: harmonizing various knowledge broker platforms; promoting knowledge sharing on platforms; balancing tool development by crowdsourcing updated adapted tools; addressing off-line users; and improving engagement with negotiators.
Sam Bickersteth, CEO, CDKN, closed the session, noting “we have come a long way as curators of knowledge.”
William Ernest Ehlers, the GEF Secretariat, moderated the event. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, the GEF Secretariat, stated that the GEF is at the front of efforts to help developing countries cope with climate change, noting the need to enhance policy and planning at all decision-making levels. She stressed “learning by doing” to facilitate climate-resilient development and go beyond piecemeal approaches toward more integrated processes.
Ainun Nishat, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University, Bangladesh, highlighted Bangladesh’s NAP development process focusing on, inter alia: infrastructure to manage disasters; knowledge management and research; mitigation aspects; and institutional arrangements. He identified the need for scenario development, thematic expert groups, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and a focus on transparency and participation.
Aloysius Kamperewera, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management, Malawi, noted the need for a comprehensive approach to climate change, with attention to mitigation, adaptation and enabling factors. He highlighted a National Climate Change Investment Plan (NCCIP) in Malawi, supportive financing structures, climate change and environmental mainstreaming within sectoral plans and programmes, and the need to implement community-based climate change actions.
Rawleston Moore, the GEF Secretariat, emphasized that the GEF is the leading funding organization to support climate change adaptation actions. Emphasizing the need for country-driven and coordinated NAPs, he highlighted the NAP Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) which includes: a focus on targeted technical assistance; South-South and North-South cooperation; use of best science and expertise; and inter-country cooperation and exchange.
Pointing to NAP work supported by EU member states, Christoph Feldkoetter, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), identified four steps for initial guideline set-up: laying the groundwork and addressing gaps; identifying preparatory elements; crafting implementation strategies; and undertaking measurement, reporting and verification (MRV). He introduced GIZ’s development of a tool to support the NAP process, Smart National Adaptation Planning (SNAP).
Mohammed Zmerli, Ministry of Environment, Tunisia, described the NAP process in Tunisia, identifying the need for a sectoral adaptation approach, an ecosystem approach, and an integrated approach including early warning systems and a national climate change strategy. He acknowledged the use of the SNAP tool to, inter alia: assess human and institutional capacity; develop long-term visions and mandates; and address implementation, mainstreaming, participation and monitoring.
The ensuing discussion addressed: gender mainstreaming in NAPs; the relationship to Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs); the role of the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); support for NAPs in non-least developed countries (non-LCDs); and the role of water as a decentralized sector and possible engagement with NAPs.
William Ernest Ehlers, the GEF Secretariat;
Aloysius Kamperewera, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management, Malawi;
Ainun Nishat, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University, Bangladesh;
Rawleston Moore, the GEF Secretariat;
Mohammed Zmerli, Ministry of Environment, Tunisia; and
Christoph Feldkoetter, GIZ.
This session, moderated by Laurence Tubiana, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), discussed measures, presented in the World Energy Outlook Special Report “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map,” in the energy sector to increase 2020 ambition and keep the door open to the 2°C target, while imposing no net economic cost.
Laura Cozzi, IEA, underscored that the report focuses on what is doable and is aimed at policymakers all over the planet. She stressed that the energy sector, being the source of two-thirds of global GHG emissions, will be pivotal in determining whether or not climate change goals are met, underscoring the existence of both a policy and an emissions gap. She noted four policies that could keep us on the 2˚C target pathway, namely: introducing specific energy efficiency measures in transport, building and industry; limiting construction and use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants; accelerating the partial phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies; and minimizing methane emissions from upstream oil and gas production.
Zou Ji, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC), China, addressed policies currently being undertaken in the Chinese energy sector. He described efforts and challenges related to the energy, building and transport sectors.
Nathaniel Keohane, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), pointed to US policies concerning energy efficiency, particularly for the transport sector. He emphasized that the elimination of fossil-fuel subsidies requires congressional action, despite the administration’s willingness to proceed. He concluded that although the US has managed to reduce its energy-related CO2 emissions by 12%, much deeper cuts will be needed in the long run to meet the 2˚C target.
Ariane Labat, European Commission (EC), noted inter alia: the initiatives of the EU member states, as well as centralized efforts to improve energy efficiency; coal emission trading schemes; and integrated measures to look at inefficient subsidies. She stressed that the report provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to engage in a fruitful dialogue with policymakers.
Moderator Michael Liebreich, CEO, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, welcomed this dialogue bringing business into the heart of the Conference of the Parties (COP).
COP 19 President Marcin Korolec, Poland, stressed this dialogue is needed due to the complexity of the challenge, noting the need to include those who deliver economic growth. He called for advice from business leaders on what to include in the climate agreement in order to ensure the private sector has an even playing field.
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, called for a healthy dialogue on what is necessary to provide businesses with policy certainty and what the private sector can do during the transition from high-carbon to low-carbon growth.
Terezya Huvisa, Minister of Environment, Tanzania, highlighted the large role of the private sector in addressing climate change, outlining actions businesses have already taken on the ground, despite the fact that governments have not put in place needed climate change policies or adopted a global agreement needed to provide certainty.
The first panel addressed the question of innovation. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of Environment, Peru, said the business sector is already engaged in trying to find solutions to climate change, but stressed there are not enough tools to link the business sector to the negotiation process. He said behind innovation is the need to include long-term planning, such as through sustainable development and green economy.
Timothy Groser, Minister of Trade and Minister for Climate Change Negotiations, New Zealand, said innovation is the only silver bullet to address climate change, highlighting that the innovation ecosystem is made up of research and development (R&D) and diffusion, with investment as a key driver.
Khalid Abulief, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia, said stakeholders, including business, have not had a chance to share their concerns, lessons learned and views on the process, which he characterized as one of the worst failures of the negotiating process.
Philippe Cochet, President, ALSTOM Thermal Power, framed his response in the context of the energy trilemma, energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability, saying this requires an energy mix and innovation. He highlighted challenges, in particular related to bankability and insurability, in addition to the predicted returns.
Nicola Bruening, Director, BMW Group Representative Office Germany, stressed they are building the cars that policy allows them to build and highlighted that the younger population wants sustainable cars.
Zbigniew Palenica, Member of the Board, Solaris Civil Society, Poland, outlined their development of clean buses, which reduces pollution in cities. He said their products are sold to 27 countries and stressed that sustainability is desirable.
Lance Pierce, Executive Director and CEO, Ceres, outlined that a policy framework is essential, but that businesses are already tackling these issues through innovation themselves.
A second panel continued the dialogue into the evening, addressing how to optimize the climate policy toolbox.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of Environment, Peru;
Timothy Groser, Minister of Trade and Minister for Climate Change Negotiations, New Zealand;
Khalid Abulief, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia;
Philippe Cochet, President, ALSTOM Thermal Power;
Nicola Bruening, Director, BMW Group Representative Office Germany;
Zbigniew Palenica, Member of the Board, Solaris Civil Society;
Lance Pierce, Executive Director and CEO, Ceres; and
Michael Liebreich, CEO, Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Sustainable Development, World Bank, stated that over the last 30 years the world has lost nearly 2.5 million people and US$4 trillion due to natural disaster, underscoring the gender dimension. She shared that every dollar invested in early warning could save up to US$35. To support the global debate, she presented, the new World Bank report “Building Resilience: Integrating Climate and Disaster Risk into Development,” highlighting the importance of coordination at the national and international levels.
Juan José Guerra Abud, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico, described the geographic vulnerability to natural disaster of Mexico. Disclosing that this is his first COP, he expressed shock to hear more excuses than proposals from Parties, urging that actions need to be taken to save lives.
Ana Chichava, Deputy Minister for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs, Mozambique, called for resilient infrastructure to withstand the constant impacts of climate change experienced in Mozambique. She highlighted the importance of institutional arrangements to respond responsibly, create capacity, initiate mechanisms for coordination and support women and children.
Mulipola Titimaea, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa, recounted successful rehabilitation of infrastructure in Samoa, with help from the World Bank, inter alia: enhancing overall network of roads; managing knowledge and support for civil society; establishing an environmental trust fund; and improving early warning systems and weather forecasting.
Mary Ann Lucille Sering, Climate Change Commissioner, the Philippines, asked why “we do not have the political will to regulate industries,” stating that currently 90 companies are responsible for two thirds of global emissions. She lamented that public finance intended to build infrastructure must be redirected to loss and damage and adaptation needs, due to natural disasters. She shared that, although the Philippines has passed a Climate Change Act and Disaster Risk Management Act, there remains a need to shift the focus from reaction to prevention.
Jacob Werksman, DG-Climate Action, EC, reflected on Typhoon Haiyan as evidence of the risk the world continues to face, requiring efforts be doubled to cut emissions and build resilience. He reviewed European contributions, including technology sharing and capacity building programmes, to better prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Juan José Guerra Abud, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico;
Mary Ann Lucille Sering, Climate Change Commissioner, the Philippines;
Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Sustainable Development, World Bank;
Ana Chichava, Deputy Minister for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs, Mozambique;
Mulipola Titimaea, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa; and
Jacob Werksman, DG-Climate Action, EC.
Acknowledging President Obama’s Climate Action Plan speech in June 2013, Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), US, moderated the event, noting actions by the business community, which demonstrate that climate change can be a business opportunity.
Lance Pierce, Executive Director, Ceres, identified that the business sector is starting to move on climate policy. He introduced the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) Climate Declaration, stressing that “tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st Century, and it is simply the right thing to do.”
Identifying Philips’s work in the lighting sector over the last ten years, Harry Verhaar, Philips Lighting, acknowledged four drivers of change: rising energy prices; climate change; energy security and economic growth. He stressed the need to focus on benefits, including the economics of energy efficiency, while encouraging delegates in the business sector to remember, “big steps are possible if we team up.”
Thomas Lingard, Unilever, introduced a new corporate mission regarding making sustainable living common-place that underlies Unilever’s new business strategy. He stated that Unilever aims to double their business size, while reducing environmental footprints and emphasizing positive social impacts, in part by developing more efficient products and using full value chain mapping.
Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), IKEA Group, identified the need for policy certainty, emphasizing the ability of business to deliver if provided with “long, loud and legal” regulation and legislation. He pointed to IKEA’s efforts to design better products, such as energy efficient cook stoves, sustainable cotton, energy efficient lighting and flat-pack packaging. He pointed to initiatives in the US on renewable energy installations, stressing IKEA will not only “do” renewable energy, but “own” its renewable energy, including solar rooftops and wind power plants.
During discussion, panelists and delegates addressed, inter alia: identifying a business case for climate policy; voting and buying behavior; adapting the business sector to climate change; pricing carbon; lobbying policymakers and framing the debate on common themes, for example energy efficiency; and addressing partisan politics in the US congressional system. To this Verhaar noted, “we would like that our politicians spend less time on agreeing what to do, and more time on doing what they agreed.”
This side event, moderated by Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation (ECF), focused on the key findings of the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2013, addressing both its intergovernmental and national perspectives. Metz introduced the report, which is the collective effort of 70 scientists from 17 countries, laid out the structure of the presentations and presented the speakers.
Joseph Alcamo, Chief Scientist, UNEP, reported on key findings of the report, including more than 100 least-cost emission pathways, which have the likely chance of achieving the 2°C target. He noted, under business as usual, emissions are expected to reach 59 GtCO2e/year in 2020, while three GtCO2e/year will be avoided under the weakest case of current pledges. He emphasized that the level consistent with a likely chance of staying within the 2°C target is 44 GtCO2e/year, creating thus the emissions gap. Underscoring the urgency of bridging the gap, he pointed to moving towards most ambitious pledges, expanding the scope of pledges, and undertaking further national and international action in a number of sectors, including transportation, buildings and agriculture.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said the report constitutes an important tool as it enables us to visualize the extent of the gap. She underlined, inter alia: that all countries should be included in a ministerial level effort, irrespective of their pledges in the second commitment period; the importance of initiatives on efficiency and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) phase out; the existence of many examples that can be scaled up; and the need to price externalities, providing the incentive to do more with less.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, addressed the report as a reference point that can simplify the issues and pace us for the coming years to 2020. He stressed that while there are no significant numerical shifts in the series of gap reports, it is evident that the window of opportunity to address pressing issues is closing quickly.
Jochen Flasbarth, Germany, and Patrick Mabilo, South Africa, focused on the national perspectives. Flasbarth stressed, among others, the need: to increase ambition by setting higher targets until 2020; remove conditions from existing targets; and implement them in a strict way. Mabilo addressed South Africa’s efforts regarding energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management, land management and carbon capture and storage (CCS), underscoring that scaling up would demand financial and technical support.
In the ensuing discussion, participants focused inter alia on: who is responsible to confront the gap; safeguards on proposed solutions; methane from livestock; the Montreal Protocol; and related costs.
|UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) resources
Side events website
Schedule of all side events
Resources for the Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013
Conference overall schedule
Conference daily programme
COP 19 website
CMP 9 website
SBI 39 website
SBSTA 39 website
ADP 2-3 website
Host country website
Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change
IISD RS resources
IISD RS summary report of the Thirty-seventh session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-37), 14-17 October 2013, Batumi, Georgia (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: HTML - PDF)
IISD RS coverage of the Twelfth Session of IPCC WGI and IPCC-36, 23-26 September 2013, Stockholm, Sweden
IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2013, 3-14 June 2013, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference - June 2013, 3-13 June 2013, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Conference - April 2013, 29 April - 3 May 2013, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS summary report of the UNFCCC Expert Meeting on Technology Roadmaps and Fifth Meeting of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC), 25 and 26-27 March 2013, Bonn, Germany (Technology Roadmaps summary: HTML - PDF) (TEC summary: HTML - PDF)
IISD RS coverage of the Doha Climate Change Conference - November 2012, 26 November - 8 December 2012, Doha, Qatar
IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Doha Climate Change Conference - November 2012, 26 November - 7 December 2012, Doha, Qatar
IISD RS coverage of the Bangkok Climate Change Conference - August 2012, 30 August - 5 September 2012, Bangkok, Thailand
IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2012, 14-25 May 2012, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2012, 14-25 May 2012, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of the Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011, 28 November - 11 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011, 28 November - 9 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
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