COP 23 Side Events Address Leadership of Island States, Clean Energy Access for Women: 15 November Highlights
Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada
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A side event titled, ‘Reframing the Climate Debate: Enhancing the Paris Agreement and the SDG Linkages,’ focused on 'The World in 2050,’ a science and policy initiative to support successful implementation of the SDGs.

A side event titled, ‘Leaving No One Behind: Delivering and Designing Diversified Energy Services,’ explored the People-Centered Accelerator, a SEforALL project that aims to enhance clean energy access for women and the poorest people.

A side event titled, ‘Empowerment for Inclusive Action and Decision-making,’ aimed to advance women’s leadership and decision making as a crucial step towards successful responses to the challenges posed by climate change.

15 November 2017: Various events convened on Wednesday, 15 November, on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. They addressed, inter alia: the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), which aims to demonstrate the leadership of island countries; countering global threats from peatland loss and degradation; improving clean energy access for women and the poor; and enhancing linkages between the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, former French Foreign Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius was designated UN Environment Patron on Environmental Governance.

A side event titled, ‘Reframing the Climate Debate: Enhancing the Paris Agreement and the SDG Linkages,’ focused on ‘The World in 2050 (TWI2050),’ a science and policy initiative to support successful implementation of the SDGs that takes an integrated systems approach to developing pathways to sustainable development within planetary boundaries. Speakers highlighted Indonesia as one of the first countries to have a national policy on SDG implementation, integrating all the SDGs into its development agenda. They discussed, inter alia: a research project, which found that implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2030 would have a positive impact on the SDGs and sustainability in most countries; research on climate change impacts on human health, which focuses on adaptation and mitigation challenges and strategies in the context of the SDGs; and the need for integrating national SDG, NDCs and long-term strategies. This event was organized by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and partners.

A side event titled, ‘Leaving No One Behind: Delivering and Designing Diversified Energy Services,’ explored the People-Centered Accelerator, a Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) project that aims to enhance clean energy access for women and the poorest people by unlocking finance from private and public sources and strengthening collaboration between stakeholders in the energy, gender and social justice sectors. Rachel Kyte, CEO, SEforALL, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, outlined the Accelerator’s workstreams, including finding the best pathways for sustainable energy access, directing capital to gender-inclusive and socially responsive business models, and empowering women in the energy sector to transform the system themselves. Speakers also highlighted: the value of a decentralized approach to power distribution; the UNFCCC’s first Gender Action Plan; and women’s access to social networks where they can build distribution chains that would be too risky for traditional commercial actors. This event was organized by the UNFCCC Secretariat and SEforALL.

Former French Foreign Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius was designated UN Environment Patron on Environmental Governance.

A side event titled, ‘Enhancing Transparency through the Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT),’ showcased country experiences with measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) and transparency efforts; and explored challenges to, and opportunities for, embracing enhanced transparency for implementing the Paris Agreement and informing national planning and decision-making processes related to climate policies. This event was organized by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

A side event titled, ‘Empowerment for Inclusive Action and Decision-making,’ aimed to advance women’s leadership and decision making as a crucial step towards successful responses to the challenges posed by climate change. Panelists explored themes such as: women’s empowerment; inclusive and gender-sensitive policies; innovative practices to advance gender-responsive climate mitigation and adaptation; the relationship between gender equality and fossil fuel subsidy reforms; and a tool to identify to what extent gender consideration has been integrated into selected UNFCCC national adaptation plans (NAPs). Speakers called for: recognition of gender differences in needs, opportunities and capacities related to climate change; equitable participation and influence by women and men in climate-related decision-making processes; and gender-equitable access to financial resources and other benefits resulting from investments in climate action. They stressed the need for: national measures to mainstream climate and gender-sensitive policies; enhancing conditions for women’s entrepreneurship; creating avenues for women’s knowledge sharing; and leveraging the capacity of women to transform energy value chains. The event was organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). [IISD RS Coverage of Side Event on Empowerment for Inclusive Action and Decision-making]

Other events included a high-level event on the GLISPA, which aims to accelerate implementation of existing island commitments; and the launch of a rapid response assessment titled, ‘Smoke on Water: Countering Global Threats from Peatland Loss and Degradation,’ which included the presentation of case studies from Indonesia, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). [ENBOTS Coverage 15 November] [IISD RS Coverage of Selected Side Events] [IISD RS Coverage of COP 23] [IISD RS Coverage of Side event on Peatland Loss and Degradation]

On 14 November, the Ninth High-Level Assembly (HLA) of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) convened to address the importance of reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) to combat climate change, including specific calls for action on agriculture and municipal solid waste. [IISD RS Coverage of the CCAC HLA]

On 14 November, on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference, former French Foreign Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius was designated UN Environment Patron on Environmental Governance. UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim made the announcement, lauding Fabius for his negotiating skills and his role in bringing together 195 countries together to sign the Paris Agreement in 2015. Since then, Fabius has been promoting a ‘Global Pact for the Environment,’ which would see the first binding universal legal framework for environmental protection. [UN Environment News Story]

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IISD Reporting Services is producing ‘ENB on the side’ (ENBOTS), providing coverage of selected side events, special days and other events held at the UN Climate Change Conference. This Daily Update brings you the highlights.


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