ENBOTS selected side events coverage for 10 November 2017



The following events were covered by IISD Reporting Services on Friday, 10 November 2017:

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the Side (ENBOTS) Meeting Coverage, will provide daily web coverage from selected side events at the UN Climate Change Conference - November 2017.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Ángeles Estrada and Herman Njoroge Chege
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Transformative Local Actions Toward Climate Resilient and Sustainable Cities in East Asia Presented by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability Japan (ICLEI-JO), ICLEI East Asia (ICLEI-EAS),
ICLEI Kaohsiung Capacity Center (ICLEI-KCC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

This session, moderated by Tsu-Jui Cheng, Director, ICLEI-KCC, focused on East Asian urban initiatives and local actions to tackle climate change, city-to-city cooperation and the perspective of the private sector. The session included introductory remarks followed by two panels. Cheng underscored the urgency of developing solutions and synergies between Asian cities to tackle climate change.

In introductory remarks, Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI, highlighted that 73% of energy is consumed in cities worldwide, many of which are in East Asia. He stressed the significant role for cities to play in helping nations implement the Paris Agreement. 

Xuedu Lu, ADB, emphasized the importance of sharing knowledge between East Asian cities to build resilient pathways and support low-carbon urban development. 

The first panel was moderated by Shu Zhu, Regional Director, ICLEI-EAS. Chen Ke Zheng, Guangzhou, China, gave an overview of low-carbon activities in the city, including on transport, green finance mechanisms and solid waste treatment, highlighting recycling and non-hazardous waste treatment initiatives. 

Jing Yu, Shenzhen, China, explained that policies and guidelines released by the local government have increased the use of new energy vehicles in the city; for example, 100% of the buses in Shenzhen are now electric. 

Battulga Erkhembayar, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, emphasized that Ulaanbaatar is contributing to Mongolia’s overall climate goals and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets by focusing on sectors that can be managed at the local level, such as forest resources, urban planning and energy. He outlined 18 mitigation and adaption projects. 

Toshiyuki Yamazoe, Toyama, Japan, explained the city’s objective of becoming a “compact city,” with centralized areas focusing on good public transport, among other things. He explained Toyama’s development of micro-hydro plants and highlighted technology transfer to Indonesia. 

Mei-Wen Wang, New Taipei City, Taiwan, described initiatives that aim to achieve low-carbon and sustainable development in such a large city. She highlighted that in 2016 they had reduced urban emissions back to 2008 levels.
Shan-Shan Guo, Executive Director, Delta Electronics Foundation, noted that Delta has become a global leader in switching power supplies. She said in the last seven years, Delta customers saved over 20.8 billion kWh of electricity by continuously improving energy efficiency. She highlighted that since 2006, Delta has established 25 green buildings across its global offices, some reaching net-zero energy consumption, which saved 15.2 million kWh of electricity in 2016. On transport, she described Delta’s efforts on LED streetlights and electric vehicle charging systems. Guo gave the example of their Shanghai operating center, which acquired US LEED Green Building Platinum Certification and reduced its energy consumption by 60%, combining a number of green technologies.

On social participation, she accentuated Delta Foundation collaboration with a research team to establish a ‘Building Carbon Footprint Evaluation System,’ which helps cities examine their building improvements with a life-cycle perspective. She gave the example of New Taipei City, where the library has reduced its carbon emissions by 35% with this system. She also described the Delta Green Building exhibition, first opened at COP 21, whose interactive game to show different choices in energy sources attracted 65,000 visitors in 2017 during the EcoMobility World Festival in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Lu noted the active involvement of the private sector in the development of urban sustainable development; gave an overview of the ADB’s priorities pertaining to green urban development, including sustainable infrastructure, energy and transportation; and stressed the importance of environmental and economic progress in the projects. He asked the panel to discuss opportunities for the private sector to invest in sustainable projects that are profitable. Guo noted that Delta is committed to spending 7% of its revenue on research and development so it can bring the most energy efficient products to its customers, saving energy and providing them with an economic incentive. 

During the second panel, moderated by Takashi Otsuka, ICLEI-JO participants heard contributions focusing on resilient and smart cities from: Pu Xinda, Jiaxing, China; Yoko Kawai, Kyoto, Japan, who noted the city’s aim of having zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the latter half of the 21st century; Chia-An Wu, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, who noted a 14.7% emissions reduction below 2005 levels through their emissions reduction strategy; and Kenshi Baba, Tokyo City University, who gave a brief history of climate change strategies in Japanese local governments and the uptake of adaptation strategies.


Tsu-Jui Cheng, Director, ICLEI-KCC said that East Asia has been moving towards urban transformation in an unprecedented way.

Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI World Secretariat, noted the importance of implementing resilience plans at the local level.


Chen Ke Zheng, Guanghzou, China, expressed the desire to build a world-class city and contribute to global climate action.

Jing Yu, Shenzhen, announced that 100% of all buses in his city are electric and 100% of taxis will be by 2020.

Battulga Erkhembayar, Director, Environmental Department, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, noted the city’s target of reducing transport emissions by 10% by 2020.

Toshiyuki Yamazoe, Toyama, Japan, explained his city’s strategy of becoming a resilient, compact city.

Shan-Shan Guo, Executive Director, Delta Electronics Foundation, talked about how the private sector can contribute to sustainable development.

Mei-Wen Wang, New Taipei City, Taiwan, noted her city’s responsibility for low-carbon development as the largest in the country.

Yoko Kawai, Kyoto, Japan, discussed the ‘Kyoto+20’ conference set to take place at the end of the year on the global environment, which will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol.

Xuede Lu, ADB, said that for low-carbon urban designs, cities need to consider top-down as well as bottom-up approaches.

L-R: Shan-Shan Guo, Executive Director, Delta Electronics Foundation; Toshiyuki Yamazoe, Toyama City, Japan; Mei-Wen Wang, New Taipei City, Taiwan; and Battulga Erkhembayar, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

L-R: Kenshi Baba, Tokyo City University; Chia-An Wu, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; ; Yoko Kawai, Kyoto, Japan; and Pu Xinda, Jiaxing, China

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Energy Policy Trade-offs within the Broader Sustainable Development Challenge Presented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA)

This session, moderated by Eduardo Zepeda, OPTIMUS Community, discussed capacity development for energy policies and sustainable development alternatives, focusing on integrated analysis system models.

Mark Howells, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden, spoke on the development of quantitative tools enabling the identification of interlinkages between climate, water and energy more effectively. He gave the example of India, explaining that irrigation systems must be evaluated in an integrative manner to save both water and energy. He concluded by noting how climate change will produce shortages of resources, which could trigger conflict and called for technology development that is aligned with carbon reduction goals.

Tobias Fuchs, Deutscher Wetterdienst (DW), spoke on the Global Framework for Climate Services, a UN initiative that supports climate adaptation. He said energy and meteorology go hand-in-hand, through, for example: solar energy disruption in cloudy conditions; precipitation patterns impacting hydropower energy; and wind speed affecting wind energy. 

Simon Langan, International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), discussed integrated solutions for water, energy and land. He highlighted five key messages that will enhance capacity and partnerships, including to: deepen the evidence base to support policy and practice towards solutions; move away from silos to integrated systems; think through a transdisciplinary lens; consider multiple and nested scales to develop changes in knowledge, attitude and skills; and communicate effectively and disseminate information. 

María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, Director General, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), Mexico, spoke on emerging methods to better integrate the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She gave the example of hydrological basins contained in selected urban areas, and described training experiences in her country focusing on the example of the “CLESS Modeling Tools for Sustainable Development.” She stressed the importance of training to improve the use of the modeling tools and data management. 
In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed, inter alia: modeling methods; climate change services; river basins’ use of climate modeling; education on sustainable energy; the importance of improved communication on the use of climate models; and capacity building at the sub-national level.

Tobias Fuchs, DW, called for a mix of energy sources to ensure security in the energy supply.

Mark Howells, KTH, defended the importance of ‘communities of practice’ to improve science and decision-making.

Eduardo Zepeda, OPTIMUS Community, highlighted institutional challenges to effective decision-making.

View of the dais during the event

Tobias Fuchs, DW, called for a mix of energy sources to ensure security in energy supply.

María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, Director General, INECC, said “the first challenge is to decide what we need to know” to illustrate how qualitative analysis is essential for coherent decision making.

Mark Howells, KTH, defended the importance of communities of practice to improve science and decision making.

Eduardo Zepeda, OpTIMUS Community, highlighted institutional challenges to effective decision making.

Simon Langan, IIASA, highlighted the need to deepen partnerships to enhance capacity building in developing countries.

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Sharing the Climate Action Platform: Equipping Non-State Actors to Participate in the Energy TransitionPresented by WWF

In this side event, experts debated the role of non-state actors in the transition to 100% renewable energy, with a particular focus on their opportunities and challenges and misconceptions about the sector. Tabaré Arroyo Currás, WWF Latin America and Caribbean, introduced the session and Rana Adib, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), moderated the event. 

Adib spoke of the positive outcomes in the renewable energy sector, including job creation, explaining that it employed 9.8 million people in 2016, a 1.1% increase from 2015. She underscored that 2016 was a great year for renewable energy, particularly as 176 countries had renewable energy targets, but called for faster action as the increase in fossil fuel-based energy had not been met by the increase in renewable energy.

Kanika Chawla, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), explained that in her country of India, one in four people do not have access to electricity. She mentioned a “food chain” among state actors due to the credibility associated with larger institutions and a lack of coordination among non-state actors in the renewable energy sector. She suggested including renewables as an election issue to force elected officials to take action. On information dissemination, she said that “in an attempt to be accurate, we have lost the audience,” calling for simplified education material.

Hugo Lucas
, Factor, underscored that misconceptions about the benefits of migrating to renewable energy represent a challenge in reaching the 100% target and cautioned against exclusively addressing individuals already engaged in the energy sector. Noting that most material on renewable energy is dense and unclear for laypeople, he referenced John Cook’s literature on climate change communication, and called for using words such as “free” rather than “cost-saving.”

Gloria Hsu, National Taiwan University, relayed the renewable energy situation in her country, explaining that, due to pressure from civil society, by 2025 nuclear power will be phased out and 20% of electricity will be from renewables. She continued that her government is the main barrier to increasing wind energy in her country, as it is not transparent. She added that the most important strategy to empower civil society is to provide them with information, and that initially they worked with opposition parties to gain traction. 

Lydia Mogano, South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI), called for increased transparency at the government level, explaining that it is unclear where money will come from to finance the energy transition in her country. She asked how people will make sense of what has been discussed at the COP back at home, noting that there is no common understanding of what renewable energy is. 

Eduardo Noboa, Institute of Sustainability Governance, Leuphana University Lüneburg, urged panelists to explain how their organizations were enabling renewable energy expansion in their countries.

During the ensuing discussion, participants: called for building coalitions of non-state actors; asked how municipalities can assist in creating local renewable energy systems; urged using cyber politics intelligently; and discussed religion in renewable energy.

The panel discussed how to equip non-state actors to participate in the energy transition.

An audience member engaged in dialogue with the panel.

Hugo Lucas, Factor, said that environmental education has already won the war in Europe.

Lydia Mogano, SAFCEI, stated “we have a long way to go to educate people on renewables.”


Kanika Chawla, CEEW, said that although her country does not have any climate deniers, “we also don’t have any climate champions.”

Rana Adib, REN21, said that “we have cultural Erasmus in Europe,” and asked, “should we have a climate Erasmus?”

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Water for Urban ResiliencePresented by Global Climate Action (GCA)

In this side event, a breakout session from Water Action Day, panelists explored new ways to mobilize urban and coastal communities, government officials and the private sector around building resilient, climate and water smart cities. Aziza Akhmouch, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), moderated the panel. 

Katarina Luhr, City of Stockholm, Sweden, underlined the need for cities to discuss solutions and share best practices. She outlined nature-based solutions, including biochar and permeable soil and emphasized the importance of involving citizens in decision-making. 

Cathy Oke, City of Melbourne, Australia, said an integrated water management approach to climate adaptation and resilience has been critical for her city. She emphasized the need to foster local partnerships, and work closely with key stakeholders to co-design and implement nature-based solutions.

Jean-Didier Berthault, Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate, spoke about his organization’s work, including providing concrete examples on urban floods, sea level rise and water scarcity. He outlined projects and programmes taking place, including in Mexico City and Manila, emphasizing the importance of sharing best practices and innovative solutions for adaptation.

David Stevens, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), noted links between the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030 and climate change, saying that DRR is an essential element of sustainable development. He highlighted the “golden opportunity” to ensure a holistic approach to disaster risk management. 

Willi Kamm, City of Tuttlingen, Germany, outlined local experiences with water management and the Danube River. 

Bertrand Camus, Director General, SUEZ Water France, underscored the need for circular economy approaches to water management. He said both traditional and nature-based solutions will play a role, while digital technology can bridge the two. 

Mark Fletcher, Arup, emphasized the need for frameworks of understanding at a basin scale, clear lines of responsibility in governance processes and sharing knowledge. He said it is important to remember the unique cultural contexts of cities when establishing new adaptation policies.

Franz Marré, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany, highlighted that cities are both producers of emissions and victims of climate impacts, saying we need to focus on integrated resource management. Recalling the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), he emphasized the need to empower cities and recognize them as key actors, not only as beneficiaries or target groups.

Kobie Brand, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), outlined the work of her organization in Africa, describing water as a “common thread,” which impacts everyone’s lives on a daily basis. She emphasized the need for innovative nature-based solutions and cooperation amongst municipalities. 

Stefan Reuter, Executive Director, Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), said that solutions exist but implementing them remains the key challenge. He emphasized that fast-track learning and phased approaches will be essential. 

Fatimetou Abdel Malick, City of Tevragh-Zeina, Mauritania, said “water is life” and an important cross-cutting issue. She emphasized that increasing resilience is the work of local governments, as they can mobilize citizens, increase awareness and motivate behavior change. 

Franck Klipsch, Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), reflected on the importance of collaboration among local governments. He explained his organization’s strategy with elements, including: pre-disaster mitigation; increasing resilience capacity; restoring ecological infrastructure; multi-state disaster vulnerability assessments; and increasing disaster response. 

Cees van de Guchte, Deltares, called for connecting urban water policy to the climate negotiations, suggesting that the SDGs provided an appropriate entry point.

Paulo Sérgio Bretas de Almeida Salles, President, Agência Reguladora de Águas, Energia e Saneamento Básico do Distrito Federal (ADASA), Brazil, noted challenges due to lack of investment in water infrastructure and an ongoing drought, and highlighted the importance of improving legal and institutional frameworks.

Cate Lamb, CDP, noted the critical role of the private sector in providing funding for a water secure world, saying that they are waking up to the importance of water security for their own business models and that the policy community can leverage that interest.

Katarina Luhr, City of Stockholm, declared “water has no boundaries,” highlighting the importance of collaboration, nationally, regionally and globally.

Cathy Oke, City of Melbourne, outlined her city’s goal to double tree canopy cover by 2040.

Jean-Didier Berthault, Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate, said there are currently 31 megacities and there will be 10 more by 2030.

David Stevens, UNISDR, said the Sendai Framework highlights the need for good governance at local, national, regional and global levels.

L-R: Kobie Brand, ICLEI; Mark Fletcher, ARUP; Stefan Reuter, Executive Director, BORDA; Bertrand Camus, Director General, SUEZ Water France; Willi Kamm, City of Tuttlingen, with his interpreter; and Franz Marré, BMZ

Aziza Akhmouch, OECD, said that “you cannot manage water only by following administrative boundaries.”

Franz Marré, BMZ, urged looking beyond the climate perspective to consider broader issues. 

Mark Fletcher, Arup, said “our future cities will be bluer and they will be greener – they will be great places to live.”

Kobie Brand, ICLEI, said that African mayors are “at the forefront of this agenda” and are ready to take action.

L-R: Franck Klipsch, MRCTI; Cate Lamb, CDP; Fatimetou Abdel Malick, Tevragh-Zeina; Paulo Sérgio Bretas de Almeida Salles, President, ADASA, Brazil; and Cees van de Guchte, Deltare

Cate Lamb, CDP, said that US$93 trillion needs to be raised in the next 12 years to fund needed water infrastructure.

Franck Klipsch, MRCTI, outlined the Mississippi River Infrastructure Plan.

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Climate Action for Food Security: Harvesting Adaptation and Mitigation Benefits in the Land SectorPresented by the UN

The UN hosted this side event on climate action for food security, which focused on technology, women, indigenous peoples, finance, youth and climate. Martin Frick, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, moderated the session, explaining that, although farmers, especially poor ones, are the most vulnerable to climate change, they also have the potential to address food security and reduce GHGs. 

Tania Osejo, World Food Programme (WFP), introduced the session, speaking of the social ramifications of agriculture. She underscored that, after steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise. She noted that climate justice, gender, equality and human rights are key in adapting to and mitigating climate change. 

Tekini Nakidakida, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji, noted the stagnation of agriculture in his country following Cyclone Winston in 2016. He called for: the restoration of lands degraded by erosion, monocropping and intense agriculture use; capacity building for farmers and service providers for adaptation; and reducing food waste to address hunger. 

Divine Ntiokam
, Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), explained that, in order to ensure a sustainable future, young farmers need capacity building at all levels, an enabling environment and a space to share. He called for the translation of UN documents into local languages and for the use of climate-smart agriculture. 

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), Chad, said that indigenous livelihoods are linked to land. She called for not only food security, but food sovereignty for indigenous peoples, pointing to the right to land as key to achieving this. She urged the UN to come together to give a voice to indigenous peoples in addressing climate change. 

Katia Araujo, Landesa Rural Development Institute, cited an International Labour Organization study stating that agriculture is the most important source of employment for women in lower and middle-income countries. She highlighted that the central use of land is often inadequately considered when addressing mitigation and adaptation. She concluded that, with secure land rights, women farmers are more likely to increase crop yields, plant trees, conserve soil and use mitigation measures. 

Juan Chang, Green Climate Fund (GCF), said his organization is already funding mitigation and adaptation initiatives, including significant resources already allocated to the land use sector. He added that the land use sector has always been fragmented, and called for stakeholders to consider how environmental and social benefits can be achieved through investment. 

Saiful Islam, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, explained how crop modeling and remote sensing can address climate change, highlighting that they can show precipitation changes and predict yield. He provided an example of modeling from his country, which showed that drought would increase in the future, noting that CO2 impacts crop growth. He added that technological assistance to farmers is critical for adaptation. 

During the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, among other things: women’s empowerment, particularly through family planning; providing youth with the means to access funding; how to encourage women to stay in the agriculture sector; the role of cities in addressing food security; using market-driven models to empower climate-smart farmers; addressing cultural differences that are obstacles to women; and reducing fragmentation amongst communities.

Katia Araujo, Landesa Rural Development Institute, said that rural girls and women are sustained by natural resources.

L-R: Divine Ntiokam, CSAYN, and Tekini Nakidakida, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji

L-R: Katia Araujo, Landesa Rural Development Institute; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, AFPAT, Chad; Tania Osejo, WFP; Juan Chang, GCF; Divine Ntiokam, CSAYN; and Tekini Nakidakida, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji

An audience member urged the panel to address women’s empowerment through family planning. 

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