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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference - May 2012

14-25 May 2012 | Bonn, Germany

Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)

Coverage on Saturday, 19 May 2012
Rio+20
The German Ministry of Environment hosts side events on climate change.
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Climate Change Policy & Practice
NAMA Developments in the MENA Region

Presented by ClimateNet
Axel Michaelowa, Perspectives Climate Change, stressed that NAMAs are not about monitoring specific projects, but are about policy action.
Agus Sari, Presidential REDD+ Task Force, Indonesia, stated that the NAMA picture is not as gloomy as others, such as the CDM.
Samir Tantawi, Ministry of Environment, Egypt, said the availability of finance is a main driver of mitigation and adaptation activity implementation.

The panel explored the state of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) development in the MENA region. Agus Sari, Presidential REDD+ Task Force, Indonesia, moderated, describing NAMAs as an important and evolving issue.

Axel Michaelowa, Perspectives Climate Change, stated that NAMAs are highly relevant for the MENA region because the countries are not least developed countries, meaning the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) window has, de facto, closed. He reported on the NAMA evaluation criteria developed to assess the region’s NAMAs, including: GHG mitigation potential; low-cost abatement; measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) ability; links to national climate policy; and sustainable development benefits. Based on these criteria, Michaelowa described the MENA region as hotspot in NAMA development, noting these NAMAs were in planning, not implementation stages. He described the necessary conditions for a good NAMA: clear institutional arrangements, public and private capacity building; and stable financial support. Michaelowa expressed hope that UNFCCC COP 18 in Doha would stimulate NAMA development, as occurred in Marrakesh, Cancun and Durban.

Samir Tantawi, Ministry of Environment, Egypt, reported that Egypt’s 2005 business-as-usual emissions are in the range of 220 Mt and are expected to grow to 550Mt by 2030, equal to 0.9% of world emissions. Tantawi reported that power generation, buildings, cement industry, transport and agriculture account for 80% of Egypt's potential abatement. He outlined the abatement potential, possible activities, estimated costs and national arrangements for NAMAs related to these sectors. Stressing NAMAs are voluntary, Tantawi provided a preliminary list covering a broad range of sectors. He noted the uncertainty stemming from carbon price volatility and the future of the CDM and carbon markets as well as other challenges, including: development of domestic criteria; establishment public-private partnerships; and capacity building.

Participants discussed: national strategies; institutional arrangements; technological feasibility; mobilization of private sector finance; and impact of the Arab Spring.

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Moderator Agus Sari, Presidential REDD+ Task Force, Indonesia, and participants listened to both Michaelowa and Tantawi cite the potential for NAMAs to generate cost savings in the MENA region.
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More Information:

www.climatenet.de

Contacts:

Axel Michaelowa (Coordinator)
dransfeld@perspectives.cc

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Beyond Adaptation: Discussing Reality of Loss and Damage From Climate Impacts in Developing Countries

Presented by ActionAid International
Sönke Kreft, Germanwatch, noted growing consensus on the need to address loss and damage, due in part to the failure to act on mitigation.
Harjeet Singh, ActionAid, said decision-making must move down to a very local level in order to respond to uncertainly, local needs.
Kit Vaughn, CARE International, underscored that negotiations are currently putting the world on a path to a 4-5°C increase, and that past changes on such magnitude have led to mass extinctions.

Moderated by Sven Harmeling, Germanwatch, this panel addressed the issue of loss and damage, in particular commenting on a report “Into Unknown Territory: Limits to Adaptation and Reality of Loss and Damage from Climate Impacts,” to be released shortly, and the UNFCCC Work Programme on loss and damage.

Harjeet Singh, ActionAid, said a central question is how to build on existing disaster risk reduction (DRR) approaches, noting that DRR is the first line of defense to reduce disaster risk. He highlighted the importance of integrating climate models and scenarios into local policy processes, which base planning on past trends, in order to bolster local knowledge bases.

Sandeep Chamling Rai, WWF International, highlighted specific impacts on freshwater ecosystems, forests and coral reefs, and biodiversity in general. He noted the increasing impacts projected for each degree of increase in temperature.

Sönke Kreft, Germanwatch, provided an update on the work under the UNFCCC Work Programme on loss and damage. He noted the IPCC “Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (SREX), fails to reflect the benefits of a precautionary approach. He said regional meetings under the Work Programme should: examine the full risk management agenda; identify gaps and opportunities; identify regional opportunities and pathways, such as through regional centers; and look at the full spectrum of loss and damage.

Kit Vaughan, CARE International, discussed the outcomes of “Into Unknown Territory,” highlighting recommendations to move the loss and damage debate forward, inter alia: move rapidly to a low-carbon economy, since prevention is better than the cure; shift DDR from addressing weather dynamics to the fundamental change in the climate system; focus interventions on the poorest and most vulnerable; price compensation to put pressure on emitters to invest in mitigation; and anchor loss and damage in the 2015 agreement under the UNFCCC.

Discussion topics included: whether to address underlying drivers of vulnerability or focusing on loss and damage; where to address loss and damage outside of the UNFCCC; and the effort by Palau and the Marshall Islands, through the UN General Assembly, to request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on responsibility for climate change.

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Panel: Sönke Kreft, Germanwatch; Kit Vaughan, CARE International; Sven Harmeling, Germanwatch; Harjeet Singh, ActionAid; and Sandeep Chamling Rai, WWF International.
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More Information:

www.actionaid.org
www.loss-and-damage.net

Contacts:

Harjeet Singh (Coordinator)
harjeet.singh@actionaid.org

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SBSTA and Rio+20: Agriculture and Food Security for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication

Presented by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
Richard Cong, Ministry of Water and the Environment, Uganda, questioned why agriculture has not been central in negotiations.
André Leu, IFOAM, pointed to organic agriculture as the key to shifting agriculture from an emissions source to a sink.
Moderator Sonja Vermeulen, CGIAR, summarized presentations, highlighting key points.

Markus Arbenz, IFOAM, framed discussions on how climate negotiations can address agriculture and empower smallholder farmers, pointing to the principles of organic agriculture to help address the challenges in agriculture.

Moderator Sonja Vermeulen, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), introduced the panel, outlining the session goals.

Catherine Zanev, World Food Programme (WFP), in discussing elements of climate change impacts to food and nutrition security, indicated the need to shift focus from production to access and availability. She questioned how UN bodies could promote food security and resilience, offering solutions such as productivity safety nets and insurance policies.

Sergio Zelaya Bonilla, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat, identified Rio+20 as an opportunity for political commitment and policy action, and providing targets including: zero net land degradation by 2030; zero net forest degradation by 2030; and national drought preparedness policies implemented in all drought-prone countries by 2020.

André Leu, IFOAM, in comparing organic and conventional agriculture, illustrated how organic agriculture creates healthy soil that is more stable and resilient to the impacts of climate change such as drought and intense rain. He traced the link between organic landscape management to increased yields and surplus, resulting in the reduction of poverty.

Maisa Tapio-Bistrom, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), outlined the goals of climate-smart agriculture to achieve food security and avoid dangerous climate change. She called for institutional support for financial mechanisms to support the utilization of climate-smart agricultural practices.

In the discussions, issues raised included: metrics for zero net land degradation; ability to avoid promoting false solutions; integration of UN systems; post-harvest loss challenges; and capacity building potential.

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L-R: Catherine Zanev, WFP; Maisa Tapio-Bistrom, FAO; Sergio Zelaya Bonilla, UNCCD Secretariat; Sonja Vermeulen, CGIAR; André Leu, IFOAM; and Markus Arbenz, IFOAM.
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More Information:

www.ifoam.org

Contacts:

Robert Jordan (Coordinator)
r.jordan@ifoam.org

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Status of the Development, Reporting and Monitoring of Internationally Supported NAMAs

Presented by climatepolicy.net e.V
Tania Zamora Ramos, Ministry of Environment, Peru, highlighted identified NAMAs including sustainable housing, scaling up solid waste management and city-level low-carbon transport strategies.
Michael Comstock, CCAP, identified promising NAMAs taking shape in Chile, Colombia and Peru, including a price stabilization fund in Chile.
Xander van Tiburg, ECN, described the outcomes of the Status Report, noting the importance of implementation pilots.

Niklas Höhne, ECOFYS, moderated the panel, which examined projects working on identification and development of NAMAs. Donovan Escalante, ECOFYS, said the NAMA database includes NAMAs at concept, proposal and planning, and implementation stages. He said the database provides statistics and queries, and contains a literature library, templates and other resources to download.

Noting general satisfaction with the process so far, Xander van Tiburg, ECN, said the “Annual Status Report on NAMAs: Mid-Year Update” identifies where progress is most needed, inter alia: developing clear and transparent criteria for fundable NAMA proposals; engaging the private sector in NAMA finance; and increasing feedback and communication between NAMA practitioners.

Michael Comstock, Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP), discussed lessons learned from the Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN), identifying significant progress being made in various sectors, saying: ambitious NAMAs need to be met with ambitious funding; public money should leverage private-sector investment; and co-benefits should be emphasized as these catalyze NAMAs more than GHG reduction pledges.

Harald Winkler, Energy Research Centre (ERC), University of Cape Town, and Marta Torres Gunfaus, ERC, University of Cape Town, discussed the Mitigation Action Plan and Scenarios (MAPS) approach to NAMA action, highlighting the project is a South-South collaboration. He said MAPS places the NAMA in an economic and developmental discourse, where mitigation becomes an important co-benefit. Torres Gunfaus advised initially focusing on sustainable development, then adding climate policy, and described development of a framework for identifying poverty-alleviating mitigation actions.

Tania Zamora Ramos, Ministry of Environment, Peru, noted they are prioritizing mitigation actions to: achieve zero-net and declining emissions in land use, land-use change and forestry; modify the energy matrix with up to 40% renewable resources; and capture and use methane from urban solid waste disposal. As challenges, she underscored: limited national capacities; coordination of a broad range of stakeholders; and integration of GHG information and monitoring systems.

Discussions addressed: why the level of NAMA activities in the agriculture sector do not match UNFCCC NAMA submissions; education of national development banks on NAMAs; and the identification, development and implementation of NAMAs in Peru. Höhne concluded that NAMAs are more than mitigation, but are about development, and NAMAs require finance to achieve their objectives.

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L-R: Tania Zamora Ramos, Ministry of Environment, Peru; Harald Winkler, ERC, University of Cape Town; Niklas Höhne, ECOFYS; Michael Comstock, CCAP; Donovan Escalante, ECOFYS; Xander van Tiburg, ECN; and Marta Torres Gunfaus, ERC, University of Cape Town.
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More Information:

www.climatenet.de/drupal/en
www.namadatabase.org
www.mapsprogramme.org

Contacts:

Niklas Hoehne (Coordinator) n.hoehne@ecofys.com

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Negotiating Climate Change - Interests, Strategies and Bargaining Success

Presented by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)
Paula Castro, University of Zurich, documented a sharp rise in media attention to climate change after 2007 in India.
Florian Weiler, ETH Zurich, reported that deploying soft bargaining strategies, combined with economic power, can increase success in UNFCCC negotiations.
Stefanie Bailer, ETH Zurich, stated that “it is not automatic that those who have more resources are more active.”

The panel explored the unique dynamics of UNFCCC negotiations. Stefanie Bailer, ETH Zurich, reported that resources, such as diplomatic skill and delegation size, were associated with economic power, however countries lacking resources compensate with high levels of activity. Bailer reported that economically powerful states, and those vulnerable to climate change, were more likely to use hard strategies, including threats or uncompromising behaviour.

Florian Weiler, ETH Zurich, reported results showing that high levels of climate vulnerability, democracy and public awareness increase cooperative behavior, while powerful finance ministries have a negative effect. Weiler explained he measured success as the difference between the countries’ preferences and COP outcomes and, by this measure, the US and Bolivia were less successful while New Zealand, many European countries and Mexico were more successful.

Paula Castro, University of Zurich, outlined the positions of India, Russian Federation and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). She described India’s position as shifting “to deal maker instead of a deal breaker,” noting heightened domestic pressure for action. She identified mixed changes in Russia’s position, influenced by domestic lobbies and international aspirations. Regarding AOSIS, Castro noted individual action of coalition members on issues such as forests and markets, but cohesion on mitigation, adaptation and finance.

Axel Michaelowa, University of Zurich, stated the traditional position of the Middle East was obstructionist, but, like India, domestic changes could prompt shifts, including increasing: domestic use of oil production; perceived need to diversify economies; and emergence of renewable energy programmes. Michaelowa expressed hope that the Doha COP would be a catalyst for a more constructive role.

Panelists asked Wael Hmaidan, CAN International, for comment. He responded that, since Copenhagen, climate change has a much higher place on the political agenda in the Middle East. Subsequent discussions focused on the power of a deadline and role of high-level segments.

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L-R: Axel Michaelowa, University of Zurich; Stefanie Bailer, ETH Zurich; Florian Weiler, ETH Zurich; and Paula Castro, University of Zurich.
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More Information:

www.ethz.ch

Contacts:

Paula Castro (Coordinator) castro@pw.uzh.ch

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Risk Resilient Adaptation - the Private Sector

Presented by the German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV)
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Antje Grobe, DialogBasis and University of Stuttgart, relayed that it is not only the climate that is changing.
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Karl-Otto Zantel, DKKV, spoke of impacts and adaptive strategies to climate change for the private sector.

Karl-Otto Zentel, DKKV, introduced the panel of experts to present recent studies that examine the role of private sector in DRR and adaptation for climate change.

Oliver Hauner, German Insurance Association (GDV), presented research that documented how increased impacts from climate change apply to the private sector in Germany. He showed how conclusions contribute to informing better adaptation pathways. He outlined efforts to continue research, as well as share this information publicly through an online database. Hauner explained that, as an insurance company, it is important to continuously look into the future and adapt.

Antje Grobe, DialogBasis and University of Stuttgart, presented results from a three-year analysis of key challenges for a range of stakeholders, from non-organized citizens to political decision makers through desk research, interviews, workshops and a conference. She explained that conclusions were based on a model of research that recognizes three levels influencing stakeholders: natural science and technical analysis; psychology of risk; and sociology of risk. In terms of climate change, she named challenges, inter alia: complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity of scientific information; adaptation out of public focus; and unpredictability of perception and increasing ambivalence. She outlined the recommendations for best approaches are to deliver information, aid in the decision-making process, and build proactive dialogues.

Karl-Otto Zantel, DKKV, identified physical, economic and regulatory impacts of climate change on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). In approaching opportunities to mobilize the private sector in adaptation measures, he cited challenges specific for SMEs, including: lack of awareness; misperception of climate change impacts; uncertainties in regulations; lack of resources; lack of potential diversification; and lack of risk management. He outlined the needs and best practices for SMEs, describing adaptive strategies to protect supply chains, continuing investigation of climate change adaptation products and services, and transfer mechanisms.

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L-R: Karl-Otto Zantel, DKKV; and Antje Grobe, DialogBasis and University of Stuttgart.
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More Information:

www.dkkv.org

Contacts:

Karl-Otto Zentel (Coordinator) Zentel@dkkv.org

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