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10th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum
Globalization and the Environment: Mobilizing Finance for Climate Change
International Environmental Governance and the United Nations Reform

20-22 February 2008 | Principality of Monaco

Highlights from Wednesday, 20 February

Delegates attending the tenth Special Session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS-10/GMEF) convened in the morning for the opening ceremony, followed by consideration of organizational matters and a panel discussion by Nobel Prize Laureates “Leadership by Inspiration – Environment, Peace and Security.” They also heard the policy statement by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. In the afternoon, delegates convened in ministerial consultations to address the theme of mobilizing finance to meet the climate challenge. The Committee of the Whole (COW) also met to consider draft decisions.
Photo: GC President Roberto Dobles, Costa Rica, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner

Web archives: Wednesday, 20 February Thursday, 21 February Friday, 22 February
 
Opening ceremony
 
 

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, Prince Albert II of Monaco, GC President Roberto Dobles, and Beverly Miller, Secretary of the Governing Council

 
Inga Björk-Klevby, UN-HABITAT Deputy Executive Director, on behalf of UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, called for empowering local authorities in developing a low-carbon economy, and mobilizing financial resources including through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Bakary Kante, Director of UNEP's Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, opened the session, welcoming in particular His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.
 
 
In a video address, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his confidence that UNEP can contribute by developing better financing, mitigation and adaptation methodologies and strengthening environmental institutions.
 
 
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner (left) highlighted the success of the Billion Tree Campaign. He also announced that Prince Albert II has been nominated for UNEP's 2008 Champion of the Earth Award in recognition of his personal interest in and political commitment to environment issues. Roberto Dobles Mora, GC/GMEF President, underlined the importance of the GEO-4 report and the UNEP Medium-term Strategy 2010-2013 (MTS) to the work of this session. Prince Albert II of Monaco highlighted the scientific warnings of climate change, referring to his own experience of observing severe warming effects in the Arctic.
 
 
 
Last Governing Council for Beverly Miller, Secretary of the Governing Council, who is retiring later this year.
   
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: "Leadership by Inspiration-Environment Peace and Security"
 
 
Margaret Koli, TUNZA Youth Advisory Council (left), delivered a speech on behalf of 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. Mohan Munasinghe, Vice-Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (right), called for reversing current trends and described practical solutions and policy options to integrate climate change responses into sustainable development strategies, from the global to the local level.
 
 
Policy Statement of the Executive Director: Presentation of the GEO-4 report and the medium-term strategy
 
 
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner placed the focus in his policy statement on transformations: firstly of UNEP into a results-based organization, and secondly on moving from a “brown” to a “green” economy. In his MTS presentation, Steiner noted that the six thematic cross-cutting priorities of the MTS – climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, harmful substances and hazardous waste, and resource efficiency – are areas where UNEP can make a “transformative difference.”
 
 
Dan Reifsnyder, US (left), suggested that all decisions apart from the MTS be deferred to the GC-25/GMEF. Sashca Gabizon, representing Women (right photo), opposed the proposal by the US.
 
Panel Discussion: Mobilizing finance to meet the climate challenge
 
 
Guangsheng Gao, Director General, National Development and Reform Commission, China, Sigmar Gabriel, German Environment Minister, Erik Solheim, Norwegian Environment Minister, and Juan Samovia, Director-General, International Labour Organization
 
 
Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary (left), stressed that a key challenge for the upcoming climate regime negotiations is finding the appropriate mix of financial tools to support green growth worldwide, especially in the developing world. James Cameron, Vice Chairman, Climate Change Capital (right), moderated the panel discussion.
 
 

Batilda Burian, Tanzanian Minister of State for Environment, prioritized, inter alia : providing incentives for innovation and deployment of new technology; shifting funding towards climate-friendly investment; and creating potential for the carbon markets. Sigmar Gabriel, German Environment Minister, officially announced a new German initiative on auctioning CO2 emission allowances.

 
Committee of the Whole
 
 
Algeria introduced a draft decision on the International Decade of Combating Climate Change (left photo). COW Chair Jan Dusík, Czech Republic (right photo).
 
Press Conference: Launch of the UNEP Yearbook 2008
 
 
Achim Steiner speaking during the press conference
 
 
Juan Somavia, Director-General, ILO (left), and Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer (right)
 
Miscellaneous Photos
 
 
 
Web archives: Wednesday, 20 February Thursday, 21 February Friday, 22 February  

 

 

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