Climate Summit 2014 convened at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 23 September 2014. The Summit brought together 100 Heads of State, together with government ministers and leaders from international organizations, business, finance, civil society and local communities, to mobilize the political support and momentum necessary to reach a global agreement on climate change in 2015 and galvanize action on the ground across all sectors.
The Summit began with a high-level opening ceremony, followed by three parallel plenaries hearing national action and ambition announcements by Heads of State and Government. The morning ended with a joint conclusion and a private sector forum high-level luncheon took place thereafter. National action and ambition announcements by ministers took place in two parallel plenaries in the afternoon.
During the afternoon, multilateral and multi-stakeholder action announcements took place in three parallel sessions addressing eight action areas: finance; energy; forests; agriculture; resilience; industry; transport; and cities. Thematic discussions also took place in parallel, on: climate science; voices from the climate front lines; climate, health and jobs; and the economic case for action.
A number of major initiatives, coalitions and commitments were announced or launched during the Summit, such as: the adoption of a New York Declaration on Forests, which contains commitments to halve the loss of natural forests by 2020 and strive to end it by 2030; a total pledge of US$2.3 billion made to the Green Climate Fund (GCF); the launch of the Global Alliance of Climate-Smart Agriculture; the announcement by the insurance industry of intention to create a climate risk investment framework by 2015 in Paris; and the launch of a new Compact of Mayors.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The international political response to climate change began with the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, which sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The Convention, which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has 195 parties.
In December 1997, delegates to the third Conference of the Parties (COP) in Kyoto, Japan, agreed to a protocol to the UNFCCC that committed industrialized countries and countries in transition to a market economy to achieve emission reduction targets. These countries, known as Annex I parties under the UNFCCC, agreed to reduce their overall emissions of six GHGs by an average of 5% below 1990 levels in 2008-2012 (first commitment period), with specific targets varying from country to country. The Kyoto Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005, and now has 192 parties.
LONG-TERM NEGOTIATIONS IN 2005-2009: Convening in Montreal, Canada, in 2005, the first Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 1) decided to establish the Ad Hoc Working Group on Annex I Parties’ Further Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) in accordance with Protocol Article 3.9, which mandated consideration of Annex I parties’ further commitments at least seven years before the end of the first commitment period.
COP 11 created a process to consider long-term cooperation under the Convention through a series of four workshops known as “the Convention Dialogue.”
In December 2007, COP 13 and CMP 3 in Bali, Indonesia, resulted in agreement on the Bali Roadmap on long-term issues. COP 13 adopted the Bali Action Plan (BAP) and established the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) with a mandate to focus on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and a shared vision for long-term cooperative action. Negotiations on Annex I parties’ further commitments continued under the AWG-KP. The deadline for concluding the two-track negotiations was Copenhagen in 2009.
COPENHAGEN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, took place in December 2009. During the high-level segment, informal negotiations took place in a group consisting of major economies and representatives of regional and other negotiating groups. Late in the evening of 18 December, these talks resulted in a political agreement, the “Copenhagen Accord,” which was then presented to the COP plenary for adoption. After 13 hours of debate, delegates ultimately agreed to “take note” of the Copenhagen Accord. In 2010, over 140 countries indicated support for the Accord. More than 80 countries also provided information on their national mitigation targets or actions. Parties also extended the mandates of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP until COP 16 and CMP 6 in 2010.
CANCUN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, took place in December 2010, when parties finalized the Cancun Agreements. Under the Convention track, Decision 1/CP.16, inter alia, recognized the need for deep cuts in global emissions in order to limit the global average temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Parties agreed to consider strengthening the global long-term goal during a Review by 2015, including in relation to a proposed 1.5°C target.
The Cancun Agreements also established several new institutions and processes, such as the GCF, which was created and designated as an operating entity of the Convention’s financial mechanism.
Under the Protocol track, the CMP urged Annex I parties to raise the level of ambition towards achieving aggregate emission reductions, and adopted Decision 2/CMP.6 on land use, land-use change and forestry. The mandates of the two AWGs were extended for another year.
DURBAN: The UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, took place from 28 November to 11 December 2011. The Durban outcomes covered a wide range of topics, notably the establishment of a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, a decision on long-term cooperative action under the Convention and agreement on operationalization of the GCF.
Parties also agreed to launch the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) with a mandate “to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties.” The ADP is scheduled to complete these negotiations by 2015, with the new instrument entering into effect in 2020. In addition, the ADP was mandated to explore actions to close the pre-2020 ambition gap in relation to the 2°C target.
DOHA: The UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, took place in November and December 2012. The conference resulted in a package of decisions, referred to as the “Doha Climate Gateway.” These include amendments to the Kyoto Protocol to establish its second commitment period and agreement to terminate the AWG-KP’s work in Doha. The parties also agreed to terminate the AWG-LCA and negotiations under the BAP.
WARSAW: The Warsaw Climate Change Conference took place from 11-23 November 2013, in Warsaw, Poland. Negotiations focused on the implementation of agreements reached at previous meetings, including pursuing the work of the ADP. The meeting, among other things, adopted an ADP decision that invites parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), and resolves to accelerate the full implementation of the BAP and pre-2020 ambition.
PREPARATIONS FOR CLIMATE SUMMIT 2014: On 24 September 2013, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited global leaders and participants from business, finance, civil society and local communities to convene in September 2014 for the UN Climate Summit. The Summit, while not part of the official negotiating process under the UNFCCC, aims to mobilize political will to reach a global climate agreement at the Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015 and galvanize action on the ground across all sectors
Abu Dhabi Ascent: Held from 4-5 May 2014 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Ascent was hosted by Secretary-General Ban and the Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, Sultan Al Jaber, UAE. The Ascent brought together 1,000 government ministers, and business, finance and civil society members to discuss new initiatives and partnerships to address climate change that would be further developed in the lead-up to the UN Climate Summit.
The Abu Dhabi Ascent identified action areas around which elements of the Climate Summit have been organized, including: short-lived climate pollutants; forests; agriculture; cities; transportation; resilience, adaptation and disaster risk reduction; climate finance; and economic drivers.
REPORT OF THE MEETING
On Tuesday morning, 23 September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened Climate Summit 2014, thanking world leaders for showing “a bold commitment to a low-carbon society.” Recalling the goal to achieve economy-wide decarbonization by 2100, he emphasized the role of public finance institutions in mobilizing resources, notably promised under the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Bill de Blasio, Mayor, City of New York, emphasized the tragic deaths in New York due to extreme weather events and underscored the urgency for a global movement to tackle climate change. He announced the goal of New York to reduce 80% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighted three main messages: the unequivocal human role in causing climate change; the urgency to accelerate the pace of action; and the availability of tools to cope with the impacts of climate change. He concluded that business-as-usual is not an option, adding that the cost of inaction will be “incredibly higher” than the cost of action.
Al Gore, former Vice President of the US and Nobel Laureate, emphasized the opportunities to act on climate change, highlighting job creation, innovation, economic growth and prosperity. He underscored the significant expansion of the green bond market and concluded by saying that “political will is a renewable resource.”
Li Bingbing, Actress and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador, expressed her personal concern about the climate threat and stressed that the youth are eager to see their leaders taking action to develop a low-carbon economy.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor and UN Messenger of Peace, addressed the Summit as a “concerned citizen” and stated that climate change must be promptly addressed. Noting the need to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, he underscored that renewable energy (RE) is good economic policy and called for “courage and honesty” from global leaders.
Underscoring the problem of climate refugees, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, civil society representative, Marshall Islands, delivered a statement and recited a poem she wrote to her child, in which she promises to fight for a safe planet.
NATIONAL ACTION AND AMBITION ANNOUNCEMENTS
PLENARY 1: Morning: This session was chaired by Secretary-General Ban. José Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission, noted that the European Union’s GHG emissions have fallen by 19% since 1990, while GDP rose by 45%. Looking forward to finalizing a new global climate agreement at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in 2015, he restated the Commission’s reduction target of 40% of domestic emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
Barroso explained that 20% of the EU budget for 2014-2020 (€180 billion) will go to climate action and announced an allocation of more than €3 billion in grants over the next seven years to support sustainable energy in developing countries, to leverage between €15-€30 billion in loans and equity investment in sustainable energy infrastructure. He further announced the provision of a total of €14 billion in public climate finance to partners outside the EU.
President Park Geun-hye, Republic of Korea, announced that Korea will submit a plan to support the post-2020 climate regime and work with the GCF and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). She pledged up to US$100 million to the GCF, including US$50 million previously pledged.
Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark, announced an allocation of US$70 million to the GCF in addition to US$350 million provided since 2010 for climate finance. She highlighted the Danish Climate Investment Fund, a public-private partnership to finance climate-friendly projects in developing countries and emerging markets.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia, outlined a voluntary domestic pledge to reduce GHG emissions by 26% up to 2020 compared to business-as-usual, with an offer to increase reductions to 41% with international support. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonia, noted that EU commitments only cover 14% of all global emissions but that the EU will achieve greater emission reductions than is required by 2020.
President Sauli Niinistö, Finland, outlined the country’s long-term goal of becoming carbon neutral, with 80% emission reductions by 2050 and plans to phase out coal power plants by 2025. He also highlighted a national strategy to double the number of clean technology businesses by 2020.
President János Áder, Hungary, underlined that the country has achieved 40% emission reductions over the last 25 years and that its GDP has increased. President Andris Bērziņš, Latvia, noted national reductions in GHGs by almost 60% and called for a new legally-binding agreement by the end of 2015, applicable to all parties.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Italy, said his country will contribute a significant amount to the GCF. On renewables, he said that as of August 2014, 45% of the country’s electricity was from RE.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt, noted that adaptation is a priority for Arab countries, as well equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR). He said a new legal framework should not replace the UNFCCC.
President Anote Tong, Kiribati, called for genuine commitment and sacrifice to address the challenge of climate change and outlined his country’s contribution to marine protection in the Pacific and the formation of the Coalition of Atoll Nations.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya, called for new international commitments and scaled-up actions, with developed countries taking responsibility based on common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC). He underscored the need to operationalize the GCF, and looked forward to reaching a final agreement in Paris.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Equatorial Guinea, called for those countries whose technologies have caused climate change to assist developing countries to mitigate climate change. President Donald Ramotar, Guyana, called for deeper cuts in emissions from industrialized countries and emphasized that the 2°C goal cannot be achieved without REDD+.
President Peter Mutharika, Malawi, urged developed countries to provide finance, technological transfer and capacity building to address loss and damage. President Nicos Anastasiades, Cyprus, called on states to meet obligations in accordance with the timetable set out in Warsaw and called for the highest possible ambition.
President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon, noted efforts to conserve forests and land use. President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Madagascar, noted that climate change is now a general reference point for all national actions and called for commitments to be “brought to life based on a solutions agenda.” He called for measures to speed up access to renewable resources.
President Hassan Rouhani, Iran, noted that political disputes have become an obstacle to agreement and that Iran is ready to engage with other countries. He called for a comprehensive agreement on climate change.
Saying that his country is the eighth most vulnerable in the world, President Danilo Medina, Dominican Republic, expressed hope that COP 21 in Paris would result in a global decisive agreement. President Juan Orlando Hernández, Honduras, noted that his country is one of five most vulnerable in the world.
President Fuad Masum, Iraq, expressed appreciation for efforts to develop a new protocol or legal agreement and supported an inclusive and just approach. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, Japan, pledged funding to train 14,000 experts in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change in developing countries.
Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Iceland, expressed his full support for the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative and announced that it will increase support for the geothermal initiative of the World Bank. He reported that Iceland and Namibia have formed a group of friends on desertification, land degradation and drought in order to find sustainable development solutions.
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkeviĉius, Lithuania, said his country reduced GHG emissions by 56% compared to 1999 levels and reached the 22% RE target set by the EU. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia, said the country is in the process of establishing the institutional framework for a green climate economy. He announced that Ethiopia has abolished fossil fuel subsidies and started to produce biofuels.
President Christopher Loeak, Marshall Islands, noted that his country has taken strong actions to cut carbon emissions and, by law, all public buildings and infrastructure will be made more climate-resilient. He announced that Marshall Islands will table national climate adaptation legislation by January 2015.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Republic of Ireland, said his country is implementing legislation to underpin national climate change efforts and that climate justice is a key element of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta, announced that Malta remains fully committed to providing financial and technical support to developing countries, by, among other things, offering scholarships for climate-related fields of study.
President Alpha Condé, Guinea, called for taking decisions on funding measures for adaptation and mitigation. President Joseph Kabila, Democratic Republic of the Congo, noted plans to develop his country’s hydroelectric power capacity with the intention of meeting 35% of Africa’s energy needs.
Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, Grenada, explained that the country has signed a memorandum of understanding with the US as a pilot country of the regional energy initiative and with New Zealand for assistance in developing Grenada’s geothermal capacity. He called for a price on carbon to be introduced domestically and regionally on a voluntary basis.
Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Holy See, underscored the moral imperative to act, noting that market forces alone are not sufficient. He said the Vatican is taking steps to reduce consumption of fossil fuels through diversification and energy efficiency (EE) projects.
James Fletcher, Minister for Sustainable Development, Saint Lucia, noted that delayed mitigation impacts on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and increases their adaptation costs, expressing hope for an ambitious agreement with significant GHG reductions in Paris.
Afternoon: Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, serving as Co-Chair, welcomed participants to the afternoon plenary session. Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Greece, said climate policies are critical to both economic recovery and a sustainable environment. He expressed firm support for putting a price on carbon and endorsed it as an action for the Climate Summit.
Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Cuba, said environmental destruction cannot be solved by preventing the development of those who need it most. He noted that Cuba has focused its mitigation efforts on archipelago and coastal areas.
Oldemiro Balói, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mozambique, called for increased ambition for emission reduction targets, including through implementing the Warsaw Framework Decision on REDD,+ the Doha Amendment, the GCF and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.
John Pundari, Minister for the Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, Papua New Guinea, said the country has committed US$50 million to the Pacific Regional Assistance Programme. He also: called for inclusion of REDD+ in the 2015 climate agreement; supported the World Bank’s call for carbon pricing; and urged all countries to capitalize the GCF.
Eladio Loizaga, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paraguay, pledged forest certification for environmental services and indigenous communities, as well as projects to reverse the degradation of natural resources, and said the country’s national climate change policy is a main pillar of its national development plan.
Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture, Liechtenstein, reinforced its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and ratifying the Doha Amendment in December 2014. She said Liechtenstein will provide CHF600,000 for climate finance in 2015, and will continue to strengthen the involvement of the private sector in future projects.
Erlan Idrissov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kazakhstan, announced plans to decrease the energy intensity of GDP by 50%, and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40%.
Barbara Hendricks, Federal Environment Minister, Germany, announced US$1 billion in initial funding for the GCF, and called on others to pledge substantial funds before COP 20 in Peru. She outlined Germany’s commitment to reduce emissions by 40% of 1990 levels by 2050.
Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Information and Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs, India, noted its Development Without Destruction Programme and commitments, including on higher energy consumption with lower carbon intensity. He encouraged financial and technical support and capacity building for developing countries.
François Bausch, Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Luxembourg, announced a contribution of US$5 million to the GCF. He said COP 20 in Lima will enable parties to “set down a framework” for the Paris agreement, which needs to be simple, dynamic and flexible, and address financial aspects of combatting climate change.
Lorena Tapia, Minister of Environment, Ecuador, said despite contributing only 0.01% to global GHG emissions, her country is taking action to address climate change, including by building eight hydroelectric plants and reforesting 500,000 hectares.
Amir Peretz, Minister of Environmental Protection, Israel, supported a new global agreement on climate change, and said it has invested major resources in GHG reduction, with a focus on EE.
Rovana Plumb, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Romania, said her country has operationalized its Climate Strategy and Action Plan, focusing on transport, agriculture, infrastructure and EE.
U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, Myanmar, announced a nationwide programme of forestation, reforestation and protected areas, and pledged its support to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in responding to climate change.
Dunya Maumoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maldives, stressed the irony that despite their contribution to global GHG emissions being only 0.0003%, their entire existence is under threat. She called for an investment of US$1.5 billion for mitigation and adaptation in the Maldives.
Ousmane Ag Rhissa, Minister of Environment and Sanitation, Mali, announced a goal to make RE 10% of its energy mix by 2020 and the creation of an upper sustainable development council to coordinate efforts and strategies.
Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister, Pakistan, recalled recent flooding that displaced millions, among several other disasters triggered largely by climate change. She called for negotiating a “win-win” outcome on climate change, and said the world is facing “not just a threat, but also a threat multiplier.”
Noulinh Sinbandhit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Lao PDR, highlighted its commitment to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. He stressed that since so many Lao people rely on natural resources including forest products, synergy between sustainable forest management and rural development campaigns is essential.
Ali Saleh Al-Omair, Minister of Oil, Kuwait, said his country is working to diversify energy sources, through the use of wind and solar power, and highlighted that the oil sector is beginning to manage its GHG emissions.
Jorge Moreira da Silva, Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, Portugal, said citizens will not accept failure in Paris, which he said should produce a single, global, rules-based, legally-binding agreement, preferably a protocol, applicable to all, to keep the temperature increase to below 2°C. He also highlighted Portugal’s recently launched “Compromise for Green Growth.”
Carlos Raúl Morales, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala, committed to the Bonn Challenge of restoring forests in highly-vulnerable lands, with a goal of restoring 3.9 million hectares, as well as investments in solar energy, reducing carbon emissions, and collective management of land resources with indigenous peoples.
Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Jamaica, said his country will continue to reduce GHG emissions as far as practicable, and committed to expanding renewables to 20% of the energy mix by 2030 and doubling RE by 2060.
Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liberia, announced a national strategy on gender and climate change and new partnerships with Norway to reduce GHG emissions from deforestation and promote the use of sustainable energy.
Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic, pledged its support for the World Bank’s “Putting a Price on Carbon” Initiative, and announced the provision of US$12 million to developing countries for fast start financing, and US$5.5 million to the GCF over the next two years.
Abdyldaev Erlan Bekeshovich, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kyrgyzstan, said mountains as ecosystems are the most vulnerable to climate change, and highlighted hydropower as “the most important condition for achieving sustainable development,” suggesting that large hydropower stations could address both GHG and water scarcity in mountain regions.
Lina Pohl, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador, said developed countries must take action of a similar magnitude to what is happening, highlighted the Warsaw International Framework on Loss and Damage, and noted national mitigation actions, including an integrated transportation system in San Salvador.
Mario Lopes da Rosa, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Guinea-Bissau, said his country has begun preparations for a national adaptation long-term plan and called for technical and financial support, and technology transfer, to facilitate mitigation and adaptation.
Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eritrea, called for “global solutions and local actions.” He said climate change poses bottlenecks to food security and poverty eradication.
Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar, outlined its National Vision for Qatar in 2020, which involves diversifying the economy, reducing emissions and striving for greater EE.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Fiji, highlighted a national green growth strategy with goals to promote clean energy and called for support to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems.
Prime Minister Tom Thabane, Lesotho, emphasized commitment to the UNFCCC and its objectives, saying that the least developed countries (LDCs) deserve special attention due to high vulnerabilities.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of State for the Environment, Peru, and Co-Chair of the session, closed the plenary.
PLENARY 2: Morning: President François Hollande, France, and President Ollanta Humala, Peru, co-chaired Plenary 2. Speakers emphasized: GCF pledges; domestic mitigation, finance, and adaptation efforts; intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs); and a binding and effective treaty in Paris 2015.
Opening the session, Hollande announced a French commitment of US$1 billion to the GCF over the next four years. Calling for a first draft of the Paris agreement in Lima, Humala announced Peru would present its third National Communication and its Biennial Emissions Update Report at COP 20.
On climate finance pledges and INDCs, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway, pledged about US$33 million to the GCF in 2015, with the official amount to be announced at the first formal GCF pledging meeting in November 2014. She promised an INDC in early 2015 and announced forest partnerships through 2020 with Peru and Liberia to combat deforestation.
Vice President Simonetta Sommaruga, Switzerland, said Switzerland will: consider a minimum of US$100 million pledge to the GCF; ratify the Kyoto Protocol’s second Commitment Period; and unveil an ambitious INDC in early 2015.
President Borut Pahor, Slovenia, called for milestones to fulfill the US$1 billion in climate finance and also INDCs by major emitters in first quarter 2015. Deputy Prime Minister Andrian Candu, Moldova, underscored their EU Association Agreement and compliance with EU targets.
On country actions, President Manny Mori, Federated States of Micronesia, highlighted SIDS leadership on climate through, inter alia: the Palau Declaration of Ocean, Life and Future; the Majuro Declaration of Climate Leadership; and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) work plan on enhancing mitigation ambition to close the 2040 mitigation gap.
President Tommy Remengesau, Palau, said it would join Micronesia’s efforts on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Nepal, emphasized Nepal’s support of the Doha Amendment and the country’s national climate policy, with both national adaptation plans and local adaptation plans.
President Juan Carlos Varela, Panama, described legislation to grant authority to Panama’s environment ministry to implement climate change measures. He also discussed plans to take advantage of energy efficiency in the new lines of the Panama canal.
President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico, noting domestic priorities on carbon taxation, a national emissions registry, and GHG trading, said Mexico would support a Paris agreement and proposed an intergovernmental panel on water and adaptation.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa, said it would reduce fossil fuel use by 10% by 2016, matched by a 10% increase in RE, and aspire to 100% RE power by 2070.
President Benigno Aquino III, the Philippines, outlined his country’s efforts to decrease illegal logging, support early warning systems, engage stakeholders on disaster risk financing and insurance policy frameworks, and implement legislation to decrease disaster risk and improve disaster response.
President James Michel, Seychelles, stated that many SIDS face unsustainable debt levels, which hamper their efforts to improve resilience and implement DRR measures. He called for considering establishing a vulnerability index for SIDS.
President Faure Gnassingbé, Togo, outlined national-level actions to address climate change, including partnering with the UN Development Programme to develop a 2014-2018 action plan for sustainable development that supports the environment while eradicating poverty.
Prime Minister Siale‘ataongo Tu‘ivakanō, Tonga, noted that his country has implemented climate change and DRR policies, and urged the UN Security Council to consider climate change as an existential threat.
Prince Albert II, Monaco, said that Monaco hopes to reduce its GHG emissions by 30% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% by 2050. President Tomislav Nikolić, Serbia, urged adopting a long-term DRR framework at the Third UN World Conference on DRR, to be held in Japan in 2015.
President Filip Vujanović, Montenegro, highlighted the role of the Climate Summit to mobilize support and contribute to the acceptance of climate change as an essential issue. President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Mongolia, said the country’s herdsmen are already feeling the impact of climate change and stressed that the time to act is now.
King Felipe VI, Spain, noted its “unwavering commitment to this great challenge” through EU reduction targets and domestic efforts. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka, noted Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainable development.
President Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger, stressed that the impact of climate change is visible: Lake Chad has lost 90% of surface water in 20 years. He said Niger will continue its efforts on reforestation and develop a strategy for a sustainable forest sector.
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritania, stressed the need for technology transfer, and contributions to and operationalization of the GCF. President Mohamed, Tunisia, called for “radical solutions” to avoid travelling down a “collective suicide path.”
President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Namibia, said financial resources are needed for developing countries to comply with their commitments and urged for more technology transfer to help increase countries’ resilience and decrease reliance on fossil fuels.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago, supported net zero global emissions by the end of the century. Vice President Moisés Omar Halleslevens Acevedo, Nicaragua, called for a legally-binding global climate agreement to be reached in 2015, based on the principle of CBDR.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden, said Sweden aims to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and have zero net emissions by 2050. Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, Swaziland, said the world needs to “move from intention to reality” when addressing climate change. He called for assistance with capacity building, financial support and technology transfer.
Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, Tajikistan, lamented the degradation of Tajik glaciers, and called for action to address this. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, Timor Leste, called for universal action on climate change and a binding agreement in 2015.
Chief Executive Matteo Fiorini, San Marino, said San Marino supports a global effort to end deforestation by 2030. He noted substantial domestic investments in RE in industry and buildings aiming for 20% reductions in GHGs.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, Nigeria, said Nigeria has launched a food production recovery programme that grows more food in the dry season, and noted domestic progress on reducing gas flaring and improving gas pipeline infrastructure.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Netherlands, described its “Resilient City Initiative,” where the Netherlands is sharing knowledge on water management with 2000 cities worldwide.
Edna Molewa, Minister of the Environment, South Africa, stated that a global climate agreement must balance adaptation and mitigation, and suggested that a global adaptation goal be adopted as part of such an agreement. Hakima El Haiti, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Energy, Mining, Water and Environment, Morocco, said climate concerns have been mainstreamed into Moroccan legislation, policies and institutional arrangements.
Afternoon: Co-Chairs, John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, and COP 18 President Marcin Korolec, Poland, welcomed participants.
Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Belgium, said his country supports agreement in Paris, emphasizing that all countries must take part so that “efforts by some do not come to nothing due to others’ laissez-faire attitude.” He stressed that Belgium plans to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
Say Sam Al, Minister of Environment, Cambodia, said an agreement should be based on CBDR. Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Algeria, said adaptation is already being implemented through a green belt and innovation in a green economy, but that aid at the international level through finance and technology transfer is imperative.
Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia, said Australia will reduce emissions by 5% by 2020, which will be a 22% reduction from business-as-usual levels and is comparable with other major economies. She said they have committed US$2.5 billion to domestic emission reductions. Bishop stressed that all major emitters must act, noting they will consider their post-2020 emission reductions in 2015 in a manner that safeguards their economic growth and responds to climate change.
Winston Lackin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Suriname, called for partnerships to address issues and urged governments to accept binding commitments. Peter Ẑiga, Minister of Environment, Slovakia, said the financial crisis should not hinder efforts to combat climate change, but should rather be seen as an opportunity.
Alexander Bedritsky, Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, Russian Federation, said transparent systems for compliance will be needed under a new climate agreement. Mankeur Ndiaye, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senegal, said an agreement in Paris should include adaptation, technology transfer and sufficient means of implementation, urging that the unique situation and vulnerabilities of each country be recognized.
Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia, said reducing GHGs should not undermine economic growth or sustainable development, and stressed that the international response must respect the principles of the UNFCCC, in particular CBDR.
Luis Almagro, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uruguay, noted his country’s commitment to reaching an agreement in Paris, based in part on CBDR, saying COP 20 in Lima should not be a stepping-stone but a forum for concrete action.
Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore, called for a mandate to engage constructively on the road to Paris, while encouraging countries to act now domestically. He highlighted Singapore’s voluntary 16% reduction of emissions below the 2020 business-as-usual level.
Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Canada, stressed that all major emitters should step up and take action, highlighting Canada’s leadership as a founding member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) and current chair of the Arctic Council.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates, said constructive partnerships are needed to address climate change. Huseyngulu Baghirov, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Azerbaijan, highlighted that the country’s economic growth has been based on clean technology and that the government has been actively engaged in mitigation efforts.
Tshekedi Khama, Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Botswana, urged the adoption of a legally-binding climate agreement in 2015, whose implementation can be measured and verified.
Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thailand, stated that all countries have a responsibility to address climate change, but the extent to which they do this may differ between countries. Hector Marcos Timerman, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Argentina, stated that development cannot be decoupled from climate change.
Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sierra Leone, called for support for capacity building, predictable, scaled-up additional finance and full capitalization of the GCF. He highlighted that the country’s five-year development plan is based on inclusive green growth.
Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, FYR Macedonia, outlined national efforts to reduce emissions, saying the most cost-effective approach to energy supply for the country is replacement of coal-fired power plants with natural gas, hydropower and solar facilities.
Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sudan, said sustainable development is the logical framework for developing countries’ contributions to addressing climate change, due to the challenges they face. He underscored adoption of their national adaptation programme of action, which identifies the urgent needs for the most vulnerable and affected areas.
Mwansa Kapeya, Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and the Environment, Zambia, said they are piloting national adaptation programmes of action in the agriculture, energy, industrial processes and waste management sectors, but that they require medium- and long-term support to further these efforts. He outlined programmes in climate-smart agriculture, efforts to scale-up EE and deploy RE under the SE4ALL initiative and development of sustainable forest management and REDD+ strategies.
Jean Couldiaty, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Burkina Faso, said reducing GHGs requires the involvement of all stakeholders at all levels, including civil society and the private sector.
Camillo Gonsalves, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Consumer Affairs and Information Technology, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said his country is aiming for its electricity generation to be based solely on RE sources by 2030.
Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cameroon, highlighted the establishment of a climate change observatory to assess and note the impacts of and take relevant action for climate change in Cameroon. Savior Kasukuwere, Minister of Environment, Climate and Water, Zimbabwe, said the second National Communication and National Climate Change Plan assisted in defining national mitigation and adaptation actions.
Riad Malki, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Palestine, noted that climate change has affected their food and water supplies, saying that these effects are exacerbated by conflict. Christian Sossouhounto, Minister of Environment, Sanitation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Benin, said “humanity has proven that it has the ingenuity to combat climate change.”
Mbaïon Djiberki Rosine, Minister of Agriculture and Environment, Chad, called for a significant, but not necessarily legally-binding, climate agreement in Paris. Aramayis Grigoryan, Minister of Nature Protection, Armenia, noted the use of ecosystem approaches to address climate change, but stressed that regional cooperation is needed for this to be successful.
Abdallah Deng Nhial, Minister of Environment, South Sudan, reaffirmed that they are in the process of acceding to global environmental agreements addressing climate change, and of adopting a national legal framework to address environmental issues.
Lazaro Nyalandu, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania, emphasized his country’s emission reduction contributions, including legal protection of 28 million hectares of forests, a national programme to phase out charcoal use in urban areas and introduce wind and solar in off-grid rural communities, and exploration of hydropower and geothermal opportunities.
PLENARY 3: Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, opened plenary three, stating that the Climate Summit is building momentum to catalyze action.
President Evo Morales, Bolivia, on behalf of the G-77/China, declared climate change as currently one of the most serious global challenges and called on developed countries to provide US$70 billion per year until 2016 and US$100 billion by 2020. Urging respect for the provisions and principles of the UNFCCC, he emphasized the need for the post-2015 climate agreement to also focus on adaptation.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei Darussalam, reported on the country’s reduction of energy consumption and improved forest conservation, while stating the intention to improve marine conservation through, for example, the Coral Triangle Initiative.
President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil, stated that a new climate agreement must be legally-binding and respect the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC. She reported the successful reduction of deforestation in Brazil, which has avoided on average 650 million carbon tons per year since 2009. Rousseff also noted the robust role of renewables in the country.
President Bakir Izetbegović, Bosnia and Herzegovina, recalled the damage caused by severe floods in 2014 and stated that the reduction of natural disasters must be a priority for the post-2015 climate agreement.
President Luis Guillermo Solís, Costa Rica, reaffirmed their commitment to become carbon neutral by 2021, noting that 90% of their power production is RE-based and that with a hydropower project coming online in 2016, this will increase to 100%. He stressed that it is fundamental to support middle-income countries, calling for real international solidarity.
President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda, said industrialization and lack of electricity cause deforestation and reduction in biomass, and stressed that preservation of forests and wetlands in the Congo and South Sudan is crucial.
President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela, said capitalism is not sustainable and that “only when the last fish is caught and the last tree cut will major powers realize money cannot be eaten.” He emphasized “green economy” is capitalism in disguise and called for development that focuses on social and ecological aspects.
President Michelle Bachelet, Chile, said the country will reduce emissions by 20% by 2020, conditional on international support, and highlighted its goal of producing 45% of electricity by RE by 2025. She noted introduction of a tax on carbon emissions, and said an international agreement adopted at COP 21 should focus on the right to develop, CBDR, engagement of civil society and the transformative power of education.
President Bujar Faik Nishani, Albania, reported that it has implemented climate policies in line with EU regulations and declared that climate change is a threat to security due to conflicts over resources. He underlined the development of a new domestic plan for 2014-2020, that will mainstream climate change concerns into other policy sectors.
President Ivo Josipović, Croatia, noted a significant drop of GHG emissions between 2008 and 2012, and emphasized the multidimensional nature of climate change, notably related to security and human prosperity.
President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, Colombia, underscored the small impact of Colombian emissions on global climate change but recognized the importance of protecting the Amazonian region. He reported the development of a national adaptation plan and supported the achievement of the 2°C temperature target.
President Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgaria, recalled the 20th anniversary of the UNFCCC and highlighted the importance of EE when tackling climate change. He noted Bulgaria’s target of reducing 18.5% of GHG emissions by 2020 compared to 2005 and declared that energy “should not be used as a weapon.”
President Heinz Fischer, Austria, said more needs to be done in Austria, Europe and internationally to limit warming to below 2°C and to halve global emissions by 2050. He stressed the need for a new legally-binding climate agreement that is “fit for the 21st century,” as well as the integration of climate change into the post-2015 development agenda.
President Ikililou Dhoinine, Comoros, highlighted the exposure of his country to disaster risk, saying that change has been so swift, populations have trouble adapting to it. President Alassane Ouattara, Côte d’Ivoire, noted that implementation of the Hyogo Framework of Action is important to reduce disaster risk. He said the country is working to restore forest cover and promote RE to reduce GHG emissions, noting the goal to increase RE to 20% of the energy mix by 2030 and efforts to increase EE by 20%.
President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Republic of Congo, outlined the joint efforts of Congo Basin countries to comprehensively manage their forests through sustainable forest management, REDD+ and other initiatives.
President Catherine Samba-Panza, Central African Republic, noted the country’s vulnerability to both climate change and poor socioeconomic conditions, underscoring the negative impact of conflict on natural resources.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, declared that all countries must be included in a legally-binding agreement in 2015 based on CBDR and reported that between 1999 and 2012, Turkey has mitigated 21% of GHG emissions, excluding action on deforestation, and reduced 50% of its carbon intensity. He reported the goal of increasing the share of RE and improving forest protection.
Vice President Manuel Vicente, Angola, highlighted the establishment of a multidisciplinary committee to tackle climate change adaptation and called for the full capitalization of the GCF. Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich, Belarus, reported on the successful reduction of one-third of GHG emissions since 1999, despite an increase in GDP, and requested more attention to clean technologies and green investments.
Vice President Therence Sinunguruza, Burundi, expressed support for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and the Durban platform on enhanced action, and presented on the kick-start of Burundi’s adaptation roadmap.
Prime Minister Antoni Martí, Andorra, noted that, as a country with a population of 70,000, it cannot do much to reduce global emissions, but that it does feel the impacts of climate change. He stressed that climate change agreements must be integrated into national policies, saying the issue of climate change highlights the need for effective multilateral action.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Barbados, called for ensuring that global warming stays below 1.5°C, noting voluntary contributions in the area of RE and EE, which will be accomplished through taxes and concessions. He said Barbados is leading and catalyzing investment in biofuel at the national level.
Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu, said the time to pander to the fossil fuel industry is over and committed to increasing RE to 100% of the energy mix by 2020. He said elements of an agreement should include specific provisions on adaptation, including easy access to funding, a loss and damage mechanism, as well as economy-wide emission reductions by developed countries.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh, stressed that, despite being an LDC, Bangladesh has allocated large amounts of its own funding for domestic adaptation to issues such as saline intrusion and coastal flooding. She emphasized that the new agreement must: include adaptation and loss and damage; balance adaptation and mitigation; and include INDCs that are measurable and verifiable.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda, underscored his people’s frustration at a world where major powers talk of democracy and human rights, but are reluctant to admit climate change is real. He lamented failure to fully capitalize the GCF.
Kenred Dorsett, Minister of Environment and Housing, Bahamas, stated that climate change is “serious business” and explained that, with an increase in temperature of 3.7-3.8°C by 2100, Bahamas will no longer exist. He reported on the 30% increase of RE usage and declared that a legally-binding agreement by 2015 must be a benchmark for changing business models.
Deputy Prime Minister Raşit Meredow, Turkmenistan, highlighted his engagement in assisting the development of clean technology in Central Asia and the advancement of a national climate change strategy. He concluded by encouraging a systemic and multilateral approach to support decisions made in Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban and Rio de Janeiro.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, Vietnam, presented on the country’s development of a green growth strategy and national adaptation plan, explaining that these are intended to reduce GHG emissions in the energy sector by 10-20%.
Prime Minister David Cameron, United Kingdom, emphasized the historical commitment of the UK to tackle climate change and reported, inter alia, that his country is on track to cut 80% of emissions by 2050. He stated that RE use doubled in the last four years and that the first green climate investment bank has been created with £1 billion investments in carbon capture and storage. He underscored the UK’s commitment to provide nearly £4 billion in climate finance over five years as part of its commitment to keep investing 0.7% of its GDP as part of its international aid goal.
JOINT CONCLUSION OF THE MORNING NATIONAL ACTION AND AMBITION ANNOUNCEMENTS: President Barak Obama, US, highlighted the role of the US in building international coalitions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), notably methane, and the success in moving forward the target of reducing GHG emissions by 17% by 2017 compared to 2005. Stating that leaders cannot “condemn our children to a future that is beyond our capacity to repair,” he declared that “big nations” have the responsibility to provide leadership in this process. He declared that the US is on track to meet the pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, noting the US will put forward a new emission reduction target early in 2015.
President Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania, for the Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, stated that Africa requires financial support to implement climate policies and urged leaders to take serious action on climate finance. He emphasized adaptation priorities, climate-smart agriculture and establishing a legally-binding agreement in Paris as key global priorities.
President Baron Waqa, Nauru, for AOSIS, called for developed countries to lead, while noting SIDS have set some of the most ambitious targets in the world on climate change. He called for initial capitalization of the GCF at the level of US$15 billion and encouraged quick development of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.
Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, China, said China has legislation in place to ensure a 40-45% reduction in carbon intensity by 2020 from 2005 levels. He noted China will announce its post-2020 ambition on climate change as soon as possible to markedly reduce carbon intensity and aim to bring about peaking of emissions as early as possible.
Zhang highlighted that China will double its current financial contribution to establish a South-South fund for climate change and will provide US$6 million to the UN Secretary-General to facilitate South-South cooperation on climate change. On an agreement in Paris, he stressed sticking to the UNFCCC framework, including CBDRRC, meeting commitments, including on emission reductions, finance and technology transfer, and strengthening action for the future.
Chair Kutesa provided the highlights of Plenary 3 noting, inter alia: the call for a functional GCF; the need to support the most vulnerable countries; the growing use of RE; and the convergence on the 2°C target.
President François Hollande, France, and President Ollanta Humala, Peru, reported on the outcomes of Plenary 2 and stressed that finding a solution for climate change is finding a solution for poverty and inequality. President Humala urged for “concrete action” in Peru.
Secretary-General Ban closed the morning session, restating the need to provide leadership and invited global leaders to seize the moment to build a successful pathway towards 2015.
MULTILATERAL AND MULTI-STAKEHOLDER ACTION ANNOUNCEMENTS
In the afternoon, multilateral and multi-stakeholder action announcements addressed eight action areas: finance; energy; forests; agriculture; resilience; industry; transport; and cities. These sessions are summarized below.
FINANCE: The session on finance was co-chaired by President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico, and President Park Geun-hye, Republic of Korea.
Panel One: Low Carbon Finance: Co-Chair Nieto called for strengthening transparency and defining climate finance, and for efficient monitoring, reporting, and verification systems for finance. He underlined the need for adequate resources for capacity building and clean technologies, and for governments to foster “friendly” private investment. Nieto announced his country’s US$10 million contribution to the GCF.
Co-Chair Park emphasized private and public sector cooperation, low carbon transition, infrastructure, and clean technologies. She said governments should send clear and consistent signals for creating enabling environments and noted that her country will be the first Asian country to introduce an emissions trading scheme in January 2015. Park announced that the Republic of Korea will contribute to the successful operationalization of the GCF up to US$100 million.
Secretary-General Ban emphasized that climate change poses a risk to financial markets and undermines resilience, and asked governments to present bold commitments consistent with their obligations and capabilities. He acknowledged contributions from governments and expressed hope that others would emulate this.
Ban further highlighted the need for the private sector to redirect investments commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, and to boost green financing and green bond markets.
Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank, stressed that governments, investors and business need to work to together to maximize opportunities, price carbon, remove fossil fuel subsidies, and use public finance to unlock private investment. He noted that green bonds have been successful and that the Bank has committed US$42 billion to climate-related activities over the last four years.
Brian Moynihan, President, Bank of America, announced the Finance Initiative, which will invest US$10 billion in clean energy projects, issued the first green bond a year ago and identified ways to raise US$120 billion by 2020 in contributions to SE4ALL for RE, EE and energy access.
Jean-Yves Hocher, CEO, Credit Agricole, highlighted intention to cooperate with development finance institutions and noted that US$300 billion in green bonds will be raised by 2020. He also committed to underwrite US$20 billion in green bonds by COP 21 in Paris.
Matt Anderson, CEO, Swedish Pension Fund, called for reallocating capital from polluting companies to more carbon-efficient companies. He said the Fund will lead a coalition of institutional investors committed to decarbonizing US$100 billion and to disclosing the carbon footprint of at least US$500 billion in assets under management.
Enrique Garcia, President and CEO, Development Bank of Latin America, on behalf of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), explained that the IDFC is the world’s largest source of public-private finance and is on track to increase direct green climate financing to US$100 billion a year for new climate finance activities by the end of 2015.
Angelien Kemna, CEO, APG Asset Management, on behalf of the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change, said investment in green real estate has doubled in the last two years but called on governments to develop predictable regulatory and policy frameworks. She announced that three major Northern American and European pension funds would accelerate low-carbon investment across asset classes up to US$31 billion or more by 2020.
Shaun Tarbuck, International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation, and International Insurance Society, announced the insurance industry’s intention to create and monitor a climate risk investment framework by COP 21 in Paris, and also committed to double its green investments to US$84 billion by the end of 2015 and increase climate smart investments to 10 times the current amount by 2020.
Anthony Hobley, CEO, Carbon Tracker, expressed his organization’s interest in working with the energy sector and financial institutions to develop the right tools to reduce risks, noting that many high-cost projects are also carbon-intensive and present a risk.
Panel Two: Public Leadership and Smart Policies: Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway, called on governments to ensure that policies and frameworks promote the “right kind of investments.” She described the GCF as a game changer in the international response to climate change, noting that her country’s total contribution will be announced during the GCF pledge meeting in November 2014.
Gerd Müller, Minister for Development Cooperation, Germany, noted that his country is the world’s second largest donor of climate finance, and that it has quadrupled official funding over the last decade to €1.8 billion and pledged US$1 billion to the GCF.
Annick Girardin, Minister for Development, France, highlighted the country’s US$1 billion contribution to the GCF, calling for the Summit to provide new impetus to change economies and move forward while eliminating non-compatible investments.
José Manuel Durão Barroso, President, European Commission, said the EU was leading by example on emission reductions as well as financial commitments to partners, and that for 2014-2015, it would provide US$2.2 billion to developing countries in public grant financing.
Luciano Coutinho, President, Brazilian Development Bank, on behalf of the International Finance Club, noted that some members were considering allocating more than 50% of financing to green programmes and projects. He highlighted a successful new initiative in Brazil, the Climate Fund Program, which aims to guarantee resources to support projects or studies and finance undertakings that seek to mitigate climate change.
Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), said the IDB is committed to increasing lending for climate change and anticipated that lending would total US$1.8 billion in 2015. He reported that the Bank is working to develop risk mitigation instruments for investors.
Wrapping up the session, Co-Chair Park noted inter alia, that institutional investors have pledged to decarbonize US$100 billion by COP 21. She said that commercial banks were committed to issuing green bonds by 2015. She observed that the insurance industry would double its green investments to US$84 billion by the end of 2015.
Park said pledges by the private sector involved more than US$200 billion of financial assets by the end of 2015 and would propel countries to low-carbon and resilient economies, with SIDS and LDCs seeking their fair share of the pledges. She hoped that others would add to the capitalization of the GCF and called on governments and the private sector to look at implementation beyond this Climate Summit.
ENERGY: This session was co-chaired by Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark, and President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya.
Co-Chair Thorning-Schmidt called for innovating and accelerating action on energy, describing energy as a driver of economic growth. She noted that Denmark is hosting the energy efficiency hub in collaboration with UNEP.
Co-Chair Kenyatta noted that the energy challenge had moved on to how best to finance and accelerate the development of renewables, highlighting the launch of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor, an initiative of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), to promote renewable power in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission, highlighted challenges in Africa due to unreliable energy access, noting that Africa’s agenda to transform its economy will only succeed if the region can generate enough energy. She reported that Africa had decided to leapfrog development by putting sustainable energy upfront.
Handson Sindowe, Copperbelt Energy Cooperation, Zambia, highlighted his company’s activities, noting that Zambia is battling an electricity supply deficit but that RE through the Africa Clean Energy Corridor is poised to address this challenge. Francesco Starace, CEO, ENEL s.p.a., noted the need for an energy transmission and distribution system to minimize costs and maximize stability.
President Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa, highlighted the Third International Conference on SIDS held in his country in August and the Samoa Pathway that was an outcome of the conference. He launched the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, which is supported by IRENA and is aimed at deploying renewables in SIDS.
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chairman, Madsar, UAE, emphasized that RE is the climate solution that all countries can get behind and that the UAE has committed US$500 million in concessional finance. Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO, ABB Ltd., noted the enormous untapped potential in EE. He highlighted the need to stimulate action by providing clarity and certainty in the regulatory framework, and called for appropriate policies to incentivize desired behavior and raise awareness.
Saul Billingsley, Director-General, FIA Foundation, highlighted the global fuel economy initiative comprising six organizations and aimed at improving fuel consumption of cars and light vans. Charles Holliday, Chairman, Bank of America, noted that SE4ALL would double the rate of global energy efficiency by 2030 and that making buildings smarter is a low risk but high return strategy.
Barbara Hendricks, Minister of Environment, Germany, noted her country’s participation in the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, adding that €3 million would be committed to this. Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, EC, said the EU had mobilized €600 million in grants to fight energy poverty and that €3 billion would be mobilized for sustainable energy.
Hans Schulz, Vice President, IDB, highlighted support for geothermal energy in Latin America and the Caribbean, building on experience in the Clean Technology Fund.
Summing up, Co-Chair Kenyatta said SIDS are leading by example by setting an ambitious RE deployment agenda and that there is clear evidence that all regions have the potential to harness renewables and contribute to the global shift towards RE use.
Co-Chair Thorning-Schmidt said EE is the cost-effective pathway to decarbonize society but that it requires clever policies and a more systematic approach. She said the energy accelerator platform is game-changing by focusing on five high-impact opportunities.
FORESTS: Co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway, this session launched the New York Declaration on Forests. The Co-Chairs noted that the Declaration for the first time sets a timeline for halting forest loss, namely to halve the rate of loss of natural forests by 2020 and strive to end natural forest loss by 2030.
Co-Chairs Yudhoyono and Solberg also noted a complementary goal of reforesting an area the size of India within the next 15 years, which aims to reduce carbon emissions equivalent to three times India’s CO2 emissions, and positively impact on farmers, communities, and social development.
Solberg emphasized government and private sector action to transform markets by taking deforestation out of value chains. Yudhoyono highlighted Indonesia’s key commitments to forests: reducing 26% of GHGs unilaterally by 2020 and up to 46% with support in the forest sector.
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever Global, explained that dozens of businesses, governments, subnational governments, NGOs and indigenous peoples signed the Declaration. He stressed that climate change threatens business and stability.
Franky Widjaja, CEO, Golden Agri-Resource, said his company has been deforestation-free since 2011 and intends to continue engaging stakeholders and working with NGOs, including Greenpeace and The Nature Conservancy. He described their major initiative in Indonesia, which maps palm areas that can be planted and identifies which high-carbon areas should be preserved.
David MacLennan, CEO, Cargill, said their new palm oil policy is “the right thing to do.” He offered Cargill’s expertise in helping other actors in Indonesia undertake their own high-carbon stocks assessments and committed to reporting on their palm oil policy four times yearly.
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, urged additional action to: adequately protect peat lands; increase the amount of protected areas, especially for indigenous peoples; and continue Indonesia’s moratorium on new clearing of primary forest and peat land. He said Greenpeace cannot accept forest offsets, if the purpose of these is to allow continued pollution by fossil fuels.
Edwin Vasquez, Coordinator, Coordinating Body of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin, urged for clearer rights for indigenous peoples and for countries that have ratified the International Labour Organization’s Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention to implement it.
Agustin Teras Narang, Governor, Central Kalimantan State, Indonesia, discussed his state’s membership of the Governor’s Climate Forest Task Force. He said member states have agreed to reduce deforestation by 80% by 2020 in the Rio Branco Declaration, if funding is made available.
AGRICULTURE: President Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Netherlands, co-chaired the session. Issoufou introduced the session, mooting agriculture as part of the solution to climate change. With recent droughts in Niger, Issoufou said the country is already feeling the cost of responding to climate change.
Issoufou explained that Niger has launched the 3N initiative “Nigeriens feeding Nigeriens” to protect equipment, stock feeders, agriculture, and stockbreeders from desertification, including by planting trees. He said this is why Niger was one of the founding members of the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance created in June 2014, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Rutte announced the launch of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, which promotes food security and action on climate change. He said the Alliance has three main goals: sustainable and equitable increases in agricultural productivity and incomes; resilient food supply and livelihoods to climate change; and reduced GHG emissions wherever possible.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, Nigeria, discussed food security and agriculture, noting the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods, which sets targets for member states to achieve by 2025 including: ending hunger; making 30% of pastoral, farmer and fisher households resilient; and improving social security for rural workers.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair, African Union Commission, emphasized that women in Africa are 70% of the agriculture workforce, and commitments must be made to empower women through land rights and access to markets. Ishmael Sunga, CEO, Southern Africa Confederation of Agricultural Unions, stressed that scalable solutions, notably related to investments in research and development, are critical.
Don Thompson, CEO, McDonald’s, said McDonald’s sources from 5.5 million farmers around the world and that 35% of its carbon footprint and 33% of its water footprint comes from beef. He reported that McDonald’s has pledged to use only verified sustainable beef by 2016.
Thompson said McDonald’s has partnered with WWF and Wal-Mart to convene a global roundtable on sustainable beef to develop standards consistent with climate-smart agriculture.
Mike Duke, Chairman, Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, Wal-Mart International, pledged that Wal-Mart will work with suppliers and other partners over the next 10 years to improve water and yields, and to reduce GHG emissions in food supply chains.
Sonali Bisht, Founder and Advisor, Institute of Himalayan Environmental Research and Education, said her organization has been working to help protect smallholder farmers from crop failure due to changing weather patterns.
Juan Lucas Restrepo Ibiza, Chair, Global Forum on Agricultural Research, said his organization links science and society, highlighting the role of research and development networks in meeting the challenge of climate-smart agriculture. He highlighted that the organization is committed to working with the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture to actively support research into new systems, increase understanding of local knowledge, and support partnerships.
RESILIENCE: Co-Chair Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, Japan, opened the session on resilience, saying Japan has an adaptation initiative to support developing countries with a particular focus on SIDS, and would be sharing experience and knowledge in the field of adaptation within three years. He proclaimed that 2015 will be a big year for DRR with: a Post-Hyogo Framework for Action under the World Conference on DRR; the post-2015 development agenda; and a new international agreement on climate change in Paris.
Co-Chair Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Barbados, highlighted challenges faced by LDCs and SIDS and outlined initiatives undertaken by Barbados to reduce disaster risk. He urged synergies between risk management and sustainable development for effective climate and disaster resilience through scaled-up action.
President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda, highlighted the importance of capacity building to increase resilience. Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, Grenada, congratulated the World Bank for issuing the first catastrophe bond to help Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CRIF) diversify beyond reinsurance markets into capital markets. He expressed hope that CRIF would find synergies with similar innovative risk financing efforts underway in the Pacific and African regions.
Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, EC, announced it would increase its support of vulnerable regions, including Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, to €180 million and increase its current contribution to the Global Climate Change Alliance by €70 million. He said the EU is supporting post-disaster needs assessments and recovery guides in conjunction with the World Bank and the UN.
John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, US, announced initiatives under the Obama administration: an executive order for all US agencies to integrate climate resilience into overseas aid; public release of US data in 2015 and provision of technical support to help local and regional planners prepare for weather related disasters; coordination of a US effort to develop reliable risk outlooks for extreme weather events over longer time horizons; and a new public-private consortium on climate data.
Janet Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation, presented the “US$100 million in 100 Cities” challenge to spur resilience in 100 cities worldwide, emphasizing the importance of focusing on ecosystem resilience and the built environment for climate resilience and noting the Foundation is investing US$500 million in building economic, social and climate resilience.
Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, stressed the urgency of integrating and strengthening the use of climate information at all levels of disaster planning. He noted that the organization is quadrupling the number of cities in which it implements comprehensive urban disaster risk programmes.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chairperson, Governing Board, African Risk Capacity, said the organization has piloted drought insurance policies purchased by, inter alia, Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, and reinsured by Swiss RE. With cooperation from the UN World Food Programme, she said they expect another eight countries to join in 2015, and announced the launch of an extreme climate facility, which will issue catastrophe bonds in the range of US$500 million to US$1 billion in 2016.
Michael Liès, CEO, Swiss RE, argued the importance of risk-based pricing and pledged to use Swiss RE’s financial capacity and expertise to help nations develop DRR solutions. He committed that by 2015, Swiss RE would advise 50 countries on climate DRR and offer insurance protection of US$10 billion.
Jack Dangermond, CEO, ESRI, announced a new grant programme for GIS applications and committed to earmark US$500 to support capacity building for land-use planning for risk-averse development planning.
Dominic Casserley, CEO, Willis, described Willis Re’s “1 in 100” initiative that would work between now and Paris to determine how this risk metric could be applied to public and private accounting standards, to better prepare entities for climate risk. He pledged to report on progress.
INDUSTRY: Doris Leuthard, Federal Chancellor, Switzerland, and Gina McCarthy, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, US, chaired this session.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Namibia, stated that partnerships must embrace both environmental and economic aspects in order to ensure prosperity.
Helge Lund, CEO, Statoil, and Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund, announced the launch of the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership under the CCAC. They explained that oil and gas industry leaders including BG Group, ENI,Pemex, PTT, Southwestern Energy and Statoil, together with national governments, have committed to systematically reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production, and publicly report on progress in a transparent, credible manner. They underlined the relevance of systematic monitoring and reporting in order to achieve progress in reducing emissions.
Khalid Al-Falih, CEO, Saudi Aramco, expressed his organization’s commitment to a low-carbon future. He emphasized the importance of leveraging innovation and technology as a way to improve production and expressed willingness to join the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership.
Kevin Fay, Executive Director, Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, announced support by a number of governments, as well as IGOs and NGOs, to begin negotiations in 2014 on an amendment to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. He noted that emissions accounting and reporting would remain under the UNFCCC.
With the support of global refrigerant organizations representing 90% of air conditioning and refrigerant emissions, Mike Lamach, Chairman and CEO, Ingersoll Rand, announced the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative on HFCs in servicing. He explained that the initiative partners have committed to reduce global emissions in the sector by 30-50% within 10 years. He also announced broad sector support for the Global Cold Food Chain Council to reduce the use and emissions of HFCs and enhance EE in the cold food chain.
Citing the difficulty in measuring emissions from freight, Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Smart Freight Centre, announced the Green Freight Global Plan of Action, which commits a number of governments to work with companies, such as Deutsche Post DHL, Hewlett Packard, Volvo and IKEA, to expand and harmonize freight programmes that reduce black carbon and CO2 emissions from global freight transportation.
On municipal solid waste (MSW), Parks Tau, Mayor, City of Johannesburg, South Africa and 30 other cities committed to take “ambitious action” to reduce SLCP emissions. Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO, Veolia, endorsed the MSW initiative and invited other mayors to join, recalling that SLCPs contribute to 40% of current GHG emissions.
TRANSPORT: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago, and Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, EC, co-chaired the session. Highlighting the challenges, opportunities and importance for the sector to reduce emissions, they invited announcements related to public transport, railway, electric vehicles and aviation.
On public transport, Alain Flausch, International Association of Public Transport (UITP), announced the UITP Declaration on Climate Leadership. He noted approximately 350 climate pledges from 110 public transportation groups, on new electric and hydrogen bus initiatives, rail lines, metro extensions, trams and other sustainable transportation actions. He explained that the goal is to double global market share of electric and hydrogen-fueled public transport by 2025, in order to avoid over one million tons of CO2 emissions.
On railways, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, International Union of Railways, launched the Low Carbon Sustainable Rail Transport Challenge. He underscored that the initiative, which includes 240 rail sector members in more than 50 countries, aims to reduce CO2 emissions from rail by 75% from 1990 levels by 2050, with the goal of saving one gigaton of CO2 emissions through increased EE and increased rail use for passenger transportation and freight.
On electric vehicles (EV), Wang Chuanfu, BYD Group, announced the Urban Electric Mobility Vehicles Initiative. He outlined how governments, the private sector and NGOs would work together to increase the share of EV, including buses and taxis, to 30% by 2020 with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in cities by 30% by 2050. He noted that infrastructure to support EV development is also crucial.
Pierre Mongin, RATP Group, outlined the Group’s goal of developing an electric or biodiesel bus system with zero CO2 and particulate emissions, and zero noise.
Alex Rugamba, African Development Bank, highlighted that at Rio+20, eight multilateral development banks committed US$175 billion to assist developing countries to develop more sustainable transport. He reconfirmed support for projects related to green freight, public transport, railway, EV and others, and expressed willingness to consider providing lending and non-lending support where requested.
On aviation, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, International Civil Aviation Organization, announced a number of mitigation actions including: more efficient and sustainable technology and fuels for new aircrafts; revisions to reduce emissions from existing aircrafts; improved infrastructure and air traffic management; and designing an effective, global, market-based measure for international aviation for implementation by 2020.
Cornie Huizenga, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport, commented that all of the commitments from this session, together with commitments announced on fuel economy and green freight, have the potential to create transformational change for the sector.
Concluding, Co-Chair Hedegaard highlighted that the actions proposed will have many co-benefits and that, if all efforts were combined, the International Energy Agency estimates that a low-carbon transport sector could yield savings of US$70 trillion by 2050.
Co-Chair Persad-Bissessar emphasized the potential for these announcements to catalyze low-carbon transport infrastructure financing, innovation and emission reductions, while facilitating “better integration of transport in the climate negotiations.”
CITIES: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Italy, and President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, Tunisia, co-chaired the session. Co-Chair Renzi recalled that urban areas are home to half of the world’s population, but generate around 80% of global economic output. Co-Chair Marzouki underlined that full cooperation and coordination of subnational partners is vital for robust national climate action.
John Podesta, Counselor to the President, US, emphasized the importance of local leaders dealing with the effects of climate change practically. Reporting on increased investments in community resilience, he announced US$3.6 billion dollars to support climate change projects in US cities.
Jerry Brown, Governor of California, US, stressed the importance of combining both bottom-up and top-down approaches when regulating climate change. Noting initiatives undertaken in California, he highlighted the collection of US$800 million via the CO2 cap-and-trade scheme in his state and suggested giving more autonomy to cities to handle their taxes.
Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil, stressed that environmental degradation means social exclusion. She recalled the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference, which stressed the importance of investing in urban resilience.
Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and former Mayor of New York City, highlighted the opportunities that cities present for effective reduction of GHGs. Noting his report to the Secretary-General, in partnership with C40 and the Stockholm Environment Institute, he emphasized that cities have the potential to reduce annual GHG emissions by an additional 3.7 gigatons of CO2 equivalents by 2030 beyond what national actions are set to achieve and 8 gigatons of CO2 equivalents by 2050.
Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, announced the Compact of Mayors, an initiative that brings together over 2,000 cities committed to take further action on climate change by reducing emissions by 454 megatons by 2020. Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul, Republic of Korea, explained that the initiative will function as a reporting platform that, for the first time, will be available for cities around the world to consult on best practices and tools for climate mitigation and adaptation. He noted that International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), C40 and other stakeholders are partners in this initiative.
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France, identified main messages, including the need to: ensure complementarity between actions and the international and sub-national levels; secure transparent and continuous funding for long-term challenges; and to scale-up urban climate investments.
Akihiko Tanaka, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency, announced his association with the City Climate Finance Leadership Alliance and contribution of US$7 billion to it. Anne Paugam, CEO, Agence Française pour le Dévelopemment, also expressed support to the Alliance.
Neeraj Sahai, CEO, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services, welcomed the advancement of several urban initiatives and stated his company’s willingness to work with the Alliance particularly in advising on urban investment decision-making aiming to tackle climate change.
Highlighting the importance of climate justice, Simon Edem Asimah, Member of Parliament, Ghana, stated that climate change is largely a result of human action and requires human-driven solutions.
Nomusa Dube, Member of the Executive Council for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, South Africa, declared that the climate crisis is also a social crisis and called for respecting CBDR. She endorsed the Compact of Mayors and expressed her support for the initiative.
Bloomberg concluded the session thanking all partners for their leadership and willingness to mobilize climate action at the city level.
In the afternoon, in parallel with the multilateral and multi-stakeholder announcements, thematic discussions took place on: climate science; voices from the climate front lines; climate, health and jobs; and the economic case for action. These discussions are summarized below.
CLIMATE SCIENCE: President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Mongolia, underlined the need for North-South cooperation in the field of climate science, saying that youth have the biggest stake in climate change.
Premier Aleqa Hammond, Greenland, explained that climate change is resulting in fading cultures and traditions. She said science and traditional knowledge must go hand-in-hand to combat climate change, and that a holistic approach for sustainability is needed. Hammond noted that adaptation and mitigation through traditional knowledge can contribute to lasting solutions.
Thomas Stocker, Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group I, said three elements are important for bringing the best information to the public: robust science; simple language; and the multiplication and amplification of the message. He explained that current knowledge is a result of high-quality observations and the modeling of current and future climate changes, urging experts to communicate on this issue in more understandable terms.
Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, IUCN, called for an interdisciplinary approach, stressing that nature’s “infrastructure” can help find a solution. She also stressed the need to include gender considerations in climate discussions and to demonstrate the effect of climate change on women.
Barbara Frost, Chief Executive, WaterAid, underlined that extending access to water, sanitation, and hygiene will help people adapt to the challenges of climate change. She spoke on the role of civil society in disseminating information about climate change and said that empowering people at the local level can help build resilient societies.
John Holdren, Senior Advisor to the President for Science and Technology, US, said the US is very committed to advancing climate science and making the science and tools needed available as global public goods.
Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu, said the application of science sometimes stands in the way of accessing adaptation resources because of a lack of SIDS-specific information, and called for efforts to better reflect this in current climate knowledge.
President Donald Ramotar, Guyana, stressed the need to not only restore forests, but to also maintain existing forests. He reminded the audience that science has not only identified the problems, but has also identified the solutions.
VOICES FROM THE CLIMATE FRONTLINES: President Evo Morales, Bolivia, said the issues of carbon pricing and fossil fuel markets are at the center of the climate problem. He stressed the need to promote holistic development in harmony with Mother Earth.
Christina Ora, Youth Activist, Pacific Youth Council, noted that getting the message about climate change impacts across might be aided by publicizing stories of what happens on the ground. She called for access for activists to the closed negotiations at the UNFCCC COP.
Ronan Farrow, Host of ‘Ronan Farrow Daily’ on MSNBC, said that “telling stories” is at the core of addressing climate change as only 24% of Americans care about this topic. He underlined that the major obstacle to reporting on climate change is that climate change is not immediate, people do not care, and the audience rating is very low.
Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation, stressed that climate change is about human rights and emphasized the capacity of women to mobilize and participate at the local level and become agents of change. She called for solving the problem of women’s participation by removing participation barriers and enabling women’s leadership.
Sylvia Atugonza Kapello, Head, Riamiriam Civil Society Network, Karamoja, Uganda, noted that mobility is a key adaptation mechanism. She emphasized that the system needs to change to ensure that those most affected are included at the decision table, otherwise solutions will be artificial. She concluded that climate change is no longer an issue of negotiation, but of survival.
Alina Saba, Research and Community Organizer, Mugal Indigenous Women’s Upliftment Institute and Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Nepal, said there needs to be an equitable distribution of resources between developed and developing countries, stressing that developed countries need to be accountable for the climate change burden.
Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu, emphasized that climate change is an issue of human rights, not about saving economies and budgets. He said Tuvalu will not support to join the Security Council, any country that does not take climate change seriously.
CLIMATE, HEALTH AND JOBS: This thematic panel was co-chaired by President Sauli Niinistö, Finland, and Richard Horton, UN Independent Expert Review Group. In opening remarks, Niinistö described how Finland has reduced fine particle emissions by 92% by switching to, inter alia, energy efficient production. Horton outlined threats to food security and safe water.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Board Member, UN Foundation, stressed the links between human and planetary health and identified co-benefits of climate action, including jobs and health. Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, said “there are no jobs on a dead planet” and noted that the numbers employed in RE will triple by 2030.
Ramanathan Veerabhadran, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, US, described black carbon produced by diesel vehicles and cook stoves as a perfect example of the link between public health, the economy and jobs.
Tang Jie, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen, China, described how the central government in China has challenged local governments to meet low-carbon emission targets, and is seeking to transform the economic growth model through a shift from an emphasis on speed to quality.
The panel also discussed: the persistence of a silo mentality in government departments; fossil fuel subsidies; the removal of chlorofluorocarbons and climate impact; systematic adaptation, including job benefits of restoring mangroves as coastal defenses; reducing the health sector’s carbon footprint; investing in the replacement of kerosene lamps; prioritizing clean energy for the three billion people lacking access to sustainable energy; Norway’s approach to oil and gas exploitation; gender equity and workers’ health and diet; and climate justice.
In closing remarks, Co-Chair Niinistö said governments need to have courage to address climate action. Co-Chair Norton noted: agreement that the climate-health linkage is a neglected, but critical dimension, of the climate challenge; the need for government ministries to emerge from their policy silos and act with confidence in the science of climate change; climate change must be part of the SDGs, as an individual goal and as a cross-cutting theme; local mitigation actions ought to begin now and not await the outcomes of COP 21; the need for confidence building among decision-makers so that action on climate change, health and wellbeing comes to be regarded as the smart thing to do; and the need for stronger accountability in the new climate change policy era.
Co-Chair Norton further underlined that this is the right moment to organize a coalition of interests across government, civil society, the private sector and the scientific community.
ECONOMIC CASE FOR ACTION: This thematic panel was co-chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia. Erdoğan noted that combating climate change will drive developments in science, technology and innovation.
The moderator, Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, highlighted the need to align other policies with climate change action, and contrasted calls for a carbon price with the billions of dollars currently spent on fossil fuel subsidies. He invited panelists to reflect on two recent reports: the ‘Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report’ by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, led by panelist Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico, and the ‘Pathways to Deep Carbonization’ report by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, led by panelist Jeffrey Sachs.
Calderón described how science has now proven its case on anthropogenic climate change and that it is now possible to make the case for decarbonizing economies and fostering competitiveness. He cited the example of New York City’s 20% reduction in GHGs and a shifting public opinion.
Sachs said the world will only be safe within the 2°C target and that this will require a deep decarbonization pathway for the economy over the next 35 years, leading to zero net GHG emissions by 2070. He cited the report’s conclusions that while decarbonization is feasible, with a determined effort, it will require massive public investment.
Leena Srivastava, Executive Director, The Energy and Resources Institute, agreed that decarbonization is possible for India but noted the challenge of capacity and capabilities. She cautioned that work on fossil fuel subsidies must recognize the problem of affordability.
Jintao Xu, Director, China Centre for Energy and Development, Peking University, said he was impressed by the report on decarbonization and stressed China’s complex energy challenges in rural communities where reforms in land and forest tenure will have some impact, including a reduction in China’s demand for timber imports.
From the floor, Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics, suggested that the economic debate leading up to COP 21 could be assisted by the adoption of shared language on “equal access to sustainable development,” which is more dynamic and less divisive than the static discourse on CBDR. He called for the 2°C target to be fully incorporated into the understanding of what is sustainable, while development reflects the elements addressed in the SDGs.
During a discussion, panelists also raised: the merits of a carbon tax and drawbacks of using carbon trading for a “stock pollutant” such as carbon; generating political support for a new climate economy; mandating carbon capture and storage if coal-fired plants are permitted; embracing limits and abandoning drilling in the Arctic; the merit of a carbon levy for local governments in China; and internalizing carbon externalities, including public health impacts.
Co-Chair Desalegn highlighted the need to address a perception that climate action is incompatible with economic growth, which underlies the difficulty in achieving agreement in the negotiations.
Secretary-General Ban thanked delegates for their contributions and summarized the proceedings, underscoring that never had so many world leaders gathered in one place to address climate change. He outlined a number of initiatives and commitments made during the Summit and said that “as we walk the road to Lima and Paris, let us look back on this as the day we decided as a human family to put our house in order and make it livable for future generations.”
President Ollanta Humala, Peru, highlighted this Summit as an important step forward in the negotiating process and outlined that key objectives for COP 20 in Lima, Peru, are a clear and coherent negotiating document, approved rules for national contributions from all countries, confirmation of the capitalization of the GCF, and adoption by more countries of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.
Underscoring the need for ambitious action to move the world away from the precipice, former First Lady of South Africa Graça Machel, Graça Machel Trust, questioned whether leaders can genuinely say that they took enough action during the Summit to keep future generations safe. She called on all to step up ambition, increase momentum and ensure that from now until Paris everyone has matched the momentousness of the challenge with their actions.
Following a performance by Natasha Bedingfield and Toby Gadd, Secretary-General Ban gaveled the Summit to a close at 7:41pm.
Climate Symposium 2014: This event will focus on the theme “Enhanced Understanding of Climate Processes through Earth Observation.” It will: help in developing an efficient and sustained international space-based Earth observing system; bring together international experts in climate observations, research, analysis and modeling; and emphasize the role of space-based Earth observations in improving knowledge of the climate at global and regional scales, and in assessing models used for climate projections. dates: 13-17 October location: Darmstadt, Germany www: http://www.theclimatesymposium2014.com
UNFCCC ADP 2-6: The ADP will convene for the sixth part of the second session in October 2014. dates: 20-25 October 2014 (tentative) location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://unfccc.int
IPCC-40: This IPCC meeting will be held to adopt the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report’s Synthesis Report and approve its Summary for Policymakers. dates: 27-31 October 2014 location: Copenhagen, Denmark contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208 fax: +41-22-730-8025 email: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch/
Pre-COP Ministerial Meeting for UNFCCC COP 20 and CMP 10: This event, organized by the Venezuelan Government, aims to revisit the engagement of civil society in the UNFCCC negotiations. dates: 4-7 November 2014 location: Caracas, Venezuela contact: Cesar Aponte Rivero, General Coordinator email:email@example.com
UNFCCC COP 20 and CMP 10: The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UNFCCC and 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the Kyoto Protocol will take place in Lima, Peru. dates: 1-12 December 2014 location: Lima, Peru contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://unfccc.int
42nd Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies: The 42nd sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies to the UNFCCC are expected to take place in June 2015. dates: 3-14 June 2015 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: email@example.com www: http://unfccc.int
UNFCCC COP 21 and CMP 11: The 21st session of the COP (COP 21) to the UNFCCC and 11th session of the CMP will take place in Paris, France. dates: 30 November to 11 December 2015 location: Paris, France contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://unfccc.int
For additional meetings and updates, go to http://climate-l.iisd.org/