Road to COP21: Renewables solution agenda
Time: 14:30 – 16:00
Room: Ballroom West
In September 2014 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon convened a Climate Summit with the aim of changing the dynamic of climate change negotiations. Under the overall theme of Catalyzing Action, the Summit involved a variety of stakeholders, invited to come to New York with commitments to undertake transformative action. The hope was that a bottom-up push to the negotiations would inspire countries to meet their goal of reaching an ambitious global agreement by 2015. An important outcome of the Summit was the Action Agenda.Commitments made in the Action Areas became a motivating way of building momentum for a strong climate agreement. The Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) is mobilising new partners and providing visibility for their actions, commitments and results in the run up to COP21. Commitments are categorised into Cooperative Initiatives, and those undertaken by Cities Regions, Companies, and Investors.
During COP21, the LPAA will convene a High Level Meeting on Climate Action—the “Action Day”—that will share the objectives and achievements of initiatives and inspire additional commitments by business and political leaders. Action Day aims to “capture the magnitude of the mobilization, the credibility of corresponding commitments” and help with implementation of the new climate agreement beyond 2015.Whether part of the LPAA or outside its structure, giving prominence and visibility to commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have proved to be a powerful way to motivate all segments of society, ranging from governments to business to a variety of civil society organisations.
Questions to be addressed by the session
- Some commenters have voiced fears that renewable energy commitments by non-state actors reduce the pressure on governments to take action. Is this fear realistic or are commitments inducing governments to move more aggressively by demonstrating what is possible?
- What can be done to reduce the risks that many disconnected actions to promote renewable energy—the “let a thousand flowers bloom” approach—result in inefficiencies or confusion? What role can REN21 play?
- Although the renewable solutions agenda contains many commitments these are only a fraction of the renewable energy activities taking place around the world. Is there a place for (and value of) capturing these in the solutions agenda, and if so what is the best way to bring them in? How can actions or decisions taken at SAIREC help do this in a consistent, transparent manner?
- Double counting of emissions reductions that are claimed by more than one initiative is a distinct possibility. This would give false assurances regarding the degree to which the world is on a stabilisation path. What can be done to avoid this problem?
- Renewable energy and energy efficiency commitments have so far been put in separate solutions agenda categories; yet there are clear synergies to using renewable energy more efficiently. How might this division be bridged? What can SAIREC do to help bring about a faster and more systematic transition to a low carbon and clean energy system?
- Ms. Marie-Hélène Aubert, Special advisor on climate change to the French President, France
- Mr. Mark Radka, Director Energy Branch, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Ms. Vera Rodenhoff, Head of Division, International Affairs for Environment and Energy, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany
- Mr. Stephan Singer, Director Global Energy Policy, WWF International
- Mr. Mokshanand Dowarkasing, Climate and Energy Coordinator, Greenpeace International, The Netherlands
Closing remarks:Hon Ms. E Molewa, MP, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa (tbc)