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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 Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Rio+20
Protestor holding a sign.
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Climate Change Policy & Practice
Visions for the Technology Mechanism

Presented by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)
Laura Würtenberger, ECN, noted that, of the 150 technologies described on the ClimateTechWiki, approximately 80 are for mitigation and 60 are for adaptation.
John Christensen, UNEP, explained how Costa Rica prioritized the transportation sector in its Technology Needs Assessment (TNA), and used TNA results for a NAMA.
Heleen de Conink, ECN, stated technology is not an aim in itself, but a vehicle to realize climate goals.

Moderator Holger Liptow, GIZ, outlined practical experiences and views on the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) as the themes of the side event. Heleen de Coninck, ECN, linked academic literature to possible activities of the Technology Mechanism. She observed differing capacities to regulate, operate, adapt and innovate technologies. She highlighted the need for a facilitating environment for technology development, including networks between academia, government and private actors.

John Christensen, UN Environment Programme, outlined the Global Technology Needs Assessment Project, involving 36 countries and 5 steps: prioritizing technologies; analyzing barriers; identifying policy options; enabling frameworks; and finalizing the Technology Action Plan (TAP). He noted TAPs might contribute to Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

On specific actions, Ron Benioff, National Energy Research Laboratory (NREL), highlighted the Clean Energy Solutions Center, providing an online library and expert assistance to developing countries. Laura Würtenberger, ECN, introduced a video on the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind and the ClimateTechWiki, including approximately 150 descriptions of adaptation and mitigation technologies, targeted to decision-makers and experts in developing countries.

On the TEC, Letha Tawney, World Resources Institute (WRI), by video, highlighted three potential roles for the TEC: act as ambassador for technology in solving the climate crisis; work to further catalyze innovation already occurring in the South; and build capacities to manage technologies for low-carbon growth.

Ahmed Abdel Latif, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), Mark Radka, UNEP, and TEC Member Matt Kennedy, Sustainable Energy Authority, Ireland, provided further comments on the TEC. Abdel Latif noted the benefit of an international guidance body, urging further consultation. Kennedy underscored the TEC provides advice, and is answerable, to the COP, which drives their work.

Discussion topics included: the role of the new market mechanism or private finance; the institutional linkages between the TEC and the Green Climate Fund; and the important role of TEC members from developing countries.

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L-R: Laura Würtenberger, ECN; Heleen de Coninck, ECN; Ron Benioff, NREL; John Christensen, UNEP; and Holger Liptow, GIZ.
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More Information:

www.ecn.nl/home

Contacts:

Heleen de Coninck (Coordinator)
deconinck@ecn.nl

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How Best to Incentivize Low Emission Development in Developing Countries?

Presented by the World Bank
Klaus Oppermann, Carbon Finance, the World Bank, provided context for the new report and acknowledged existing answers under the regulation.
Jane Olga Ebinger, the World Bank, invited feedback for the platform to make it useful to those that will use it.
Luis Muñozcano, SEMARNAT, Mexico, answered questions about the potential of Mexico’s carbon trading system.

Moderator Michael Lazarus, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), introduced panelists to speak on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), new market mechanisms (NMMs) and the broader context for low emissions development.

Pedro Martins Barata, UNFCCC Secretariat, summarized the High-level Panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue workstream to conduct stakeholder consultations and prepare research on: impacts of CDM; governance and streamlining processes; and potential future scenarios. He noted the final report to the CDM Executive Board (EB) is due in September, will be published independently, and invited stakeholder submissions through the end of June.

Klaus Oppermann, Carbon Finance, the World Bank, shared key findings from “CDM Reform: Improving the Efficiency and Outreach of the CDM Through Standardization.” He identified areas for improvement, including: standardization beyond methodology in the project cycle, such as pre-determined baselines, registration templates and ex-post verification; standardization of units for programme activities; and crediting policy-driven mitigation.

Kenneth Andrasko, Carbon Finance, the World Bank, addressed challenges posed by re-emitting sequestered carbon, clarifying the difference between non-permanence and reversal. He highlighted a quantitative analysis of hypothetical cases comparing various approaches and shared the results, illustrative rather than universal, indicating a combination of approaches were used match project circumstances to methodological tools.

Luis Muñozcano, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Mexico, outlined strategies in Mexico towards NMMs, mitigation actions, and long-term emission reductions. He credited the leadership of Mexican President Felipe Calderón for the recently passed law aiming to reduce emissions by 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020.

Jane Olga Ebinger, the World Bank, outlined plans to develop an open-sourced platform to support low-carbon climate resilient planning for governments. She detailed a suite of tools, providing capacity support with open-sourced data that could be on the market in six months.

Discussion topics included: Mexico’s voluntary trade system and potential bilateral and multilateral integration; opportunities for open sourced platforms; opportunity for baselines to inform policy outside trading spaces; and inclusion of green growth.

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L-R: Kenneth Andrasko, Carbon Finance, the World Bank; Luis Muñozcano, SEMARNAT, Mexico; Klaus Oppermann, Carbon Finance, the World Bank; Jane Olga Ebinger, the World Bank; Michael Lazarus, SEI; and Pedro Martins Barata, UNFCCC Secretariat.
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Prosperity, Politics and People: Necessary Framework (Environment) for Sustainable Forest PPP Projects

Presented by the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5)
Samuel Nnah Ndobé, CED, Cameroon, stated “you cannot see the carbon for the trees,” highlighting the lower cost of community-based monitoring of forest cover compared to foreign-based monitoring of forest carbon.
Kate Dooley, FERN, asserted that law and policy reform is key to reducing deforestation.
Dirk Walterspacher, ForestFinance Group, stressed that it is in the economic interest of people living and working in forests to protect it.

Moderator Julio Lambing, e5, stated that this side event was part of e5’s dialogue to find intelligent business models to protect forests.

Dirk Walterspacher, ForestFinance Group, reported that projects with a broader focus on forest services, beyond carbon, are more successful. He presented projects in Panama, Colombia, Peru, Germany, Vietnam and Egypt, noting that, except Vietnam, no public money is involved. Walterspacher highlighted ecological and social sustainability as two objectives achieved through actions such as: reforestation of native species; natural habitats for endangered species; long-term social employment; and fair payment above national minimum loans.

Kate Dooley, FERN, identified the drivers of forest loss as industrial global demand through markets and commodity agriculture, noting that land tenure is the strongest tool to protect forests. She highlighted lessons to learn from the legal review, policy reform and commitment of the EU Forest Law, Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) for REDD+, which starts with a focus on carbon before deforestation drivers.

Samuel Nnah Ndobé, Centre for the Environment and Development (CED), Cameroon, presented results from two community projects on payment for ecosystem services. He explained community members were involved in each stage of the projects from demarcating forests to creating and implementing forest management plans. Stating “communities are the best managers of the forest,” he underscored success is about the process, requiring time. He urged practitioners to think beyond carbon and warned of possible negative consequences resulting from fluctuating forest carbon prices.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation, illustrated challenges facing forest-rich countries, including: extensive poverty; lack of land rights and recognition of citizenship for indigenous communities; conflict; and governance. She concluded that successful business models should include: respect of social safeguards including land tenure; full and effective participation of people in the territory through free, prior informed consent; fair and equitable benefit sharing mechanisms; good governance; and grievance mechanisms.

The discussion included: empowering local communities; national policy contexts of pilot projects; need for simplicity in monitoring forest carbon; governance in International Tropical Timber Organization producer countries; and sustainability of a business model based on forest carbon.

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Listening to a presentation from Samuel Nnah Ndobé, CED, L-R: Dirk Walterspacher, Forest Finance Group; Kate Dooley, FERN; and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation (background).
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More Information:

www.e5.org

Contacts:

Julio Lambing (Coordinator)
julio.lambing@e5.org

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Forest Climate Links Based on Influencing the Water Cycle: Need for Climate Policy

Presented by the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)
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Henry Neufeldt, ICRAF, noted the potential impacts of land-use change in the Russian Federation and Mongolia on precipitation in Northern China, underscoring many areas are dependent on recycled moisture and are vulnerable to changes in upwind moisture recycling.

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Peter Akong Minang, ICRAF, stated rainbow water fundamentally changes the way water management is thought about since precipitation in precipitationsheds is dependent on plants, trees, forests and land-change across vast regions.

Henry Neufeldt, ICRAF, introduced the panel on the concept of “rainbow water,” which attempts to account for the recycling of water from terrestrial evaporation to land-based precipitation in the defined precipitation zones. He said ICRAF created a backward model for the identification of specific evaporation source areas, called “precipitationsheds” for defined areas. He presented modeled maps of the precipitationsheds for areas in the East and West Sahel, East Africa, and North and South China. He highlighted the regional impacts of deforestation and land-use change in upstream countries on evapotranspiration within precipitationsheds, which cause downstream effects in countries in the precipitation zone.

On implications, Neufeldt said the precipitationshed is a spatially explicit method, allowing the identification of stakeholders in source-sink relationships, but said the scientists working on land-use change and ecology need to work more closely with hydrologists and climatologists to move forward on this issue. On solutions, he highlighted possibilities such as co-investment to pay for transboundary ecosystem services, using REDD+ under the UNFCCC, or linking the issue to Rio+20. He noted rainbow water may create transboundary security issues and asked whether it should be treated as a common pool resource or under a water-trading framework.

Peter Akong Minang, ICRAF, said rainfall is known to come from the ocean, but underscored the new ICRAF modeling demonstrates that up to 50% of rainfall, in many areas, is recycling of water on land. He highlighted that rainbow water changes the geopolitics of climate change, noting that most precipitationshed relationships are South-South, causing shifts in the North-South relationship since these are local and regional issues. Noting that China depends on rainfall from Myanmar, India, parts of the Russian Federation and Mongolia, he said Brazil, the Russian Federation, India and China (BRIC) need to start discussing this issue within their precipitationsheds. He underscored action depends on making the issue global, noting the debate also relates to food security, since the regions affected by land-use changes and deforestation in transboundary precipationsheds also depend on rainfed agriculture.

During discussions, participants and panelists highlighted a number of further research questions, including: the impact of vegetation change on seasonal variation in precipitation; whether forest monocultures provide the same evapotranspiration benefits as natural forests; and the correlation between historical changes in vegetation cover in precipitationsheds to actual precipitation in precipitation zones.

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L-R: Henry Neufeldt, ICRAF; and Peter Akong Minang, ICRAF.
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More Information:

www.worldagroforestrycentre.org

Contacts:

Henry Neufeldt (Coordinator) h.neufeldt@cgiar.org

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*IISD RS coverage of the Fifth Global Business Day, 5 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
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*IISD RS coverage of Forest Day 5, 4 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
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*IISD RS coverage of the Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011, 28 November - 11 December 2011, Durban, South Africa
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*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference June 2011, 6-17 June 2011, Bonn, Germany
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*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-third Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 10-13 May 2011, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Climate Change Conference Bangkok - April 2011, 3-8 April 2011, UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Cancún Climate Change Conference, 29 November - 11 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
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*IISD RS summary report of Development and Climate Days at COP 16, 4-5 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico (HTML - PDF)
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*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-second Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 11-14 October 2010, Busan, Republic of Korea (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Tianjin Climate Change Talks - October 2010, 4-9 October 2010, Tianjin, China
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2010, 2-6 August 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - May/June 2010, 31 May - 11 June 2010, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - April 2010, 9-11 April 2010, Bonn, Germany (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
*IISD RS coverage of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 7-19 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
*IISD RS coverage of the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Barcelona Climate Change Talks 2009, 2-6 November 2009, Barcelona, Spain
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Thirty-first Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 26-29 October 2009, Bali, Indonesia (English: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Japanese: PDF)
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*IISD RS coverage of the Bangkok Climate Change Talks - 2009, 28 September - 9 October 2009, UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - August 2009, 10-14 August 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Bonn Climate Change Talks - June 2009, 1-12 June 2009, Bonn, Germany
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*IISD RS archive of meetings on climate change, and backgrounder
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