8 November 2017: On Wednesday, 8 November, COP 23 side events focused on, inter alia: a human rights-based approach to climate change in relation to climate justice; climate-induced migration and displacement; how slow-onset events are often overshadowed by extreme events; implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in small island developing States (SIDS); and forest landscape restoration policies and processes.

A side event titled, ‘NDC Implementation in SIDS: Linking Mitigation and Adaptation Efforts for Sustainable Development,’ discussed examples of cross-sectoral cooperation that foster linkages between mitigation and adaptation action on the ground, and financial and capacity building needs in SIDS. Participants emphasized: the partnership between Germany and SIDS; the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s (SPREP) technical support for national measures, including the preparation of national communications; the potential for regulatory frameworks at the regional level to accelerate and foster the uptake of climate-friendly technologies at the national level; stakeholder inclusion and ownership of solutions by local communities; and legislative instruments to open the energy market to competition and foster renewable energy production. The event was organized by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

A side event titled, ‘Climate-related Human Mobility: Connecting the Dots to Implement the Paris Agreement,’ addressed human mobility in climate change. Speakers underscored the need for: programme and project development to address climate-related mobility and empower practitioners and policymakers to take action; investment in sustainable agriculture as it addresses root causes of migration such as poverty and food insecurity; national development planning and regional discussions to increase resilience and address loss and damage, including through skills development; the promotion of human rights policy coherence throughout the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and increased climate literacy among vulnerable communities. This event was organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Green Jobs Act in the Philippines is one of the first in the world to adhere to the ILO policy guidance on a just transition to a green economy.

A side event titled, ‘Slow Onset Impacts, Fast Action: Multisectoral Responses to Climate Change,’ showcased research on slow-onset events and their impacts on vulnerable communities in the Philippines and Ethiopia. Speakers expressed hope that slow-onset events, such as ocean acidification, sea-level rise and drought, would be elevated to the same level of urgency as extreme events; lamented that extreme events tend to overshadow the extent of damage caused by slow-onset events; and pointed to a disconnect between policymakers, scientists and communities. The event was presented by the German Development Institute (DIE) and the Philippines’ Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities.

A side event titled, ‘The Just Transition for All and a Human Rights-Based Approach to Climate Action,’ discussed a human rights-based approach to climate change in relation to climate justice. Speakers emphasized, inter alia: how the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient economy will affect employment, with jobs being simultaneously created, reallocated and eliminated, and the Green Jobs Act in the Philippines as one of the first in the world to adhere to the International Labour Organization (ILO) policy guidance on a just transition to a green economy. They stressed that both public and private sector workers will be the ones to deliver climate action and a just transition, and that the UNFCCC should establish a focal point on human rights to strengthen its integration into the negotiations. The event was organized by the ILO, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), IOM, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Women. [IISD RS Coverage of UN System Side Event on Climate Justice]

Other events focused on: NDCs in addressing marine and coastal zone management in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf; the role of new technology in supporting Parties’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including through access to climate observations, data records and information sharing; forest landscape restoration policies, processes and lessons learned in Mexico, Uganda, El Salvador and Burundi; biological methods for carbon removal, including soil carbon storage; and experiences with the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), and the relationship between existing markets, the JCM and Paris Agreement Article 6 (cooperative approaches). [ENBOTS Coverage 8 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.