UN Climate Change News, 17 December 2018 – For the UN Climate Change Conference COP24 in Katowice, several innovative partnerships were initiated in support of the goals of the Paris Agreement. The activities included joint projects which used the power of digital technology to inform the public about climate change and its solutions.
“Climate change is accelerating, and we need to be fully innovative to deploy all the means we have to tackle it”, said the Deputy Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Ovais Sarmad. “Multi-stakeholder partnerships can help tackle climate change on the ground and at the necessary scale and speed. The range of activities of the partner organizations at COP24 was a testimony of how cross-sectoral collaboration can enhance and intensify current efforts to address climate change.”
The partnerships for COP24 facilitate the involvement of non-Party stakeholders in a transparent and responsible manner, as foreseen in the Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA). The MPGCA was a launched at COP22 by the Conference of the Parties, welcoming climate action of non-Party stakeholders, including the private sector, to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which calls for all entities of society and business to scale up their efforts and support actions to reduce emissions, as well as to build resilience and decrease vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change.
Partners at COP24 included GEIDCO, an organization dedicated to promoting the large-scale development and transmission of clean energy; the international power utility Iberdrola; the Brazilian-Paraguayan hydropower company Itaipu Binacional; the International Union of Railways (UIC) plus the International Association of Public Transport (UITP); the Viennese furniture company Papertown, and WPP, a network of worldwide advertising agencies.
One of the highlights was the "People's Seat" campaign, with the hashtag #TakeYourSeat, which brought the voice of millions of citizens around the world to COP24. As part of the initiative, renowned broadcaster Sir David Attenborough delivered a speech to COP delegates based on inputs gathered via social media. The People’s Address triggered the launch of the Facebook Messenger ‘ActNow’ Bot on the United Nation’s central Facebook account to help the public understand what actions they can take personally in the fight against climate change.
Some of the main partnership activities at COP24 were:
- Facebook hosted a studio in the United Nations Climate Change pavilion dedicated to facilitating ‘Facebook Live’ interviews aimed at expanding virtual engagement with the public. In total, 38 interviews were conducted with personalities such as the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador and founder of the Solar Impulse Foundation Bertrand Piccard, climate activist and survivor of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan Joanna Sustento, and the Co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim.
- GEIDCO: At COP24, GEIDCO promoted an action plan to scale up global energy interconnection (GEI) in support of the goals of the Paris Agreement. The GEI Action Plan combines clean energy generation capacity, modern transmission technologies and power grid interconnectivity to enable future expansion of electrification and renewable energies. The organization based in Beijing held three events at the conference, where it also established a Think Tank Alliance made up of 28 research institutions from 13 countries to provide support for the development of GEI.
- Google engaged in a panel on energy efficiency strategies in Poland, where it presented its new tool to calculate emissions from transportation and buildings, as well as rooftop solar energy potential - the Environmental Insights Explorer. Additionally, Google held a dialogue with cities, states, companies, associations, civil society and academia to spark mutual collaboration and enhance climate action.
- Iberdrola: For the third consecutive year, Iberdrola organized a cycling expedition dubbed “Moving for Climate NOW”. A group of COP24 participants cycled over 600 kilometers from Vienna to Katowice under below-zero temperatures to raise awareness of low-carbon transportation alternatives. Upon their arrival at the conference, the team delivered its Moving for Climate NOW manifesto to the UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary and Jakub Gibek, Head of the Climate Policy Unit of the Ministry of Environment of Poland. Iberdrola actively participated in several high-level and technical events at COP24, contributing to activities in the Global Climate Action (GCA) Hub and to the Talanoa Dialogue, where it was represented by Angeles Santamaria, CEO of Iberdrola España.
- Ingka Group: the largest IKEA franchisee, as well as Inter IKEA Group participated in a number of events and bilateral meetings with relevant stakeholders to demonstrate the leadership that IKEA is taking on climate action. IKEA Retail Poland co-organized the Climate Film Festival during COP24 in collaboration with the city of Katowice to highlight the importance of sustainable consumption and to inspire everyday individual actions to tackle climate change. A panel discussion with the participation of the UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary and Jesper Brodin, the CEO of Ingka Group, closed the festival. On the Education Day of the conference, they co-hosted an event to announce the five finalists of the “Climate Action Starts at School” contest. Under the competition, Katowice schools developed projects to reduce food waste, avoid the use of plastic bags and improve water and energy use. The winning school, to be announced in March, will receive a solar power installation from IKEA.
- Itaipu Binacional: For the Brazilian-Paraguayan hydropower company, being at COP24 was an opportunity to share best practices around water and energy management, as well as social and environmental standards. The company hosted two events addressing the interlinkages between water and energy and to showcase its projects as an example of the commitment of the Latin-American business sector to climate action. Also during the conference, Itaipu and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) launched the platform of the “Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions”, a network that aims to promote an integrated approach to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDGs #6 “Clean Water and Sanitation” and #7 “Affordable and Clean Energy”.
- Papertown: designed and produced furniture for the UN Climate Change partnerships pavilion and the GCA Action Hub at COP24. After the conference, the cardboard chairs, tables and lecterns can be reused at least for another five events. Up to 70% of the cardboard consists of recycled material and 100% can be recycled at the end of their life cycle.
- UIC and UITP: The International Union of Railways (UIC) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) have advocated for the major role public transport and sustainable rail transport can play when it comes to the reduction of carbon emissions. During the Transport Day of the conference, both entities played a key role on high-level panels and roundtable discussions on transport decarbonization, sustainability, mobility, climate change adaptation and technological innovation. Throughout the conference, UITP displayed “hanging cards” on all modes of public transport in Katowice to educate the public on the climate benefits of using buses and trams. Additionally, UITP presented a joint report with The World Bank dedicated to the technological and market developments of both private and public electric vehicles.
- VISA created a social giving kiosk at COP24 to demonstrate the power of collective action through charitable donations to the Adaptation Fund. The company donated 3 Euros to the Adaptation Fund for every time a participant tapped a card reader built into the installation. In total, nearly 20,000 taps resulted in US$67,453 generated for the Adaptation Fund, which finances projects and programs that help vulnerable developing countries build resilience and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change.
- WPP: The worldwide advertising agencies network collaborated with UN Climate Change to create the "People's Seat" campaign. The initiative announced by Sir David Attenborough had a potential reach of 1.35 billion people via social media, broadcast and online media.
More information on the COP24 partnerships of UN Climate Change is available here.