COP 23 Side Events Spotlight Climate Action Champions, Link NDCs and SDGs: 14 November Highlights
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During a side event titled, ‘Champions for Climate Action,’ the ADB announced a contribution of US$6 billion by 2020 to the NDC Partnership, and Australia pledged US$500,000 to the NDC Partnership Pacific Regional Hub.

The Global Centre for Excellence on Climate Adaptation, launched on 14 November, will accelerate climate adaptation by recognizing, building and promoting excellence in all relevant stakeholder groups globally.

During a side event titled, ‘Framing the Future: How to Strengthen a Collective Vision and Actions Based on International Targets,’ participants addressed a pathway to a sustainable 2050, the current geopolitical context and new social impacts, and internal management constraints.

14 November 2017: The many side events convening at the UN Climate Change Conference on Tuesday, 14 November, included: the opening of the WWF Panda Hub, with an event on fostering strategic dialogues around the future global environment and development frameworks; ministers and organization heads of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Partnership member countries and institutions coming together to promote climate action champions; and the launching of the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) in order to accelerate climate adaptation by recognizing, building and promoting excellence in all relevant stakeholder groups globally.

During a side event titled, ‘Champions for Climate Action,’ more than 25 ministers and organization heads of NDC Partnership member countries and institutions addressed the audience. COP 23 President Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, highlighted the establishment of the NDC Partnership Pacific Regional Hub, which will help the Pacific island states meet regional challenges. Achim Steiner, Administrator, UN Development Programme (UNDP), highlighted that the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are central to UNDP’s engagement with countries worldwide, and said that overcoming the notion that NDCs are somehow separate from the SDG narrative is crucial. NDC Partnership Co-Chair Barbara Hendricks, Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Germany, emphasized the benefits of the Partnership, including its role in combining climate and development policies at all levels and in all sectors. Hilda Heine, President, Marshall Islands, said her country was the first island State to submit its NDC and the first developing country to become a member of the Partnership.

Speakers highlighted, inter alia, NDCs as a starting point for engaging with other countries through development cooperation, and the opportunity provided by the NDCs to align the work of environment and finance ministries, thus ensuring sustainability of climate action. They emphasized that the Partnership must help countries integrate climate action into their national strategies, which, like the SDGs, should not be viewed as separate from national plans. Participants highlighted the NDC Partnership as an excellent opportunity to strengthen regional partnerships and realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and efforts by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to help countries integrate the SDGs and their NDCs into national strategies.

During the event, Australia pledged US$500,000 to the Pacific Regional Hub, saying his country’s focus will be on reducing emissions in the agricultural sector and supporting Viet Nam and Fiji in their NDC efforts. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced a contribution of US$6 billion by 2020 to the Partnership. The event was organized by the NDC Partnership. [NDC Partnership Website]

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, highlighted that business has become institutionalized in the climate process, and emphasized that the SDGs and climate change present economic opportunities.

During a high-level event on the launch of the GCECA, speakers called on the Centre to: share and manage knowledge, develop new insights, highlight best practices, and connect the public and private sectors; devise a strategic framework on adaptation and resilience; and assist in addressing Parties’ adaptation needs through channeling the support of international networks into innovative approaches on the ground. They urged the GCECA to ensure coherence with the SDGs; contribute to the creation of a climate-resilient financial sector; and engage all stakeholders in its work.

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands, stressed that climate adaptation is in her country’s DNA, and highlighted examples of innovation in adaptation, including: a floating farm in Rotterdam; mangroves being replanted on the Indonesian coast; and the use of big data by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to inform African farmers via text message when to plant and harvest crops. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF), expressed hope that the GCECA can help the GEF integrate resilience into all its portfolios. The event was organized by the Government of the Netherlands. [IISD RS Coverage of the Launch of the GCECA]

During a side event titled, ‘Framing the Future: How to Strengthen a Collective Vision and Actions Based on International Targets,’ participants addressed a pathway to a sustainable 2050, the current geopolitical context and new social impacts, and internal management constraints. Discussions also centered on the interdependence of international processes and the importance of accelerating action to secure robust implementation. California Governor Jerry Brown called for reducing both carbon emissions and human impacts on land, soil, species and water, highlighting a lack of understanding of the relationships between humans and millions of species. Reflecting on a 2010 report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) titled, ‘Vision 2050: The New Agenda for Business,’ Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, noted that achieving this vision requires phasing out fossil fuels, starting with coal as well as oil, and reducing deforestation in a managed way that incorporates a just transition for workers. She highlighted human security and called for putting human rights on the agenda.

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, highlighted the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, and noted that business has become institutionalized in the climate process. He emphasized that the SDGs and climate change present economic opportunities. Speakers also highlighted: the opportunity to integrate the Paris Agreement on climate change into the SDGs; the need to build multi-stakeholder partnerships on water and food security; the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund, which is part of the SDG package; and plans to raise the first land restoration bond. This event was organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). [IISD RS Coverage of the WWF Side Event]

Side events also convened on: the Under2Coalition, which includes a total of 205 jurisdictions representing 43 countries and six continents, committed to acting on climate change; case studies related to NDC implementation in Jordan, Colombia and the Philippines; and subnational efforts to curb emissions in the US, with a focus on transportation and bipartisan regional collaboration. [ENBOTS Coverage 14 November] [IISD RS Coverage of Selected Side Events] [IISD RS Coverage of COP 23]

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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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