24 November 2021
COP 26 Side Events Focus on CCS, Urban Living Labs, Joint Crediting Mechanism
Photo Credit: Paul Starkey / Ashden Photographer name: Paul Starkey
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Side events during the second week of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP 26) included discussions on carbon capture and storage (CCS), Urban Living Labs, the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), and bilateral climate action.

The multitude of side events that took place during the second week of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP 26) included events that addressed carbon capture and storage (CCS), Urban Living Labs, the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), and bilateral climate action.

A 7 November event on Green Finance and Climate Action Exchange featured bilateral perspectives on pursuing net-zero emissions, discussions on green finance, and stakeholders’ experiences in taking climate action. Speakers during this event highlighted the need to: replace the global linear economy with a circular economy; work collaboratively with all stakeholders at both the national and international levels in pursuit of the 2050 net-zero goal; and combat weaponized climate disinformation as a security threat that amplifies all other threats facing society.

An event on 8 November focused on Implementing the JCM and Creating Various Benefits for Stakeholders. The JCM, a bilateral cooperative mechanism between Japan and partner developing countries, aims to facilitate the diffusion of low-carbon technologies and implementation of mitigation actions, as well as contribute to the sustainable development of partner countries. The event was organized by the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center (OECC) and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. 

Eri Matsumoto, Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, said the JCM will contribute to Japan’s target of reducing its emissions by 46% below 2013 levels by 2030, and achieving net zero by 2050, through cumulative reductions of about 100 million tons of CO2 by way of public-private partnerships. She explained that under the JCM:

  • Japan provides advanced decarbonizing technologies in line with partner countries’ needs;
  • Companies from both Japan and partner countries jointly implement projects to reduce emissions;
  • Credits resulting from the emission reductions and removals are shared by participating countries; and
  • Projects include a waste heat recovery in the cement industry in Indonesia and a hydro power plant in the Philippines.

Representatives from Mongolia, Viet Nam, and Chile also presented on JCM implementation in their respective countries.

Also on 8 November, an event addressed The Transformative Power of Urban Living Labs, which pilot and showcase sustainable and inclusive low carbon solutions. The event was organized by the Delta Electronics Foundation and the Technical University of Berlin. Speakers highlighted projects of the Urban Living Lab Center, which addresses key basic urban services. Urban Pathways aims to generate synergies and support donor coordination at the city level to unlock the emissions reduction potential of different sectors, including urban mobility, planning, and waste management. It also promotes, inter alia, support for pilot concepts for innovative and integrative e-mobility solutions for passenger and freight transport, energy efficient tiny house piloting, and training citizen scientists in air quality monitoring. SOLUTIONSplus seeks to accelerate the transition toward sustainable electrification in large cities in developing and emerging economies to achieve innovative and sustainable urban mobility in vehicles, operations, and integration. Smart Energy Solutions for Africa (SESA) aims to mitigate climate change and avoid locked-in situations while improving access to sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy in Africa.

An event on Carbon Capture and Storage – Decarbonisation of Industries in the UK, US, Canada and Nigeria took place on 11 November. Speakers highlighted the importance of adding CCS capabilities to countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and carbon removal strategies, and the role of CCS research and development initiatives to significantly reduce carbon emissions and progress in sector-specific initiatives, including geological storage and decarbonizing the cement industry.

The event was hosted by the UNFCCC Secretariat and jointly organized by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Greenhouse Gas Research and Development Programme (IEAGHG) and others. The event underscored:

  • The need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere in addition to developing strict carbon emission reduction strategies to achieve a carbon neutral world by 2050;
  • That of the current 123 NDCs submitted, only 14 included plans for CCS; and
  • CO2 removal should be viewed as a tool that counterbalances hard-to-remove carbon from sectors such as agriculture.

A representative of Nigeria described carbon storage development in his country, highlighting such activities as: technical assessments of existing carbon storage resources; identifying applicability of existing laws and regulations for carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and producing frameworks for development and deployment; and building national and institutional capacity for CCUS development and deployment in Nigeria. Another speaker discussed decarbonizing the cement sector, suggesting that during cement production, energy emissions can be reduced by efficiency, while industrial process emissions need to be captured to significantly reduce emissions. [ENB coverage of COP 26 side events]

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