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ENB on the Side - A Special Report on Selected Side Events at the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009

2-6 November 2009 | Barcelona, Spain

Events convened on Wednesday, 4 November 2009

REDD Readiness: Learning Lessons and Building Momentum
Presented by FAO, UNEP and UNDP

The event brought together UN agencies working on REDD to highlight lessons learned from initial readiness activities.

Yemi Katerere, UN-REDD, chaired the meeting and explained that the programme is a collaboration of FAO, UNEP and UNDP, with the support of UNFCCC, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and others.

Tim Clairs, UNDP, outlined the features of national readiness management arrangements in nine pilot countries, including: assurance measures involving operational guidance from the UN rights-based approach to development; UN Development Group (UNDG) sustainability programming; initiation of country teams; use of harmonized financial transfers; and a harmonized readiness strategy. He noted that a GEF performance assessment shows high satisfaction with the programme.

Peter Holmgren, FAO, said measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) is the cornerstone of REDD and described datasets from satellites and Global Information Systems (GIS) used for detecting forest change. He suggested that the data supports MRV, which is critical for assessing readiness in country programmes. He announced that information is available in a publication entitled “Building Confidence in REDD.”

Xueman Wang, World Bank, discussed Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) programmes involving 37 REDD country participants, 10 donor participants, five carbon fund participants, and six observers, including indigenous peoples. She said early insights from the programme include the need for countries to place REDD at the center of a national development policy and integrate REDD into low carbon development strategies. She noted the value of strengthening understanding of and capacity to implement REDD among a large number of stakeholders.

Anne-Marie Wilson, CBD, noted links between REDD and biodiversity. She described case studies in Brazil and Mexico where protected area gap analysis is used to identify high priority sites, and where protection of these areas under REDD could maximize biodiversity, store carbon and secure key ecosystem services, such as provision of water and supporting sustainable livelihoods.

In the ensuing discussion, participants considered indigenous peoples’ rights, UN agencies’ support for REDD, a CBD analysis of benefit sharing, forest plantations, and national plans involving MRV variables for policy analysis and comparison.

IISDRS-UNDP-UNEP-FAO-UNFCCC
L-R: Christian Himmelhuber, UNFCCC; AnneMarie Wilson, CBD; Yemi Katerer, UN-REDD; Xueman Wang, World Bank; Peter Holmgren, FAO; and Tim Clairs, UNDP
Tim Clairs, UNDP
Anne-Marie Wilson, CBD, outlined benefits of protected areas for both biodiversity and climate change mitigation.

Christian Himmelhuber, UNFCCC

Yemi Katerer, UN-REDD

Xueman Wang, World Bank

Peter Holmgren, FAO, described the use of satellite data and information technology for assessing REDD programmes.

Participants during the side event.

More information
http://www.un-redd.org
Contacts
Yemi Katerere <yemi.katerere@un-redd.org>
Tim Clairs <tim.clairs@undp.org>
Peter Holmgren <peter.holmgren@fao.org>
Xueman Wang <xwang5@worldbank.org>
Anne-Marie Wilson<anne-marie.wilson@cbd.int>

Climate Adaptation Continuum, Human Migration and Displacement
Presented by United Nations University (UNU)

The event considered climate adaptation and human mobility, with experts reflecting on environmental triggers, migration processes, governance and adaptation options.

Koko Warner, UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security, noted that four times as many people are displaced by weather events as by war.

Frank Laczko, International Organization for Migration (IOM), presented an overview of IOM’s new book, “Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence.” He suggested that migration can have both positive and negative impacts on environment and development. He supported more research on migration as part of an adaptation strategy and on the impact of gradual environmental change (as opposed to disasters).

Jenny Kirsch-Wood, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, highlighted the conclusions of a recent study, which found that disasters drive displacement. She suggested that in spite of research gaps it is still possible to take action now to reduce risks.

Jean-François Durieux, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said many refugees are located in areas that are vulnerable to climate change impacts, including floods and drought.

Vikram Kolmannskog, Norwegian Refugee Council, advocated greater legal protection for refugees and said Copenhagen should recognize the humanitarian consequences of climate-induced migration and displacement.

Robin Mearns, World Bank, said climate change exacerbates existing vulnerabilities. He also outlined the research challenges and supported further country and sectoral studies.

In the ensuing discussion, a developing country delegate said migration is not a desirable form of adaptation. Responding to a question about positive impacts of migration, Frank Laczko noted the positive effect of remittances to regions impacted by disasters.

L-R: Robin Mearns, World Bank; Vikram Kolmannskog, Norwegian Refugee Council; Jenty Kirsch-Wood, UN; Frank Laczko, IOM; Koko Warner, UNU; and Jean-Francois Durieux, UNHCR
Vikram Kolmannskog, Norwegian Refugee Council
Jenty Kirsch-Wood, UN
Robin Mearns, World Bank
Koko Warner, UNU

Frank Laczko, IOM, indicated that most migration occurs within and between developing countries, rather than from South to North.

 

Jean-Francois Durieux, UNHCR

Contacts
Koko Warner <warner@ehs.unu.edu>
Frank Laczko <flaczko@iom.int>
Jenny Kirsch-Wood <kirsch-wood@un.org>
Jean-François Durieux <durieux@unhcr.org>
Vikram Kolmannskog <vikram.kolmannskog@nrc.no>
Robin Mearns <rmearns@worldbank.org>

Planning National Actions for a Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Future
Presented by WWF

This event included presentations from governments on actions and successes, with the aim of building confidence and a sense of inspiration of what is possible.

Harald Winkler, South Africa, presented his government’s work on long-term mitigation scenarios and climate change policy responses. He reported that South Africa’s cabinet had supported a domestic “peak, plateau and decline” emission trajectory, peaking around 2020-2025. He said unilateral NAMAs could be adopted, but added that South Africa’s ultimate contribution depends to a significant extent on technological and financial support. He expressed concerns that the extent of such support is not yet being clearly indicated.

Agus Purnomo, Indonesia, noted his President’s speech to G20 leaders in Pittsburgh, US, in September, in which the President announced plans to cut emissions unilaterally by 26 percent by 2020, and by as much as 41 percent with international support. Purnomo noted that discussions were currently ongoing on policies to attain this target.

Alon Carmel, UK, outlined his government’s national strategy for climate and energy, which he said was reflected in legislation that included the UK’s emissions target of -34 percent by 2020 on 1990 levels, and -80 percent by 2050. He added that the UK’s overall aim is to decarbonize the UK while maintaining secure energy supplies, maximizing economic opportunities and protecting the most vulnerable.

In the ensuing discussion, one participant expressed satisfaction that both developed and developing countries are taking serious action, regardless of the status of the international negotiations.

L-R: Harald Winkler (South Africa); Agus Purnomo (Indonesia); Chair Kim Carstensen, WWF; and Alon Carmel (UK)
Alon Carmel (UK)
Agus Purnomo (Indonesia), highlighted his President’s recent emissions reduction pledge, noting a likely focus on forest-related policies.

Chair Kim Carstensen, WWF

Harald Winkler (South Africa)
Contact:
Kim Carstensen (Chair) <k.carstensen@wwf.dk>

Train to Copenhagen
Presented by the International Union of Railways (UIC)

This panel brought together the partners of the Train to Copenhagen initiative to discuss the project and underscore the importance of rail to emissions reductions in the transport sector.

Margrethe Sagevik, UIC, said the Train to Copenhagen project includes a symbolic train journey from Kyoto to Copenhagen and a Climate Express to Copenhagen from Brussels with a 12-hour on-track seminar.

Lew Fulton, International Energy Agency, said there are four pillars to emissions reductions in the transport sector: increased efficiency; introduction of advanced technology vehicles; use of advanced biofuels; and modal shifts to more efficient modes of transport through better urban transit systems, high-speed rail and better land-use planning.

Holger Dalkmann, Transport Research Laboratory, emphasized the importance of investment in technology and infrastructure, strong policy measures, and behavioral change. He stressed that land transport should be included explicitly in the Copenhagen outcome.

Juan Luis Martín Cuesta, RENFE, reported on efforts in Spain to improve the efficiency of rail transport and expand the high-speed rail system. He said “trains are not the problem, but an important part of the solution.”

Train to Copenhagen partners Peter Lockley (WWF), Melody Hossaini (Youth and Climate Change), Sandra Freitas (Global Gender and Climate Alliance), and Jan Kappen (UNEP), highlighted the importance of building a sustainable transport sector, mobilizing leaders and leading by example.

L-R: Margrethe Sagevik, UIC; Juan Luis Martín Cuesta, Renfe; Lew Fulton, IEA

Margrethe Sagevik, UIC

Lew Fulton, IEA

Juan Luis Martín Cuesta, Renfe

Holger Dalkmann’s presentation

Holger Dalkmann said that it is possible in the rail sector to decouple emissions from passenger loads, allowing increasing transit capacity while decreasing emissions.

Participants during the side event.

More information
http://www.traintocopenhagen.org
Contacts
Margrethe Sagevik (Chair) <sagevik@uic.asso.fr>
Holger Dalkmann <hdalkmann@trl.co.uk>
Lew Fulton <Lew.Fulton@iea.org>

Information on Financing Climate Change: A Presentation of Two Pilot Web Portals
Presented by the UNFCCC

The panel brought together the UNFCCC, UNDP and World Bank to demonstrate two pilot projects designed to provide information on financing for climate change to support developing countries.

Ari Huhtala, World Bank, and Lee Cando, UNDP, presented their new project to create a platform for information, learning and sharing on climate finance options. The planned web tool would provide users with a searchable database of resources on types of funds, availability and eligibility requirements. The tool will also include interactive features allowing users to upload information on their projects and share information and lessons learned related to project financing. A knowledge center will include tools to facilitate decision making, including a glossary of financial terms, a library of relevant documents and tools for “back of the envelope assessments” of climate investments.

George Anjaparidze, UNFCCC, provided a demonstration of the UNFCCC initiative to provide data on country contributions based on information in national communications. He highlighted challenges, including comparability of exchange rates, regional and country classifications and time series of data. He noted that the web portal will produce static reports by country, region or party, which can be downloaded into excel spreadsheets for further analysis. Interactive reports can also be generated with information broken down by sectors and parties depending on the users’ preference.

During the ensuing discussion, panelists said both web portals should be launched in 2010. Participants welcomed these efforts to make information on financing for climate change more readily available.

L-R: Ari Huhtala, World Bank; Sudhir Sharma, UNFCCC; Lee Cando, UNDP; and George Anjaparidze, UNFCCC

Lee Cando, UNDP

Ari Huhtala, World Bank

George Anjaparidze, UNFCCC

Sudhir Sharma, UNFCCC

Yolando Velasco, UNFCCC

Participants during the discussion.
Contacts:
Subhir Sharma (Chair) <ssharma@unfccc.int>
Ari Huhtala <ahuhtala@worldbank.org>
Lee Cando <lee.cando@undp.org>
George Anjaparidze <ganjaparidze@unfccc.int>
Yolando Velasco <yvelasco@unfccc.int>

Agriculture and Climate Change: A Critical Analysis of Proposed Solutions
Presented by EcoNexus

This event examined proposed policy options for agriculture and climate change, including agrofuels, biochar, and the commoditization of agriculture.

Helena Paul, EcoNexus, discussed environmental concerns about linking agriculture and climate change. She said linking production from fields and forests to emissions reductions may lead to commoditization through a rush into markets based on trading biofuels. She identified many serious impacts of climate change on agriculture, including extreme climate events, droughts, floods, storms, winds, unpredictable seasons, pest and disease patterns, water stress, and desertification.

Teresa Anderson, GAIA Foundation, discussed agrofuels in Africa in terms of their impacts on land, food and forests. She argued that production of agrofuels is leading to massive land grabs, eviction of people from rural communities, a food crisis, and impacts on forests and biodiversity. She stated that agrofuels are disastrous for small farmers and that, contrary to conventional wisdom, agrofuels have poor yields on “marginal lands” that are better suited for pastures. She also spoke about biochar (charcoal used to sequester carbon dioxide), noting estimates that one billion hectares of land may need to be planted to sequester enough carbon to stabilize climate change, and that 893 million hectares could be planted on marginal lands in Africa. She questioned this approach on the grounds that there is inadequate research indicating that biochar is effective for full sequestration.

Kamese Geoffrey, Uganda, presented challenges for biofuel production from maintaining sustainable agriculture. He said the conversion of land to fuel feedstock production has degraded fragile ecosystems, left communities exposed to famine, increased use of fragile ecosystems for fuel, and impacted food security and land rights. He argued that biofuels harm biodiversity, adversely affect soil, promote monoculture and contaminate water with pesticides. He further contended that agrofuels violate human rights, impact access to food, and exacerbate social and economic problems of landlessness, joblessness, and agrarian conflict.

Participants discussed the use of biofuels and plantations for CDM in Africa. Some participants mentioned positive agricultural practices in which the problems identified by speakers are addressed.

L-R: Helena Paul, Econexus; Teresa Anderson, GAIA Foundation; and Kamese Geoffrey (Uganda)

Teresa Anderson, GAIA Foundation

Helena Paul, Econexus

Kamese Geoffrey (Uganda)

Participants during the side event.

Teresa Anderson’s presentation.

More information
http://www.econexus.info
Contacts
Teresa Anderson <teresa@gianet.org>
Kamese Geoffrey <kamese@nape.or.ug>
Helena Paul <h.paul@econexus.info>
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
2 November - 3 November - 4 November - 5 November - 6 November
ENB negotiations coverage
ENB

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. This issue has been written by William McPherson, Ph.D., Anna Schulz, and Chris Spence. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Editor is Alexandra Conliffe <alexandra@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Support for the publication of ENBOTS at the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009 has been provided by UNDP, UNEP, FAO and UNFCCC. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009 can be found on the Linkages website at http://www.iisd.ca/climate/rccwg7/enbots/. The ENBOTS Team at the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009 can be contacted by e-mail at <chris@iisd.org>.

Related Links
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) resources
Official website
Daily programme
Side Events & Exhibits
AWG-KP documents
AWG-LCA documents
UNFCCC News

UN resources
Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change
Informal Thematic Debate of the UN General Assembly on Climate Change as a Global Challenge

IISD RS resources
IISD RS coverage of the Bangkok Climate Change Talks - 2009, 28 September - 9 October 2009, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand
IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2009, 10-14 August 2009, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS coverage of the UNFCCC Technical Workshop on Increasing Economic Resilience to Climate Change and Reducing Reliance on Vulnerable Economic Sectors through Economic Diversification, 28-30 April 2009, Cairo, Egypt
IISD RS summary report of the Thirtieth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 21-23 April 2009, Antalya, Turkey (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - March/April 2009, 29 March - 8 April 2009, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS summary report of the UNFCCC Workshop on Integrating Practices, Tools and Systems for Climate Risk Assessment and Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies into National Policies and Programmes, 10-12 March 2009, Havana, Cuba (HTML - PDF)

IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference - Poznań, 1-12 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
IISD RS coverage of AWG-LCA 2, second part of the AWG-KP 5, and twenty-eighth sessions of the SBSTA and the SBI of the UNFCCC, 2-13 June 2008, Bonn, Germany
IISD RS climate and atmosphere page
Climate-L - A mailing list for news on climate change policy
Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
Climate-L.org - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
African Regional Coverage
View HTML version Please e-mail the Digital Editor should you have any questions regarding the content of this page
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