Thursday 12 June
GOING NET ZERO - FOCUS ON THE FINAL BENEFIT, GET THERE FASTER
A strong message emerged from a Chatham House side event on June 12: achieving global zero net emissions is a goal everyone can understand and act on in ways that make sense, bring each actor clear benefits, and deliver faster results than expected. "The attraction of zero net is that you can understand it and communicate how to get there" said Stefan Raubenheimer from the MAPS programme.
The trick is to identify practical, accessible and easily understandable methods that can be applied at all levels by all sides - policy makers, planners, investors, producers and public - and that lead to a final concrete set of benefits, such as economic, health, resilience, infrastructure and energy security. The approach requires commitment at every level, but it is easier to get that buy in when each side sees the benefit of sticking to a long-term plan that makes sense in the real world in which they live and work. This is where clear, consistent policy setting and direction is essential to ensure all sides can be confident to plan, invest in and produce the supply of materials and inputs to a zero emissions strategy in advance of the new demand generated, said Thomas Boermans of Ecofys.
Edward Mazria of Architecture 2030 highlighted such an approach in the building sector. By 2030, it is estimated that the world will construct new buildings or replace old ones equal to about 60% of the entire current stock, which need to be brought down to zero emissions as soon as possible to avoid locking in current emission levels for at least another 80 years. Mr Mazria noted the success in the US building sector over the past decade due to a coordinated set of federal laws matched by incentives and ambitious commitments by states, cities and industry. "Even though we are adding more buildings, we have already peaked in energy consumption. This has saved American consumers USD 560 billion of what they would have spent on energy" he said. The following graph illustrates the impact of coordinated action and past and future savings in US building operations.
A side event 'Powering the Green City of Tomorrow: Efficient, Renewable Affordable' was held 12 June in Bonn. The event showcased a number of existing climate solutions which can help cities move from conventional development to cleaner, sustainable and more resilient growth.
Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC Communications Coordinator, opened the event by saying that the role of urban centres in the fight against climate change was increasingly coming to the fore and had become an integral part of efforts under the UNFCCC to increase pre-2020 ambition and to build a meaningful 2015 climate agreement.
Ruud Kempener of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) summed up the key findings of a recent IRENA report according to which the global percentage of renewable energy could be more than doubled to 36% by the year 2030. Together with energy efficiency, renewables are instrumental in keeping the world below a maximum two degrees Celsius temperature rise. Most of the renewable installations and energy efficiency measures of the future, notably the better insulation of buildings, will be in urban centres.
John Christensen of UNEP's Riso Centre presented a key initiative of the UN's Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform. An excellent example of low cost, efficient technology with major mitigation potential is energy efficient lighting. Such technology alone can reduce global electricity demand for lighting by more than 32%, avoid 3.5 Gt of CO2 and save over USD 108 billion annually in avoided electricity bills to consumers.
Maryke Van Staden of the global cities network ICLEI is advising numerous municipalities and the EU Commission on how to improve the greening of public services. She said that the potential for green public procurement is presently hugely underestimated. One example is the UK's National Health Service, which has begun systematically procuring climate friendly products, thereby helping to green the UK's national and municipal supply chains.
The mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol is one of the few tools that countries have at their disposal to incentivize and focus private sector investment where it is needed to address climate change. Thus it makes sense to enhance and make good use of the mechanism.
Doing our homework: Preparations to inform national contributions in Latin America and South Africa
On Thursday, the University of Cape Town, or UCT, hosted a side event that presented a Mitigation Action Plans & Scenarios (MAPS) process used in Latin America and South Africa to understand the socioeconomic effects of implementing various climate actions. The MAPS process is a south-south collaboration that involves government, society and experts to explore the best way forward for both national development and the climate.
MAPS analysis currently underway in Peru, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and South Africa is possible through the partnership of universities and institutions. The goal is to build tailored Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for the coming new, universal climate change agreement that put each country on track to curbing emissions while promoting positive outcomes in social and economic development.
In Chile, where the government has committed to a USD 5 per tonne tax on carbon, the MAPS analysis is being used to compare different levels of carbon taxation. Using a sectoral approach that examines power needs for major economic drivers, the analysis looks at the effect of taxing emissions at various levels in the period 2017 to 2030. The results show emissions are curbed at a tax of USD 40, but GDP is adversely affected in the short term if that level of taxation is implemented. Using MAPS analysis, Chile can balance carbon tax levels and country-wide economic output.
South Africa is using this analysis to combine existing models to evaluate three scenarios: business-as-usual, ambitious renewable energy installation, and a USD 7 carbon tax that increases 10% per year. Researchers in Cape Town found that while the tax is the best option for GDP, a massive shift to renewables provides the highest potential for emissions reduction. This knowledge can be useful for the government to choose a policy path at the national level and bring that policy outlook to the international climate talks.
These are just two examples of how this analysis is being put to work in Africa and Latin America. MAPS methodology is significant because it is an instrument for developing country governments to use to meet both poverty eradication and climate change goals, which are often seen as competing goals. For more information on this exciting programme, please visit their website.
Wednesday 11 June
Global protocol for community-scale greenhouse gas emissions
A meeting of the Advisory Committee overseeing the development of a methodology to help cities and local communities estimate their GHG emissions took place in Bonn on 11 June, at the margins of the UNFCCC session. The methodology is well known as the "Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC)". This project is led in a partnership by the World Resources Institute, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the World Bank, UN-HABITAT, UNEP and several other organizations active in supporting cities and communities in their effort to estimate and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
This final step was preceded by a comprehensive pilot phase of the project, with the participation of about 30 cities around the world and several training workshops in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Greenhouse gas inventories at the city or local level were prepared during the pilot phase and documented through the "Methodology Reports". The results of the pilot phase are being presented during the current SB session in Bonn and will be also presented in Lima. Detailed information on the project is available here.
Tuesday 10 June
Addressing climate change while improving the lives of the urban poor
From lighting up slums in India with solar power to building more resilient communities in Mozambique to getting around China by bus-based rapid transit, there is an enormous groundswell of action underway across the globe to address climate change.
Moderated by Farhana Yamin, a member of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel, the event brought together two previous Lighthouse Activity winners who spoke about how the urban poor in developing countries are leading climate action.
Katerina Kimmorley, Co-founder of Pollinate Energy, explained how her organization trains members of the local community to distribute and install solar lighting systems in the slums of Bangalore. So far, more than 23,000 people living in 508 slum communities have been provided with solar systems. Transitioning from kerosene to solar has saved almost 200,000 litres of kerosene and more than 475,000 kilograms of carbon emissions to date.
Dr. Vanesa Casten Broto, Project Leader of Public Private People Partnerships for Climate Compatible Development (4PCCD), spoke about how her initiative empowers people living in urban poor neighbourhoods in Maputo, Mozambique, to design and implement activities to adapt to climate change. The initiative shows that business, governments and communities can work together to address climate change through local partnerships.
The event also featured a five-minute video from the Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit System. The Guangzhou BRT is the first 'metro replacement' level BRT system outside South America. The system carries more than triple the single-directional passenger flows of any other BRT system in Asia, and is second only to Bogota's BRT, Transmilenio, worldwide.
Luis Davila, Team Leader of Momentum for Change, gave the audience a first look at the initiative's new interactive summary of its 2013 Annual Report.
Monday 9 June
UNFCC SB40 bike rally promotes zero-carbon transport
In order to draw attention to cycling as a key solution to pollution in urban areas and other options for sustainable urban transport, the UNFCCC secretariat organized a bike rally along the Rhine 9 June. Cruising along the Rhine and joined by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, SB 40 delegates could enjoy the benefits of a zero-carbon ride against the scenic backdrop of the Rhine valley.
Deutsche Bahn (German Railway) provided free bikes for those participants who didnt already have one. And the German ADFC biking club was there to provide logistical assistance. Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC's Coordinator of Communications, deployed a bamboo bicycle from Ghana, celebrated by the UNFCCC secretariat's Momentum for Change initiative as an example of zero carbon technology which benefits local communities in Africa.
The bike rally was part of the UNFCCC's Mobility Solutions Fair. The fair coincides with the Expert Technical Meeting on urban climate action this week. Conference participants will have the chance to take a Tesla Model S car for a test drive from 10:00 to 18:00. And DHL will showcase one of its electric vehicles used for mail delivery and be be on hand to answer questions from conference participants from 12:00 to 15:00. See more pics from the rally in our special Facebook Photo album.
Sunday 8 June
Venezuela fleshes out plans for 'Social Pre-Copâ' ahead of Lima
Ms Salemo said they were committed to bringing civil society closer to governments involved in the climate negotiations and would be supporting the attendance of NGOs at the Pre-Cop.
Ms Salemo said it had been decided that the 'Pre-COP' will take place between 4 and 7 November so as not to clash with another round of climate meetings scheduled in Bonn, Germany in October.
In preparation of the November meetings, between 15 and 18 July Venezuela will host a day of local governments, followed by a day of youth under the theme "The Future Takes the Floor", then two days on the issue of sustainable living.
Some of the ideas and outcomes of these July meetings will be submitted to the UN in New York as part of the process towards developing a suite of Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.
Those ideas and proposals more firmly anchored in climate change will be brought forward to the November meetings which will commence with two days of debate and an outcome among social organizations and movements from across the globe on 4 and 5 November.
November 6 will bring key speakers from these social organizations in a direct discussion with Ministers, followed by a pure ministerial and closing ceremony on 7 November.
Biennial assessment and overview of financial flows - update by the SCF and collaborating institutions
The Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) organized a side event on Sunday 8 June to update Parties and observers on ongoing work regarding preparation of the Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows (BA). The side event was facilitated by Seyni Nafo, the co-facilitator of SCF working group on BA, who participants on the progress of preparing the three chapters of the BA, namely: Overview of Current Climate Finance; Methodological Issues relating to Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Public and Private Finance; and Assessment. The UNFCCC secretariat then gave an overview presentation on the processes and approach that have underpinned the ongoing preparation of the first BA.
As external contributors, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Investment Bank (EIB) on behalf of the multilateral development banks gave updates on their respective workstreams. OECD shared their on-going work on tracking climate finance flows, including OECD DAC statistics on climate-related official development finance, improvement of the Rio Markers (indicators of the degree of relevance of a given activity in addressing the objectives of a Rio convention) and work on research collaborative on tracking private climate finance.
EIB gave a presentation on the joint MDB climate finance tracking initiative - which facilitates co-ordination between MDBs and otherstakeholders - and shared lessons learned in tracking climate finance. Parties and observers attending the side event had the opportunity to hear about progress made to date on preparing the BA, and exchanged views on how the BA could be instrumental in further enhancing the coherence of tracking climate finance among different organizations.
The SCF is mandated by the Conference of the Parties to prepare the BA, taking into account relevant work by other bodies and entities on the measurement, reporting and verification of support and the tracking of climate finance. Aiming to publish the first BA by the end of year, the SCF will consider the draft during its seventh meeting taking place 16-18 June in Bonn, Germany.
Saturday 7 June
Climate Technology Centre and Network up and running, now needs to grow faster
A central focus of a side event on the UNFCCC's Technology Mechanism held 7 June in Bonn was on the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). The CTCN promotes the accelerated transfer of environmentally sound technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. The CTCN is fully up and running and has attracted its first six customers this year. Congratulating the CTCN, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said:
The CTCN is hosted by UNEP in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and 11 independent, regional organizations with expertise in climate technologies. Providing an overview of the CTCN, Jukka Uosukainen, Director of CTCN, said that more institutions need to come on board as part of an expanded network, and that especially adaptation-oriented institutions are welcome.
On Saturday, the World Resource Institute, (WRI), hosted a side event that presented three new tools for measuring emissions reductions currently in development. According to WRI, the tools are necessary to track the different types of contributions to the global effort to reduce emissions and effectively respond to the challenge of climate change.
Land use in a post-2020 agreement hosted by the Nordic Council of Ministers
In a recent report prepared for the Nordic Council of Ministers entitled "The land-use sector within the post-2020 climate regime" the advisory companies Climate Focus and UNIQUE forestry and land use analyze the current status of the land-use sector under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, and formulate options for how various incentives and systems could be harmonized under a future climate treaty.
At Saturday"s side event, the hosts presented the study and discussed possible land-use related scenarios for a post-2020 agreement.
The land-use sector serves key environmental and social functions and supports the livelihoods of around a half of the world"s population. According to the study, despite the importance of the land-use sector, the climate regime fails to formulate a coherent vision or set of incentives for mitigation and adaptation from the sector. The study also says that the negotiation of a future climate treaty that will take effect in 2020 presents a key opportunity to improve the current system and create an integrated accounting and incentive framework for adaptation and mitigation strategies across all land uses.
Friday 6 June
Latest submissions of national communications from non-Annex I Parties
At this side event, attended by 85 people, Nigeria, Republic of Moldova and Sao Tome e Principe presented the key outcomes of their national communications on national GHG inventories, vulnerability and adaptation and mitigation assessments. The presentations also covered key challenges, lessons learned and the next steps.
In terms of mitigation measures, Nigeria and Sao Tome e Principe have initiated a number of projects in the energy, waste and industrial sectors. Moldova has defined its emission reduction goals as -20% reduction against business as usual by 2020.
Common challenges faced included lack of data, limited expertise of teams and their multiple roles. The Parties are in various stages in the preparation of their subsequent national reports.
The secretariat provided an overview of the key technical resources available to facilitate national reports. including the capacity-building activities of the CGE.
The discussions placed emphasis on South-South cooperation, to enable Parties to peer-review reports for quality assurance/quality control, share data, technical experts and replication of methodological approaches.
WGII Contribution to AR5 - Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability
At the June meeting, Co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in association with SBSTA presented some clear messages to the session from the IPCC's latest Fifth Assessment Report under Working Group II and Working Group III. Chris Fields, Co-Chair of Working Group II, told the audience that increasing magnitudes of warming as a result of too little ambition to cut emissions will inevitably increase the likelihood of severe and pervasive climate impacts that cannot be managed effectively. "At the highest levels of warming, the prospects for adaptation are truly limited" he said. Adapting to climate change is already a priority for many vulnerable nations and managing the risk of future impacts will remain possible only if the world cuts greenhouse gas emissions much faster. The Working Group II report frames climate change as a challenge of managing risks and underlines that all countries are ultimately vulnerable.
Working Group III Co-Chair Ottmar Edenhofer said that despite the growing number of mitigation policies, global emissions of greenhouse gases have continued to rise, mainly driven by economic and population growth. However, he said that with major technical and institutional changes, emissions growth can be decoupled from economic growth and the cost to do that now is relatively low. "It does not cost the world to save the planet," he said, "however it requires a huge institutional effort, it requires the right incentives and it requires a lot of good will." The main findings of Working Group III can be seen as a map showing the many possible pathways identified by scientists to prevent temperatures rising beyond the agreed upper limit of 2C degrees. Policymakers must choose the route they want, but the message is clear: action now costs a lot less than action later.
The side event on business and adaptation featured speakers from both the private sector and governments. Hosted by BUSINESSEUROPE and the government of Poland, the side event consisted of four presentations and a brief discussion. The meeting opened with Nick Campbell the BUSINESSEUROPE Chair declaring that "business does not care about adaptation and does not have a role in it" Campbell went on to say "This is wrong"
What are the technology needs of developing countries?
The TNA side event provided stakeholders with the opportunity to highlight good practices for undertaking technology needs assessments and to identify ways to implement the results of the TNAs. The side event also provided information on the findings of the 3rd synthesis report on technology needs identified by non-Annex I Parties, experiences and lessons learned from the Global TNA project, experiences with national TNA projects, and country experiences by conducting, reporting and implementing TNAs.
The representative of the UNFCCC presented the main finding of the 3rd synthesis report on TNAs, including the numerous project ideas reported by Parties in their TNAs and options to implement them.
The representative of UNEP informed on their experiences and lessons learned from the Global TNA project, including the need for improving guidelines for stakeholder identification and involvement.
The representative of GEF provided an overview of national TNA projects supported outside the Global TNA project. GEF also introduced some key elements for project success, including the ability to provide financial means for TAPs, and the need to identify how TNAs and TAPs can become part of the mainstream national development strategy process.
The national TNA coordinator from Argentina highlighted some of the challenges faced, including the importance of linking the TNA results with other implementation-oriented processes such as NAMA and NAP.
Thursday 5 June
Continued improvement and enhanced demand
Demand for UN certified emission reductions (CERs) is down but sure to pick up as Parties increase their ambition to address climate change.
In the meantime, the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will continue to implement, improve and increase demand for the ground-breaking mechanism, said Board Chair Hugh Sealy at the Board's question and answer session on Thursday.
The CDM Board will focus its demand-side efforts on countries, companies, agencies and large events like the Football World Cup, virtually anyone with a concern for the planet, ensuring that the benefits of the CDM are well understood and that CERs are as easy as possible to source and cancel.
To date more than 7,775 projects and programmes have been registered under the CDM in 105 developing countries. The projects and programmes - everything from efficient cookstove projects, to renewable energy projects, to large industrial projects - can earn a saleable CER for each tonne of greenhouse gas they reduce or avoid.
Thus, the CDM incentivizes climate change mitigation and spurs sustainable development. Despite the downturn in demand, some 20 projects are registered each month and about 7.6 million CERs are issued.
Wednesday 4 June
Climate induced displacement, migration and managed relocation rising up the adaptation agenda
Since 2009, governments have formally recognized that the issue of climate induced displacement, migration and planned relocation needs to be considered in their adaptation planning, including their National Adaptation Plans.
Severe drought in Somalia has displaced part of the local population
A number UN agencies and NGOs who are offering help to governments in such planning, along with several organizations presented their work at a side event at the SBs in Bonn on 4 June.
Koko Warner, an IPCC lead author with UN University in Bonn, said the expert community was standing by and ready to help with extensive planning expertise. "If relocation is necessary, we need to do it in a way that prevents the erosion of human rights" she said.
UNHCR's Marine Franck stressed that relocation must always be a last resort, and that it must happen in consultation both with the relocated communities to leave their homes, and the host communities..
As climate change impacts accelerate, more migration will happen across borders, and important questions of a legal nature have yet to be answered.
NAMA Facility - providing finance for the implementation of early NAMAs
From 2009, developing countries agreed to craft Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in line with their national development objectives with the aim of reducing their emissions below business as usual by 2020. The "NAMA Facility" was jointly set up by the German and UK governments to support developing countries that show strong leadership on tackling climate change and want to implement NAMAs. Importantly, the Facility seeks not just to develop NAMAs, but to implement them with the help of private finance.
The NAMA Facility realized a first call for project outlines in 2013 and the EcoCasa project in Mexico was chosen as the pilot project. There followed the first call for projects, resulting in 47 proposals received, four of which were chosen, from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Indonesia.
A side event hosted by the German and UK governments focused on lessons learned from the first call for projects and early stages of project implementation.
Building supported by the ECOCASA project in Mexico
At COP 16 in Cancun, Parties decided to set up a NAMA registry to record and match offers of support from developed nations to NAMA projects using a mixture of public and private funds. For a project to be eligible for the NAMA registry, it must have the capacity for transformational change; for example, not just increase clean energy, but contribute to a transformational change in the energy sector.