NON STATE STAKEHOLDERS
UNFCCC Observer organizations and other stakeholders around the world show their support for this initiative and the importance of achieving a sustainable and resilient recovery. See their video messages and written statements, as well as those from stakeholders based in the host country (Japan).
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- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- The European Commission
- The Marshall Islands
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- The Philippines
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- The United Kingdom
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
At the most fundamental level, the COVID-19 pandemic is the result of increasingly unsustainable interactions between human beings and natural systems. The rapid global spread of the virus also illustrates the risks of rapid globalisation. Thus, as we begin to consider our societies after the pandemic, it is clear that we need policy frameworks that help us live more sustainably with nature while reducing the negative impacts of globalisation. But what policy frameworks can help us achieve these goals? Let me offer an example from Japan and other parts of Asia and the Pacific known as the regional and local “circulating and ecological sphere” or CES.
CES aims to integrate the principles of a “society in harmony with nature”, a “resource circulating society”, and a “decarbonised society”. To advance these principles, CES calls for several transformative changes. One such change is the decentralisation and integration of the management of natural resources at appropriate scales. This will encourage more appropriate utilisation of natural resources; lower carbon emissions associated with energy and transport; and decrease vulnerabilities to supply chain disruptions. A second change is conserving often neglected ecosystem services between urban and rural areas. This will not only improve resource flows but also help restore natural buffer zones, as illustrated in Satoyama landscapes. A third change calls for revitalising communities by depending more on local resources for essential needs. This will help create jobs and sustainable livelihoods.
While CES calls for localisation of resource use, it also sees a growing role for harnessing the good of globalisation. In particular, international institutions such as
the UNDESA, UNFCCC, CBD, and the UNDRR can help countries learn how to adopt their own integrated approaches to resource management so that we can build societies that are decentralised yet connected to global communities through the exchange of people, information and technologies. At IGES, we also believe that international cooperation is essential to both “build back better” and “move forward together”.
We Are Still In
We Are Still In is a member of the Alliances for Climate Action (ACA)*, a network of national alliances dedicated to driving ambitious climate action, increasing public support for addressing the climate crisis, and engaging national governments to decarbonize faster. We Are Still In is a joint declaration of support for climate action, signed by more than 3,900 CEOs, mayors, governors, college presidents, and others. The organizations they represent comprise the largest and most diverse coalition of actors ever established in the pursuit of climate action in the United States.
U.S. City, State, and Business Leaders Who Have Committed to Uphold Paris Agreement Call on Congress for Support to Build Back Better
Major coalitions of mayors, governors and businesses deliver letters urging Congress to invest in clean energy to preserve and unlock millions of jobs and set the country on ‘green recovery’ path
(Washington DC) - We Are Still In, US Climate Alliance, and Climate Mayors were founded as communities around the country joined together to uphold the Paris Agreement and accelerate climate action. These leaders are now calling for a federal response to the COVID crisis that recognizes that the fastest way to get Americans back to work, and improve the health of our communities, is through bold and just climate action.
As Congress is ramping up discussions on its next round of stimulus and relief to address the impacts of COVID-19, coalitions from across America, representing over half of the U.S. population and over 60% of U.S. GDP, delivered letters to House and Senate Leadership. Each of these three separate letters outlines a set of policy recommendations to accelerate the recovery of states, cities, and the private sector respectively but across the three letters there is a common call to prioritize American health, and put Americans back to work in good, quality jobs by investing in clean, sustainable infrastructure.
• The US Climate Alliance delivered a letter calling for immediate, flexible federal aid for states and territories (in addition to aid for local governments) to ensure essential state services are uninterrupted. The letter further encourages Congress to put Americans back to work through modernizing and enhancing the resilience of the country’s infrastructure. It specifies recommendations to strengthen the U.S. power grid, expand nature-based solutions, and reduce energy use in the buildings and transportation sectors.
• Climate Mayors published a letter signed by 198 mayors from cities in 41 states, calling for bold action from Congress to protect our planet and build a more just economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Climate Mayors state “returning to the status quo is not sufficient in meeting the challenges of climate change and inequities in our communities” and the letter lays out a set of bipartisan policy recommendations that can be implemented on a short time horizon to put Americans back to work and create cleaner, healthier, more livable communities.
• Over 30 major businesses which collectively employ over a million Americans, sent a letter that advocates for enhancements to the renewable tax credit programs in order to rescue good-paying American jobs from the economic recession, and promotes policies to stimulate the U.S. economy by incentivizing energy efficiency and transport electrification and investing in clean, renewable energy resources, infrastructure expansion, and grid modernization,
These three letters reinforce other letters that have been sent to Congress from or on behalf of tribal governments, health care systems, higher education networks, museums and cultural institutions, and faith groups since the coronavirus pandemic upended the U.S. economy. Across the country, our communities and institutions have realized and communicated the economic and environmental co-benefits of federal relief and reinvestment; Congress now has the opportunity to make their recommendations a reality. These letters are all available on the We Are Still In website at www.wearestillin.com.
A report from earlier in the summer found that current levels of technology and investment make it possible for the U.S. to achieve 90% clean energy generation by 2035. Also released this week are new polling breakdowns that show that the American public supports the core tenets of a recovery and stimulus that expands renewables. And these policies are only a starting point, estimates show that Congress could create over 9 million well paying jobs every year for the next 10 years, by investing in a green recovery.
Responding to this crisis will take all of us: states, cities, tribes, businesses, universities, faith bodies, cultural institutions, and health care systems, all working to our strengths, with the federal government playing a crucial role in facilitating and supplementing our efforts. It is essential that we not react to one global health and economic crisis by worsening another.
“Congress should have two priorities for the pandemic recovery efforts: protecting public health and creating new jobs for a fairer, stronger economy. The best way of accomplishing both of these goals is by investing in bold, just climate action. Before COVID-19, clean energy jobs were growing at twice the rate of national employment. These jobs and the hundreds of thousands of others supporting the clean energy economy directly correlate with cleaner air and fewer respiratory diseases. This is how we build back better after the pandemic.” - Elan Strait, Director, US climate campaigns, World Wildlife Fund
“US Climate Alliance governors know that we need to build back better. Let’s put our country on the road to a truly healthy and sustainable recovery.” - Reed Schuler, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Inslee
Voices from Nuclear Industry
Our world is confronting two crises at the moment: COVID-19 and climate change.
To successfully deal with each of them, nuclear power can greatly contribute to build a resilient, sustainable socio-economic system.
MARIA G. KORSNICK / PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE, U.S.
The changing climate is a global problem that can only be met with a global solution. It will require the preservation and expansion of all carbon-free sources of energy, working together. Partnered with wind and solar, nuclear’s value as a reliable workhorse will propel nations – and the world – to meet our emissions reduction goals. Nuclear brings some unique characteristics: it’s always on—all day, every day. It’s the only carbon-free, firm, dispatchable energy source we have today. And it keeps the lights on in times of crisis and recovery. It keeps our hospitals running and ensures our first responders can do their jobs. The nuclear of tomorrow will offer even greater flexibility, more tailored solutions. Nuclear can solve the problems of today, and of the future.
YVES DESBAZEILLE / DIRECTOR GENERAL / FORATOM(THE VOICE OF THE EUROPEAN NUCLEAR INDUSTRY)
The EU has set itself the very ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 – essentially 30 years from now. Not only will this require the full decarbonisation of the power sector, but also the development and implementation of solutions which will help to decarbonise industry, transport, heating etc. In this respect, nuclear has a clear role to play. It provides low-carbon electricity all day, every day – essential when you consider how electricity demand is expected to grow due to increased electrification. It can produce hydrogen for use in hard to decarbonise sectors such as industry and transport. It can also provide district heating, helping to decarbonise the housing sector. However, the right investment framework needs to be available and the EU taxonomy for Sustainable Finance has to include nuclear, so that it can help the EU reach its climate goals as early as possible In a nutshell – in order to decarbonise its economy, the existing EU nuclear capacity has to be preserved and new projects supported. For achieving its goals, the EU should count on the contribution from nuclear.
SHIRO ARAI / PRESIDENT / JAPAN ATOMIC INDUSTRIAL FORUM
Nuclear power is the only practical energy source that can provide large amounts of electricity on a long-term, stable basis, including easy storage of fuel. As such, it has a major role to play in building a resilient energy system. Because it emits no carbon dioxide in the generation process, it is also an effective tool in efforts to suppress global warming. No less important: Japan’s rate of energy self-sufficiency is very low. Japan is heavily dependent on imports of fossil fuels. So, Nuclear power, combined with renewable energy, is vital to Japan’s energy security. The domestic nuclear industry must strive to restart existing reactors while continuing to reinforce nuclear safety. Into the future, it will also have to extend their operating lifetimes, steadily construct new plants and replace older ones.
TOM GREATREX / CHIEF EXECUTIVE / NUCLEAR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, UK
What COVID has reminded us is that when there are very big challenges then everybody needs to pull together to meet those challenges. And there is no bigger challenge than climate change and reducing the amount of carbon we emit when we generate electricity. Nuclear has a really significant role to play, not just in ensuring we have lots of clean power for the future, but also in getting the economy moving again - providing jobs, growth and economic activity across the whole of the country, including those places that might otherwise be left behind. Nuclear can reinvigorate the economy, get people working again and at the same time protect future generations and the environment which we need to prosper, and at the same time, be an integral part to produce the infrastructure we need for clean, green, and sustainable energy supply for our futures.
JOHN GORMAN / PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / CANADIAN NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION
Our global community has struggled with its transition to clean energy, but the COVID-19 crisis has presented us with an opportunity to rethink how we move towards a better future. Any green recovery plan should promote greater electrification of key sectors such as transportation and industry and more nuclear energy, including small modular reactors. Canada is well-positioned to make this transition with an electricity grid that is 82 per cent non-emitting, powered by nuclear, hydro and renewables. We need to get this right. The investments we make now will dictate our collective ability to meet our emissions’ goals. They will also determine the level of economic recovery and our future prosperity.
Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment
University of Oxford
Regions4 President and Basque Deputy Minister for Environment
Regions4 would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Environment of the Government of Japan, UNFCCC and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) for developing the “Platform for Redesign 2020” in a new joint effort to connect Parties and non-Party Stakeholders in the fight against both the climate change and COVID-19 crises.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has led to a paradigm shift, unprecedented challenges, and many uncertainties for our territories, as well as for the sustainability of our planet as a whole. That is why the leadership and actions of subnational governments remain key for the much-needed transformative change.
Along with their counterparts on the local level, subnational governments are crucial stakeholders for an effective and green recovery from the pandemic. Not only do they hold specific competences on territorial planning, environmental management, and socio-economic development; they constitute a key nexus between national and local governments, ensuring vertical integration, as well as the coordination and coherence of policies across different levels and sectors.
As a network of regional governments for sustainable development, Regions4 and its members have seen how subnational governments around the globe have been and are at the forefront of the pandemic response to address the health emergency, revive the economy and assist the most vulnerable sectors. But we have also seen a lack of coordination of actions, a centralisation of competences and decision-making, and a clear need for greater funding of administrations at the regional level.
Regions4 strongly believes that this pandemic should be taken as an opportunity to transform our institutions, the intergovernmental relations and our territories to move towards more sustainable, just, and resilient economic, social, and environmental models, leaving behind obsolete procedures to search for innovative solutions to build back better.
We need innovative solutions that help us accelerate efforts to decarbonise our economies and protect nature and its ecosystem services to prevent similar outbreaks. We must redesign the societies and economy of the future, focusing on renewable energies, sustainable production, electric mobility, circular economy, and creation of green jobs, among others. We require increased political and social commitment to transform ourselves so that our human activities do not put our existence at risk.
The Regions4 Declaration launched last June, clearly acknowledges that: a green, inclusive, just, resilient, and sustainable recovery requires opening new channels of dialogue between the national, subnational, and local governments, the international community, businesses, and the civil society for a concerted response. It means placing life and the safety of our peoples and ecosystems at the heart of the public policies and our economies. It implies concrete short-term goals and actions, that can develop into solid long-term plans for each territory, with a strong focus in adaptation and resilience measures. It needs ensuring that available funding mechanisms empower subnational governments to implement the required measures to respond to the social, economic, and environmental impacts in their territories, as key implementors and leaders of sustainable development policies and actions worldwide.
The Regions4 constituency is committed to making the most of our core values of diversity, collaboration, solidarity, closeness, ownership, accountability, and leadership to jointly work and contribute to the global recovery from the pandemic. We will continue listening to people’s demands in our territories through an open and continuous dialogue that engages all relevant stakeholders in a joint reflection about the current situation, gathering inputs and information to
be translated into strategic policies.
Subnational governments offer the Parties their leadership, innovation, and willingness to channel their potential to catalyse collective action that can be scaled up and replicated in the fight against the current worldwide crises.
At Regions4, we reaffirm our conviction that working collectively for sustainable development from a multi-level governance approach, is the best tool to respond to the pandemic. The future of our planet depends on it.
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The world is facing unprecedented challenges in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, with millions affected by the loss of lives and livelihoods. The effects of this global pandemic, which has uprooted conventional economic activities and societal norms, are compounded by the impacts of climate change—and 2020 is on track to be the warmest year on record.
The much-needed economic stimuli being developed across the globe in response to the COVID-19 crisis offer unique opportunities to prioritize sustainable investments such as the conservation and restoration of nature-based solutions, retrofitting of more resource-efficient buildings, and revamping
Directing funds to such efforts could help ensure societies and economies are more resilient to future impacts. This message is laid out in the United Nations’ call on governments to focus their recovery efforts to a higher environmental and socioeconomic standard than before the pandemic. In doing so, the planet, its people, and their economies could flourish.
Recognition is growing across governments that nature-based solutions (NBS), which the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems,” can play an important role in the solution to climate change and thus warrant increased focus within the response to COVID-19.
Specifically, protecting and restoring coastal wetlands habitats - seagrass, mangrove and saltmarshes, also commonly referred to as “blue carbon” ecosystems - can help countries to strengthen their local economies and improve livelihoods while supporting adaptation and mitigation efforts for climate change.
In addition to the intrinsic value for communities whose well-being and livelihoods are tied to the healthy function of these ecosystems, coastal wetlands provide a range of benefits, including helping to buffer against storm surges and providing flood storage, filtering water, storing carbon, providing shelter and nourishing species.
Recent research has estimated that the global flood protection benefits from mangroves alone exceed $65 billion per year, including more than 45 coastal stretches near cities each receiving more $250 million in benefits *1
The capacity of coastal wetlands as carbon sequestration and storage powerhouses can aid governments in meeting their emission reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. Protection and restoration of coastal wetlands can thus be included in a government’s revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Investment in coastal wetlands is a practical example of how COVID-19 economic stimuli can help countries regenerate domestically and contribute to their international emissions reduction goals.
The global response to COVID-19 also presents a further impetus to address the rate at which these ecosystems and the benefits they provide are being lost – more than 50% of coastal wetlands have been lost in the past 100 years. The degradation of these ecosystems not only deprives communities of a vast array of benefits but acts as a double-edged sword because they are transformed into a source of emissions and further accelerate climate change. As mangrove, seagrass and saltmarsh ecosystems are degraded, the carbon stored in both their biomass and soils, often accumulated over centuries and even millennia, is emitted back into the atmosphere. For instance, 10-20% of Indonesia’s annual emissions have been attributed to aquaculture developments within mangrove ecosystems. *2
Scientific and methodological understanding of the range of climate benefits provided by coastal wetlands – including IPCC approved guidance on quantifying mitigation values *3 – is now well established, providing the foundation from which some countries can enhance protections within the mitigation component their next NDCs. Further, coastal wetlands can also feature prominently in the adaptation and/or resilience components of an NDC given the wide variety of ecosystem services and protections they provide to the frontline communities and species that call these ecosystems home.
The immediacy of this opportunity is complemented by a growing interest in other nature-based solutions (NBS). Enhanced ambition for the protection of coastal wetlands can play a role in galvanizing further political, financial and scientific efforts to understand and implement other nature- based solutions.
To support these efforts, Pew and its partners are actively working with a range of government and non-state partners in Belize, Costa Rica and Seychelles, who have expressed the ambition to enhance protection of coastal wetlands in their next NDCs. Pew commends the ambition and leadership of these governments, alongside others seeking to enhance the protection of coastal wetlands.
To help support additional governments and stakeholders, Pew has also partnered with a range of organizations to develop a set of guidelines for policymakers interested in including coastal wetlands among their mitigation and adaptation values in their NDCs. By outlining the scientific methodologies needed to properly assess the emissions reduction potential of these habitats and presenting their significance for adapting to the impacts of climate change, the guidelines provide a practical approach for governments ready to take on the challenge of rebuilding stronger across the social, environmental, and economic spectrum.
*1 - Menéndez, P., Losada, I.J., Torres-Ortega, S. et al. The Global Flood Protection Benefits of Mangroves. Sci Rep 10, 4404 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61136-6
*2 - Hoegh-Guldberg. O., et al. 2019. ‘‘The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change: Five Opportunities for Action.’’ Report. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available online at http://www.oceanpanel.org/climate
*3 - 2017 IPCC Wetlands Supplement - https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/03/Wetlands_Supplement_Entire_Report.pdf
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honour to contribute to the initiative launched by the Japanese Government with the support of the UNFCCC Secretariat on the critical issue of building sustainable and resilient societies in the post-pandemic era.
I would also like to thank Koizumi Shinjiro, Japan's Minister of Environment, and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, for their initiative and leadership.
The pursuit of climate actions in the context of equitable access to sustainable development and poverty eradication is a necessity more than ever amid the present disturbing times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The challenges are especially onerous for developing countries which feel the effects acutely. In far too many cases, the pandemic has added a new layer of vulnerability to their public health systems and economies.
For the world to emerge from the present crisis, a response, recovery and transition into a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future requires a surge in global solidarity and cooperation.
One action area that could be leveraged to facilitate the implementation of the Paris Agreement and sustainable development objectives relates to energy access for all.
Energy poverty remains a hurdle to achieving a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19. The pandemic has brought widespread human and socio-economic ramifications, and energy poverty has the potential to magnify the impacts of this global crisis, especially on developing countries and vulnerable communities.
Health facilities in developing economies have to cope with energy access challenges. Leading studies show that around 70%of health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to reliable electricity. This is untenable under any circumstances, but especially so during at a time when health professionals are struggling to address a pervasive pandemic.
In addition, in areas without proper energy access, it is virtually impossible to undertake social distancing measures that are facilitated by powering the technologies and devices that help people to engage in online education and work from home with long-term ramifications for human development and employment.
Nobody should be left behind by the energy transition. Going forward, key provisions of the Paris Agreement, particularly the need to support developing countries whose access to financing and technology is limited must be adhered to.
At OPEC, we recognize the complexity and magnitude of climate change we are living in our countries. Considering all viable mitigation and adaptation measures, technological innovation, including carbon capture utilization and storage technologies, enhanced investment for energy access, and improved energy efficiency must be part of the solution. The oil industry is committed to all of these and should be part of the solution.
COVID-19 has caused uncertainty in collective efforts towards holistic, equitable, fair, inclusive and sustainable energy transition. International cooperation and identification of mitigation options that could lead to ‘win-win’solutions with environmental and socio-economic benefits are vital to ensure a just transition.
OPEC and its Member Countries remain committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement in accordance with the core UNFCCC principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
In fact, all OPEC Member Countries have signed the Paris Agreement and Angola has just become the latest to ratify it.
For 60 years, OPEC and its Member Countries have dedicated themselves to market stability and sustainable oil supply for the world. Working with other leading oil-producing countries in the OPEC-led Declaration of Cooperation, we acted boldly and decisively to shore up the oil markets in response to the severe impact of COVID-19, and to work with governments, international organizations and other energy stakeholders to ensure a reliable and uninterrupted global energy supply throughout the current crisis. These collaborative actions were not only critical to address the current crisis, but to provide a platform for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.
The experience with COVID-19 demonstrates the need for deeper cooperation to prioritize energy access, to strengthen community resilience and support development opportunities. And this is no time to choose favourites when it comes to energy sources. The scale and urgency of the challenge will require a broad portfolio of energy options to ensure stable and inclusive access today and going forward.
We are going through an unprecedented time. The pandemic has taken a high and personal toll on lives and livelihoods, and we are yet to see what the post-COVID world will look like. In navigating through this, the SDGs and the Paris Agreement should act as our compass. I have three messages for you:
・First, governments today have a huge responsibility to address immediate priorities with forward-looking policies that do not bail out systems of the past. While each country must find its way to recovery, all can use energy transition as an avenue to achieve multiple objectives. Enhancing the speed of the energy transformation can ensure that we address not only the health crisis, but also the climate crisis at the same time. IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook shows us how we can reduce energy-related CO2 emissions by 70% less in 2050, keeping the temperature rise well below 2°C in line with Paris Agreement. And over half of the necessary reductions in emissions would come from renewable energy.
・Secondly, any short-term action should be embedded into the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement. In IRENA’s report The Post-COVID Recovery – an Agenda for Resilience, development and Equality , we have outlined a set of actionable policy recommendations that charts the path towards this direction. This includes -
a. Raising national targets and enhance Nationally Determined Contributions
b. Steer investment away from fossil fuels
c. Safeguard renewable energy projects
d. Support workforce expansion in energy transition related fields
e. Diversify supply chains and develop local energy industries
f. Support distributed renewable energy solutions
・Finally, investment in a renewables-based energy transition will kickstart the economies, create jobs and open up new growth and development possibilities. We estimate USD 2 trillion of energy transformation investment is needed each year in the recovery phase between 2021 and 2023, which should be directed in a number of key areas - renewables, notably renewable power, grid infrastructure, the electrification of end use sectors such as electromobility and heat pumps, and energy efficiency. Government funds can guide and leverage private investments by a factor of 3-4. Strategic decisions in this regard can accelerate the ongoing energy transitions while adding more than 5 million jobs in the recovery phase - a much needed boost in these times of economic uncertainty.
The pandemic has shown us how quickly all we know can change. But it has also shown that collectively and with a common purpose, we are able to act decisively. Let’s use this moment to rethink what may be possible, let’s change the course of the climate emergency and invest in a resilient future for all.
International Union of Railways (UIC)
How close collaboration across the transport family can spread best practice and keep mobility chains open
UIC, as the technical platform for railway cooperation at world level, is the place of exchange for best prac- tice, bringing together many networks of experts. On March, 5 2020, UIC has launched the Covid-19 Task Force. Since then, a series of UIC guidance documents have been released: https://uic.org/covid-19/
Our world is more interconnected than ever before in history, bringing new risks – most evident today is the increased possibility of pandemics manifested as the Covid-19 crisis that has disrupted all our lives. How- ever, that challenge which we face was also in part caused by the deepening consequences of climate change.
For the transport sector, these two phenomena are closely linked. Mobility services provide the connectivity that enables increased trade and the ability of modern economies to create ever greater prosperity. Unfortu- nately, many available modes disproportionately generate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that have con- tributed to today’s disruptions. Unlike rail, unsustainable services are responsible for 22% of emissions that endanger natural ecosystems on which we depend on for our very lives, putting us in contact with novel pathogens.
However, rail and public transport are part of the solution. In Europe, rail accounts for 7.6% of passenger and 17.6% of freight transport, but only creates 0.5% of its GHG emissions. With regard to the average en- ergy consumption, urban rail with its 0.12 kWh per passenger-km is 7 times more energy efficient than pri- vate cars in cities. Rail’s carbon footprint is significantly smaller than those of the other transport modes.
As we collectively rethink sustainable mobility, it is quintessential that transportation is not synonymous with
individual vehicles. In order to do so, the public must understand rail’s value to urban life. Due to its higher capacity, its utilization can make cities less congested and less polluted, while maintaining a multimodal sys- tem that adequately and equally serves metropolises, conurbations and their surrounding regions.
International Development Law Organization
STATEMENT OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAW ORGANIZATION
The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are the defining challenges of our time. While both are real and present dangers, climate change represents a far more massive existential threat to future generations than what the world has experienced so far with COVID-19.
But the pandemic and the climate crisis also share another important distinction: both require good governance, international solidarity and multilateral cooperation to avert further death, disease, and destruction. While governments around the world search for the right balance of measures to contain and resolve these problems, the law stands out as a powerful tool for addressing these emergencies at local, national, regional and global levels. Now, more than ever, strong legal capacity is needed to enable effective responses to these challenges.
As the only global intergovernmental organization dedicated exclusively to promoting the rule of law and access to justice, at IDLO we believe that good governance and the rule of law are central to managing the COVID-19 crisis while at the same time mitigating the causes of climate change and adapting to the impacts of changes that cannot be avoided. Despite the profound challenges it poses, this crisis also represents a unique opportunity to shift to greener, more resilient, more sustainable and inclusive societies, in the spirit of Building Back Better. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global community in unprecedented ways, exposing structural inequalities and putting the spotlight on the ever more evident interlinkages among climate crisis, environmental degradation and global sustainability.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that climate change is not just about the environment – it is also a development problem that threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, the stability of the economy worldwide, and the achievement of peaceful and inclusive societies. The challenges posed are cross-cutting and impact all areas of human life.
As Secretary-General Guterres stressed on the occasion of International Mother Earth Day 2020: “The impact of the coronavirus is both immediate and dreadful. But there is another, deep emergency -- the planet’s unfolding environmental crisis. Climate disruption is approaching a point of no return. We must act decisively to protect our planet from both the coronavirus and the existential threat of climate disruption”.
Rule of law principles are as essential to guide the COVID-19 recovery effort as they are to sustain climate action. Enabling and fair laws and policies; equitable access to justice; effective, accessible, and accountable institutions; empowerment, equality and inclusion, must be part of the pandemic’s recovery process, in alignment with the integrated needs for climate action and the 2030 Agenda. Rule of law responses, guided by global calls for climate justice, offer principled approaches and innovative legal strategies to support climate mitigation and adaptation.
Addressing climate change, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, requires transformative political, economic and social changes to ensure that no one is left behind. The most vulnerable and marginalized people living in lower-income countries and fragile states – especially women, youth and indigenous people - bear the brunt of public health emergencies and disasters such as COVID-19 and climate change, due to a combination of geographical exposure, systemic discrimination, unequal economic systems and extensive reliance on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and pastoralism.
IDLO is committed to playing a role in supporting countries to leave no-one behind by addressing these problems, including measures to contain and halt the spread of the coronavirus that respect and fulfill human rights, and climate resilient and low-carbon transformation processes at all levels.
As the international community comes together to combat this pandemic, IDLO welcomes the launch of the Online Platform on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19 and applauds the Government of Japan and the UNFCCC for this innovative solution.
Protecting people against COVID-19 and against climate change are twin acts of justice. The concepts of climate justice and intergenerational justice that underlie action to combat climate change are closely intertwined with the objectives of social inclusion and social justice that must be at the center of the recovery effort. This approach guides IDLO in the pursuit of its mission "to create a culture of justice" and build the resilience of communities against future crises.
IDLO works to raise awareness about the unique role of the law in advancing the right to health and in creating the conditions for people to live safe and healthy lives. We support governments, parliamentarians and civil society to reform their laws as needed in order to protect their peoples from the pandemics of today and tomorrow and the existential challenge of climate change. The rule of law remains one of the best investments countries can make to save lives, protect the most vulnerable and rebuild stronger, more resilient societies.
The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.
India Water Foundation
Statement by Dr. Arvind Kumar, President, India Water Foundation
COVID-19 is a reminder that we all are connected through a web of cooperation and compassion and despite the many difficulties we all face, moments like this, leads to retrospection how pandemic has created a truly unprecedented situation affecting us all.
We understand that the pandemic is taking heavy toll on our health, economy and social indices. However, that is not the case with the environment. On a positive note, we see air pollution levels dropping, thriving wildlife, improved natural vegetation, clean rivers like Ganga & Yamuna in India which is a good sign of nature healing itself and the entire globe has shown solidarity to combat the crisis. Upholding such impacts, it is necessary to preserve the gains earned during the pandemic.
We’re called upon to be our best selves with patience, understanding and compassion with the needles switching our SDGs thinking accustomed towards an undefined ‘new normal’ life. However, we also witness that progress towards our climate agenda and SDGs 2030 stalled or reversed with manifold consequences. The pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of our world and laid risks we have ignored for decades such inadequate health systems; gaps in social protection; structural inequalities; environmental degradation which are direct and indirect drivers of the climate crisis. It is warned that the world is currently “way off track meeting either the 1.5°C or 2°C targets that the Paris Agreement calls for”, referring to the commitment made by the international community in 2015, to keep global average temperatures well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It is time to unlock the value of pandemic resilience and lay down effective strategies to bring desirable change.
2020 is a year of ‘countless commitments’ marking the triple onset of ‘the beginning of Last Decade of Action for realization of SDGs (2020-30), Super year of Nature and Biodiversity along with the outbreak of COVID-19’. There are diverse pathways to achieve this and relationship between paradigms, policies, and practices shall be assessed, with an emphasis on how they contribute to strategies that maintain or restore healthy human-environment relationships. However, require fundamental changes in development paradigms, entailing changes in society in conjugation with human development.
At India Water Foundation, we are working our understanding towards peer review, scoping assessments of IPBES, CBD, IPCC, UNEA, UNFCCC, etc., towards biodiversity, climate action and SDGs realization under various capacities and understanding perspectives in the light of pandemic. Our Jal Mitras (Friends of Water) have shown keen interest to align with our mandate and objective to foster sensitization of educational awareness and scientific temper through their networks and send us feedback regarding the same.
Gaining a better understanding of how the drivers of climate change can be changed or shifted would inform the development of policies, practices and actions to trigger a shift towards sustainability and good quality of life at many levels, from individuals through communities and businesses to society at large.
• “OUR SOLUTIONS ARE IN NATURE" and therefore, protecting our nature is very important as it shields us from various catastrophe including zoonotic diseases. Our actions shall give a clarion call towards conserving natural resources and preserving ecological integrity, restoration of degraded areas, capacity building of local communities, innovative approaches and building partnerships, etc. Ecosystem Services are raison d'être for human existence and is vital to natural development and human development as well and collaborative efforts are necessary to be taken to make human co-exist with Nature and realize the socio-economic and ecological value of ecosystem services. Preparation to COP26 with a follow up of outcomes envisaged in COP25 and the UNFCCC process can tap the potential of new best practices, such as climate-resilient approaches and science & nature-based solutions, ecosystem restoration strategies as well as their better promotion and increased implementation critical for ensuring effective climate actions and frameworks.
• It is essential to adopt a broad, trans-disciplinary perspective working as ‘Partners-in-Development’ through multi-stakeholder partnership we can contribute to strategies that maintain or restore healthy human-environment relationships through a ’whole-of-society’ approach. There shall be a call to recognize the diverse nature of the various demands for transformative changes with respect to climate actions in which values of mainstream, inclusiveness, justice and equity are considered. Identification of priority knowledge gaps and areas where capacity building, and the development of policies and tools that facilitate the implementation of the policy options presented in the assessment and provide options and solutions for addressing them at the relevant levels. For instance,
• Resource Efficiency” has raised opportunities towards ‘beyond 3R strategy’ on circular principles to tackle contemporary challenges posed by plastics, solid and liquid wastes, marine litter etc. The management shall embark the need to embrace circular principles and priority area of actions shall be highlighted to reduce wastes both on ‘production’ and ‘consumption’ side and encourage us to minimize the increasing ‘Upward Source’ trash that is produced but also optimize our consumption limits. Optimize practices like waste-to-wealth/energy, strengthen technologies, scientific and capacity building practices related to waste management. Moreover, communities shall practice eco-friendly options in their everyday lives which have a potential to lead to transformational behavioral change towards discarding plastics or waste litter in any form.
• Incorporating climate change agenda forward necessitates synergistic efforts of both top-down and bottom-up approach via advocacy, knowledge deepening, policy analysis, engaging key partnerships &stakeholders for collaboration to bring impactful outcomes, integration of environment and social sustainability and strengthening participatory governance. It is strongly asserted that agencies from global to local level, development partners, civil society organizations must join hands under a common platform to help realize strategies through ‘cooperation-collaboration-convergence’ and we can together build back better.
Combining climate change adaptation and mitigation amidst COVID-19, through partnerships is a win-win proposal which shall go a long way to improve the provision of quality lives and livelihoods opportunities and combat the menace of climate change happening due to the pandemic. We have faced the situation with self-reliance and perseverance and are demonstrating an ability to rise to the challenges. Uncovering opportunities through collaborative support and convergence will also help ensure that the responses taken at country level or local level are comprehensive as well as equitable and inclusive, so that no one is left out and we can continue to make progress in realizing our recovery and the goals.
Human Rights Network for Development
Who is Pacifique AMANI LWABAGUMA?
Pacifique LWABAGUMA, 27 aged Man born in the Eastern part of DR Congo a warrior Region. He is a CEO and National coordinator of the 5 organization platform in the DRC called Human Rights Network for Development, working for more than 8 years for Human rights and welfare of His community, He is a certifie d in Commercial Administrative and Computer sciences, Engineer M.Sc. Geology Mining and Environment PhD Candidate Antwerp University (Belgium), young leader and lover of youth promotion, believe to live brighter future of DR Congo, Africa and the entire World.
Contacts: Email email@example.com , phone: +243971199306 (What ‘up)
+243899267070, Facebook: Pacifique Lwabaguma, page: Human Rights platform for Development
Ladies and Gentlemen!
H E president of JAPAN
HE Prime Minister of JAPAN
HE Ministers of JAPAN
HE Minister of Youth
HE Minister of Environment
Highly Respected leaders of JAPAN and around the World
HE Executive Secretary Framework Convention on Climate Change
Fellow National Coordinators and Country Representatives
Youth platform leaders and brothers and Sisters around the World
My pleasure and Honor are today, to be part of such a great platform and meet such respected highly world personalities, representing and talking on my country behalf directly to the JAPAN government, UN Executive Secretary framework convention on climate change and Cope 26 chairmen and leaders, the youth around the world and particular Japanese visionary youth of this wonderful forum.
My warm greeting and Consideration from Democratic Republic of Congo Youth.
Today the World is facing terrible challenges, Global Warming Meanwhile , COVID 19 is added to other countless threats among which EBOLA, CANCER, Insecurity, War, Rape, Malaria, HIV/ AIDS , Unemployment , etc....
Despites all these crisis the better is to know how to set new style of living and live once again a better world with today and tomorrow’s Generations.
Thanks to your effort and worldwide target, DR Congo is represented through this forum. We are thankful.
We can’t give our contribution without mentioning the terrible times and crimes our people passed through. violence , awful rape , killings of more than 15 Million People , general unemployment to the abandoned youth 97% , Ebola , malnutrition , corruption , repeated wars , multiplication of armed groups terrorizing the citizens .
Global Warming with its effects coupled to COVID 19 both worsened the weaker social economic
DR Congo has got some personalities who keep on fighting against anti-values for the betterment of the population, I cite Prof .Doctor MUKWEGE 2018 World Noble Prize, and the one repairing tragically raped women in DRC.
Surprisingly crime authors are freely living and some never been legally arrested nor sentenced to all those crimes committed.
Let us remind that UN report this year from January to June, apart from COVID 19 we had 1300 slaughtered (killed) in my Country and nobody talks about. We are now confronted to many enemies among which COVID 19 and Global Warming which are till now in my Country taken with much seriousness.
COVID 19 has taught us something great, the ‘Lock Downs’ , which means every person has to stay home for his safe and the community protection against Corona virus , and each country around the world locked its borders too .
This is a more educative circumstance which reveals us Dear Leaders, everyone has to stay in his home Country and start something for the living and welfare of his community.
But unfortunately some African and Asian the majority of the Youth still dreaming to go in the developed countries for better living. We keep on saying that time has come to stay but in collaboration with other this is one of the key reasons of this platform and we congratulate UNFCCC- Japanese Government and the youth for this great worldwide platform which will
contribute to the improvement of the world countries social-environmental and economic situation.
During this sanitary crisis time, our populations are starving because due to the miss of real strategy or governmental policies establishment to assist the poor population apart from imposing them to stay home belly emptied.
DR Congo is confronted to the lack of potable Water, electricity power in great part of corners throughout the country. To find food still today a serious problem to find. Congolese are living under 1 dollar per day despites all potentialities reserves in DRC.
We mostly depend on exported food and stuffs, artisanal mineral exploitation but during this period the situation worsened as much as possible.
the agricultural sector abandoned and rural area left because of peace instabilities all together concentrated in cities with no occupation or income generating activities , no job .
Now the most affected by this situation are the youth that unexpectedly sees a dark future, missing responsible leaders to think about the population welfare meanwhile enriching illicitly themselves forgetting the poor population in an unexplainable misery.
When we read the history of Japan, North Correa, south Correa, china , Brazil, after the second war their economy were very down but today we can locate them among model countries .
What is now wrong with DR Congo after 60 years of independence from Belgium we still swimming in terrible misery and general instabilities.
Our country is ruined by the system and the system has rejected the youth.
No strategy till now elaborated and pragmatically established to encourage the youth so that my contribute to the development of the country, , the poor youth Is exploited by politicians to stay on the power , to make sustainable the insecurities by using it through armed groups and in other atrocities .
But Dear Excellences, we are tired with this way of working and now want the youth take part on decision making positions, entrepreneurial actions supported by the government.
And that way will allow us to stand up with other youths around the world and fight against COVID 19 and Global Warming.
What is DRC? Let give a small overview
DR Congo is the second biggest country across Africa with 2.345.306 km2 with 9 neighbor countries in the heart of Africa; counting now around 100 Million people. (RWANDA, BURUNDI, UGANDA, TANZANIA, CENTRAL AFRICA, SOUTH SUDAN, CONGO REPUBLIC, ZAMBIA, ANGOLA).
What are the DRC Economical Potentialities?
-The third world richest country mineral resources: gold, copper, iron, uranium, petrol etc.... DRC is a
- Hydrological: waters of DRC can supply all Africa, let’s sites Congo River the Second in Africa after Nile River, several big lakes (kivu, Albert, Tanganyika, Mobutu, and so forth
- Agricultural resources; with a natural and ferities arable soil estimated to 84millions Hectares
- Touristic scandal : parks with all rare animals around the world , gorillas , okapi etc. , volcanoes Environment : the equator forest the second in the world after the Amazonia Forest in America with all sorts of essences ( trees, herbs , etc...)
- Animals and vegetal reserves: KAHUZI BIEGA PARK, KUNDEKUNGU, MAIKO, GARAMBA, ETC...
- I’m unable to explain how rich is Congo and think DRC once evaluated departing from its Richness can be the Second or First richest country around the world.
From what mentioned above we have great environmental potentialities which we are called to protect and conserve for the today and the future generations .because they first serve DR Congo meanwhile all the humanity in general .
All that shows how big and livable this country but the leadership system still very weak and forget the youth old people are still maintaining their old places and most of them keep them for their family members , no creativeness is thought to boost the economy .
We profit to speak on behalf of the voiceless young and ambitious guys that is time to call up one your help by proposing then imposing them these recommendations to our government to think twice about the youth for the betterment of D R Congo development, progress, peace and harmony among generations and generations to come.
PROPOSALS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
We will once be happy to hear that this small document will read, shared and taken into considered and materialize the DR Congo youth expectation through this forum during this hard time the world is confronted to COVID 19 and Global Warming.
1. COVID 19 CRISIS
This pandemic has affected all countries around the world, all the humanity. It is everyone matter, rulers and ruled. World populations with leaders are all called to fight against this one by respecting the sanitary measures ordered by sanitary and country leaders about the Corona Virus.
By the way though CORONA Virus is available life will not stop, people still living and all the human being needs should be satisfied during this hard time, and is up for the global policies and implication of each one to keep the world safe.
Referring to the theory dictated by lock downs, each country has to raise its financial capacities by encouraging local investment and working hard every home from home country, only the youth is called to do so.
We have the motivated youth initiating some local activities, we need encouragement of the global youth particular Congolese, and launch them in Modern agriculture, during this time hunger still more dangerous than COVID 19.
- We need the representation of the youth in the Government and decision making position the majority not young people of 50 years old. As it’s the case in DR Congo
- We need close cooperation among youth and we launch that DR Congo is open handed to collaborate closely with Japanese youth for development and other key aspects.
- We refuse the bad and deceiving ways of international organizations without associating the local organizations they pretend to serve our local community and their living stay the same. Those NGO come for their own profit we denounce that and we call, all those big structures around the world to invest in DRC and work directly with the Youth.
- Entrepreneurship, we need companies, banks to empower our young people by giving loans something which never happen in DRC , and through this small firm will have place and we will have a middle class social-economically speaking.
- Our sanitary structures (hospitals, health centers, etc...) are unable to face the pandemic in terms of personnel, equipment.
2. ENVIRONMENT –Global warming
The effects of global warming they are now hardening the living situation even in DRC. But some measures are needed to be implemented through projects and will lead to a sustainable way of maintaining the environment safe.
- Raising of awareness to the local population in town and villages the strict way to preserve our environment, and demonstrate danger of this, we only need the youth through this project because is the majority in DR Congo and their implication will speak louder than before.
- Valorization of trees existence in the milieu by the DR Congo law , when cut one tree you replace it with two , and whoever does so should be authorized by the authorities , we also need the full implication of the youth please.
- A strict measure should be applied to mining companies , artisanal exploiters there are polluting as much as possible the soil, waters, sites aquifers , and no policy is settled to rehabilitate exploited sites , and diseases, soil impoverishment is following after have finished their exploitation.
- We need support of youth initiative we repeat that for the youth is rich is strong and ready to tackle world challenges.
Ladies and Gentlemen
HE the UN Executive secretary global warming
All Participants and Japanese youth in particular
There above my modest contribution to this forthcoming event and decision to tackle the global current crisis.
I ask the opportunity to talk with my government about the need of the youth to be part of the decision making position and for the coming new government we want to see a 27 man member of the Government.
Before reaching the 2021 COPE 26 Summit I will to meet the Japanese Ambassador in Democratic Republic of Congo and give Him our recommendation through this platform recommendation
We call invertors, world leaders, developed countries, UN, NGO s to get particular view to this situation
Thank you and hope to hear from your feedback and together for the better world with No COVD 19 , and
Global Warming stabilization.
“We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently
needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this
collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.” (Preamble: The 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2016)
As we initiate this conversation to look at how the global community will recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, GOGLA as the voice of the off-grid solar energy industry wants to urge that within this response the commitment to leave no one behind is embedded as a core pillar to all the response mechanisms and activities.
While much remains to be done if we are to realize the goal of universal energy access (SDG7), with over 600 million people still without energy access, we as an industry recognize that the important progress we have made. The off-grid solar sector has grown tremendously over the past 10 years. To date the sector has helped avoid 74 million metric tonnes of CO2e, helping tackle the effects of climate change. The sector is currently servicing 420 million *1 users with improved energy access, helping them to save money, earn an income, and enjoy improved health, safety and overall quality of life.
2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenge for the global community as it has sought to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic. As an industry focused on responding to development challenges and solving the energy access problem, we have noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened these important gains and the experiences of rural off-grid communities during this pandemic have been exacerbated by their prevailing development circumstances.
As the global community has responded to COVID-19 we have seen important differences in the experiences that rural off-grid communities have faced:
• Women and rural households with agricultural livelihoods have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Off-grid consumers living in rural areas are almost twice as likely to be living in poverty than those in urban areas; and 10% more women than men report that their financial situation is ‘very much worse’ than before the pandemic. *2
• Through their responses, governments have sought to ensure that critical and essential services continued to operate. However in many countries, policy and regulators were understandably preoccupied with the wider economic impact and did not address the challenges that rural off-grid communities were facing. This left such communities, which lack access to public utilities, without these critical services. The hospitals and healthcare facilities that they depended on had no power, hampering hygiene and recovery. As governments moved education to radio, tv or online platforms, rural students without access to electricity were left behind. In many cases the limited and informal economic activities they relied on were brought to a halt as markets were closed, impacting not only their livelihood, but also the local economy as a whole.
• Rural customers value their off-grid solar systems and products – even more so since the beginning of the COVD-19 pandemic. There has been a spike in demand for these energy-efficient products, but a loss of jobs and income has resulted in decreased customer ability to pay. This has led many customers to attract debt, making it harder for them to recover from this crisis.
It is also appreciated that in some cases governments were quick to recognize some of these gaps and responded favourably. Many rural communities depend on off-grid solutions often provided by the private sector for their energy needs. Many Governments positively responded to the call to designate this sector as an essential service, enabling them to continue to operate and provide services to their customers ensuring their lights did not go out. As we look to the subject of this forum and the sectors slated to be addressed, we note the risk that the issues and priorities impacting rural off-grid communities will be lost. While the conference is considering topics like Urban Planning, it is silent on priorities that would ensure rural communities receive the important support for inclusion in any economic recovery efforts as the globe comes out of this crisis. We as GOGLA urge the forum to look at:
• Incorporating energy access in any response and recovery plans, recognizing that off-grid solutions remain the most cost-effective way to meet sustainable energy access development goals and support several other targets on employment, health, education, climate, etc.
• Strengthening investments and support to sectors that are bringing important services to rural communities, which will be important to realizing economic growth away from major urban and economic centres. This includes increasing access to low interest financing for sectors such as ours to enable companies within these sectors to weather the crisis and subsequently be in a position to recover afterwards and grow their businesses; contributing to the local economies, and maintaining affordability for the end-users. When mobilizing future capital, a range of companies should be considered as both smaller and larger companies are important for market stability and future growth.
• Invest in increasing access to electricity through improving affordability, by recognizing and remediating the economic stress that individuals and communities spread across rural areas are facing. For example, 86% of off-grid consumers have reported that their financial situation has worsened since the start of the pandemic. *3 This includes exploring ways to ensure that rural communities benefit from some of the subsidies available for on-grid consumers, which address the costs of energy provision. These can include exemptions from duties and other taxes for solutions targeted at rural communities.
GOGLA is the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry. Established in 2012, GOGLA now represents over 170 members as a neutral, independent, not-for-profit industry association. Our services assist the industry to build sustainable markets and profitable businesses delivering quality, affordable off-grid electricity products and services to as many customers as possible across the developing world.
*1 - Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2020
*2 - https://app.60decibels.com/covid-19#explore
*3 - https://app.60decibels.com/covid-19#explore
Global Wind Energy Council
Chief Executive Officer
Written Statement to Platform for Redesign 2020:
Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19
Dear Ministers and esteemed colleagues,
Thank you for this opportunity for the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) to address this Platform for Redesign 2020 Ministerial Meeting, upon invitation from Minister Koizumi Shinjiro from Japan and Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa of the UNFCCC.
As a representative of the world’s most crucial clean energy industries, I am glad to take part in this international effort to encourage green and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and address the most critical mission facing us today: combating climate change. Here at GWEC, we are confident that our industry can make a major contribution to kick starting investment, creating jobs, and generating lasting economic and social benefits for countries and communities.
Nearly nine months have passed since the beginning of the pandemic. In the meantime, the coalition of voices calling for an acceleration of investment in green energy to boost economic recovery has only grown stronger. There is a growing body of compelling evidence for how much farther a dollar goes when funding clean energy deployment and infrastructure, versus spent on fossil fuels industries.
This not only makes green recovery the right thing to do for a clean energy future, but the rational investment to make for socioeconomic development and prosperity to ensure a bright future for our society and planet.
While there has been growing support for the idea of a green recovery, action on the ground has so far not matched these good intentions. On the occasion of the Redesign Platform 2020 launch, I would like to share five ways that government can act to make a sustainable, resilient, inclusive and green recovery a reality, between now and COP26 in November next year.
1. Put the energy transition at the centre of recovery plans
Modernising and decarbonising the world’s energy systems and critical infrastructure represents an opportunity to invest large amounts of capital in assets which will provide lasting value for future generations, and is a true no regret option for governments. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has shown that $1 spent to advance the global energy transition returns $3-8, while other studies show that $1 million spent on clean energy infrastructure generates nearly triple the jobs versus spending on fossil fuels. In the long run, these investments will have positive multiplier effects across the wider economy and drive down costs to deliver the clean energy transition.
2. Act now or miss the opportunity
The world’s 50 largest economies have committed less than 1 per cent of the $12 trillion in recovery packages to low-carbon sectors, with more than $500 billion benefiting high-carbon industries under no emissions guidelines. The EU and countries like South Korea have announced significant green recovery plans, but many other countries have only made vague statements about a green future without actual implementation or commitments. We need action and accountability. Inaction increases the risk of a prolonged recession and a slump in investment in new power capacity, that could drastically slow down the energy transition.
3. Concentrate on demand, not just supply
A majority of the announced economic stimulus plans focus on increasing finance flows to the renewable energy sector. However, the appetite from investors is already here, and there are plenty of shovel-ready projects for investment. What we need now is stronger demand for renewable energy projects to speed up the retirement of incumbent fossil fuel plants. Ambitious and efficient procurement programmes as well as fit-for-purpose power markets can open the door for renewable energy to flourish instead of competing on an uneven playing field against polluting fossil fuels.
4. Fix regulation for the biggest effect
The biggest hindrance to wind and renewable energy growth has been regulation. From Germany to India, governments with lofty decarbonisation goals have been beset by regulatory frameworks that unnecessarily delay renewable energy project development. Policymakers must work with the wind industry to untangle the red tape around permitting, land access and tender design, which will allow the economic benefits of clean energy investment to materialise. The world needs over 2TW of wind power capacity by 2030 to get us onto an IPCC-compliant 1.5-2°C pathway, which could create additional annual investment of $207 billion to $2 trillion – we simply cannot risk slowing down wind energy development by overlooking this regulatory challenges.
5. Be proactive on power markets and create certainty
COVID-19 has had a drastic impact on power markets, from reduced demand to increased financial stress. Continued uncertainty about the future makes it harder for companies to invest in new renewable energy projects, and could mean incumbent fossil fuels remain in place for longer than necessary. Governments need to be proactive by, for instance, implementing or increasing carbon taxes and emissions restrictions, and ensuring procurement schemes provide long-term price visibility for developers and investors. Placing bets now on merchant, or even “negative bidding”, schemes will make wind and renewables more costly to build, slowing down the energy transition when it needs to be accelerated.
Ultimately, investment in wind and renewable energy can put us on a path to a sustainable and climate-resilient recovery. We have the technology, the investor appetite and public support to meet the challenge. Now we need work together to make it happen. We urge governments to make wind power a cornerstone of global economic recovery, so that we can harness the social, economic, and climate benefits that wind power offers.
The global wind industry stands ready to take up this challenge with you, and work towards the future we all deserve.
Head of Section Climate Change and Climate Policy / GIZ Focal Point for UNFCCC
Dear Mr. Koizumi Shinjiro, Minister of the Environment, Japan,
Dear Mrs. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change,
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) highly welcomes the initiative of the Japanese government, supported by UNFCCC, to establish an Online Platform for exchange on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19. Countries need to act now and together, to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and at the same time raise ambition in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the Corona Response Programme and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the IKI-Corona-Response-Package, support world-wide activities. To join forces, the Online Platform offers an excellent space for international coordination and collaboration on Green Recovery and ambitious climate action.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents the world with extreme challenges and will have severe impacts on the economic, social and ecological development, particularly for developing and emerging countries. If not counteracted forcefully, it may jeopardize the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. At the same time the "One Health" approach emphasizes that human health is directly dependent on animal health and intact environments. Nature conservation is always also preventive health policy.
To recover from the COVID-19 crisis, trillions of dollars of public and private funds are made available globally for recovery measures, especially for securing and creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, providing medical equipment and ensuring food security and rapid support to the most vulnerable people. However, there is a risk that these funds will flow into carbon-intensive, linear economic models in pursuit of short-term effects on the economic cycle. Funds allocated in, e.g. fossil fuel-based energy systems, grey infrastructure or outdated mobility or transport concepts, will create long-term lock-in effect and undermine ambitious climate action as well as impede reaching the sustainability goals. Recovery measures could then accelerate the climate crisis, with devastating consequences for the world community in the mid-and long term.
Therefore, GIZ is convinced that all recovery measures must set the course towards a Just Transition characterized by low-carbon, resilient, environmentally friendly, gender-equitable and socially inclusive societies. We see the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity for societies to embark on a low-emission development pathway that ensures limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as agreed in the Paris Agreement, while at the same time preserving natural resources for future generations.
GIZ has quickly adapted to respond to the crisis. On behalf of our commissioning bodies, including amongst others the BMZ, the BMU and the European Union (EU), we implement more than 2,000 sustainable development projects and programs in 120 countries worldwide in cooperation with our partners. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, our 22,000 staff members are continuing and even increasing their efforts to support our partner countries in coping with the consequences of the crisis and supporting climate action at the same time.
We believe that it will be decisive to enable partner countries to follow a Green Recovery pathway. Our projects around the globe are presently refocusing their activities to provide urgently needed analysis, technical capacities and finance to our partner institutions in this respect. GIZ is in the unique position to leverage in-depth country-specific expertise and well-established networks with key political actors and institutions to build strong coalitions for change. Based on a multi-level approach, GIZ provides targeted policy and strategy advisory, as well as support in organizational development, to ensure an effective design and implementation of green recovery measures. It is crucial to increase partner countries’ capacity to absorb financial aid to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, and to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogues at the local, regional and global level, thereby ensuring knowledge transfer and the application of best-practices in the design of innovative solutions. In doing so, we apply the following guiding principles:
1. In the design and implementation of recovery measures, we advise our partners to at least maintain, but even better increase the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as well as to contribute to the objectives of current international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, the Agenda 2030 and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Pre-Corona environmental standards (e. g. environmental approval procedures) as well as fundamental labour and social standards must be maintained or aligned with international standards wherever possible.
2. We ensure that Green Recovery measures have a twofold effect: On the one hand, they are rapid and target group specific to acute needs, and on the other hand, they set the course for a socio-economic and ecological transformation of the economy and society, towards sustainability, resilience and climate neutrality.
3. Economic and trade policy related Green Recovery measures supported by GIZ provide specific incentives for a transformation towards sustainable consumption and production patterns (e. g. towards a circular economy). We promote „Leapfrogging", which offers opportunities for technological innovation and greater resource efficiency.
4. Thematic focal points of Green Recovery measures supported by GIZ are the creation of green jobs beyond environmental industries, the qualification of people for the challenges set by a green economy (green skills), active labour market policies and sustainable economic and employment policies.
5. For the mobilization of finance for Green Recovery measures domestic resource mobilization plays a key role through green financial and budget policies, e. g. through environmental fiscal reform, by reducing environmentally and climate-damaging subsidies or introducing carbon pricing. We also support the mobilization and systematic redirection of private resources for investments in Green Recovery.
6. In the implementation of Green Recovery measures, adherence to human rights standards, promotion of gender equality and inclusion of minorities are crucial. We plan recovery measures in a context- and conflict-sensitive way, in order to address the acute needs of the most vulnerable, and always observe the principle of "Leave no one behind" (LNOB) from the Agenda 2030.
7. We see health and food security as global and systemic challenge. Transmission routes for infectious disease pathogens can be restricted, e.g. through the preservation of intact ecosystems and prevention of illegal wild animal trade. Respective green recovery measures must go beyond short-term pandemic control measures and are geared towards reducing the structural causes of pandemics and building functioning “One Health” systems in the medium to long term.
Given the urgent need and great potential to support a Green Recovery in our partner countries, GIZ has developed tailor-made concepts and projects for specific sectors on behalf of a range of commissioning bodies:
• Sustainable Urban development: The C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) - a joint initiative of the climate protection cities network C40 and GIZ and financed by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – supports public authorities to increase resilience by mobilizing finance for city-level climate change action.
• Green Energy Transformation: The GET.Pro Finance Catalyst links renewable energy (RE) projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean and companies with finance opportunities. The project provides targeted assistance for acute and critical finance-related problems caused by the COVID-19 crisis, focusing on business-continuity for companies and projects with an emphasis on RE (financed by BMZ).
• Support to Green Small and Medium Enterprises (SME): GIZ supports green SMEs in the development of low-emission, resource-efficient business models (greening industries), with a focus on strengthening the resilience of companies in consideration COVID-19-related business risks. As part of the EU/BMU initiative Strategic Partnerships for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA), GIZ supports EU-South Africa expert’s on Green Recovery with a particular focus on green SMEs, that are currently adversely impacted by the stalled economic activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Raising Ambition in NDCs: In the context of the global NDC Partnership, supported by BMU and BMZ, GIZ is sending embedded economic advisors to several partner countries’ planning and/or finance ministries to support the preparation of climate-compatible recovery packages, and conducting cost analysis of new NDC measures, taking the economic impact of COVID-19 and the recovery mechanisms into consideration.
• Expansion of Adaptive Social Protection: GIZ strengthens its partner countries in the expansion of social protection schemes to minimize adverse socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for the most vulnerable people, while enhancing capacities for climate change adaptation. Measures include, among others, public employment programs to generate income and ensure food security, as well as the integration of early warning systems and digitalization of registers and payment systems.
• Strengthening wetlands management for biodiversity and climate protection: GIZ supports partners in India to secure and enhance wetland biodiversity and ecosystem services, offering nature-based solutions for mitigation and adaptation to climate change through implementation of ecosystems based integrated wetlands management approaches. This includes capacity development along the entire management cycle, from planning, to activity implementation and monitoring systems (financed by BMU).
GIZ is committed to be actively engaged within the Online Platform. In these challenging times, such spaces are vital for us to join forces to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time contribute to a sustainable and low carbon future. We are looking forward to our continued engagement in the initiative and are ready to share our experiences and lessons learnt on Green Recovery.
Dr. Bernd-Markus Liss
Department Sector and Global Programmes (GloBe)
Division Climate Change, Environment, Infrastructure
Head of Section Climate Change and Climate Policy
GIZ Focal Point for UNFCCC
Chief Strategy Officer
The Japanese platform is an important step in the right direction
Most city/region/national governments around the world are struggling to avoid a major economic recession/depression, and also reacting to this unique point in time to rethink the future of work/mobility etc (e.g. digital/work spaces). At the same time, we are all aware of the even greater risk Climate change presents to our planet and way of life. Learning from our experience with Covid 19 can help us prepare and mitigation climate change and the platform will allow us to share our successes and failures with a broader audience enabling scaling of positive actions.
To combat the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming existential threat of climate disruption, the only credible response is brave, visionary and collaborative leadership anchored in multilateralism. This platform is a tool to support such leadership. In planning the corona pandemic recovery we have a unique opportunity to tackle climate change, protect the environment and reverse biodiversity loss as part of our efforts to ensure the long term health and security of people. Climate change like the corona virus respects no boundaries, and in face of the complexity and global nature of climate change, no country can succeed alone.
We therefore welcome this platform and are looking forward to engaging in it.
About EIT Climate KIC
• Is active in all EU Member States, combining innovation, education and entrepreneurship for radical climate action.
• Has 400 innovation partners from research, business and public bodies; offering an enormous capability for achieving the European Green Deal.
• Has a 10-year track-record of developing, connecting and testing new ideas in policy, finance, technology, business models and citizen engagement to produce benefits for climate and society.
Climate KIC is working with more than 20 European Cities, 6 regional governments and 3 European countries to explore the role of innovation (not just technology but also policy, governance, finance, capacity building etc) in supporting them address climate change mitigation and adaptation. Climate KIC with its 400 plus membership of business, universities, think tanks and city governments are identifying common problems that need to be addressed to support a speedy transition towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
Building on 10 years of climate innovation experience, we have developed an approach that is demand-led, identifying multiple activities across entire systems (i.e. port, city, region, country) and through collaboration supports fast-learning to support the development of solutions to address both near-term challenges and medium-term climate targets. Looking at multiple activities across a system rather than a sector is a cost effective and risk adverse approach – cost effective, since start small scale once evidence that going in right direction. Risk adverse through spread of actions to enable the hedging of risks.
Through our network we support collaboration and have been able to effectively scale up successes. We hope we can utilise our more than decade of innovation experience of building and nurturing innovation communities in Europe to support exchange and learning on this platform and are happy to share our systems innovation methodology and tangible case studies to illustrate the work and its impact on the ground.
EIT Climate-KIC’s Impact So Far
• Helped leverage over €1bn of additional investment in start-ups in EIT Climate-KIC’s accelerator.
• Trained and supported 44,000 innovators to be climate leaders.
• Leveraged over €4bn into innovative action on climate change in Europe.
•Through our innovation community, executed over 10,000 innovation projects across policy, technology, information systems and finance. Brought 600 new products and services to market.
• Orchestrated systematic change in areas such as access to climate risk information, supply chain approaches to resilience and on integrated district deep building retrofit.
• Currently advancing eight real-world showcases of transformation through innovation in multiple locations– cities, ports, circularity, just transition, long-termism, food systems, landscapes, resilience.
We cannot address the climate challenge alone. EIT Climate KIC is actively looking for others interested in applying systems innovation to tackle the climate challenge. Lets collaborate – please contact us using this link: www.climate-kic.org/contact-us
CDP on behalf of the Investor Agenda
THE INVESTOR AGENDA: A SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The deadly outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives and livelihoods, communities and economies. As the heads of the founding partners of The Investor Agenda organisations that work with investors with millions of beneficiaries around the world and managing trillions of dollars in assets - we recognise governments' immediate priorities must be intervening to save human lives and providing economic and financial relief to support the most vulnerable, stem the health crisis and curb economic disruption.
Many governments are now beginning to consider economic recovery measures to address the acute shock and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. With trillions of dollars in capital under their management, investors will be critical to accelerating the recovery as it will require the efficient and equitable deployment of both public and private capital in fiscally-challenging times. Institutional investors take a long-term view of value and returns, and are therefore well placed to assist governments devise multi-year recovery efforts.
As governments pursue efforts to recover from this economic downturn, they should not lose sight of the climate crisis. They must factor in the foreseeable, acute, systemic and compounding climate-related economic and financial risks. Investors increasingly face physical and transitional risks from a rapidly warming planet that challenge their ability to deliver long-term returns for their beneficiaries.
At the same time investors understand that accelerating the net zero emissions transition can create significant new employment and economic growth, along with other co-benefits such as energy security and clean air. With effective recovery policies in place, private investment could be channeled to accelerate the development of new sustainable and climate adaptation assets.
An accelerated transition to a net zero emissions economy in line with the Paris Agreement is also critical to building greater resilience that will enhance the ability of our communities and economies to absorb both acute and systemic shocks.
Ultimately, in their recovery plans, governments should prioritise sustainability and equity, and accelerate the transition to a net zero emissions economy to mitigate climate risk, create new jobs and catalyse the sustainable deployment of private capital. Recovery plans that exacerbate climate change would expose investors and national economies to escalating financial, health and social risks in the coming years. Governments should avoid the prioritisation of risky, short-term emissions-intensive projects.
Economic recovery efforts are best directed to where job creation can be matched with net zero emissions energy, industrial, building and transport systems, along with climate resilience measures and other sustainable infrastructure that will strengthen our societies and maintain natural systems. Preparing for and responding to large-scale disruptions like pandemics and climate change also requires investments in scenario testing, assessments of corporate responses to risk, adaptation and a framework for a just transition. We need early preventative action to limit economic costs and human suffering.
The path we choose in the coming months will have significant ramifications for our global economy and generations to come. It is critical that governments work with investors, companies and workers to develop just and sustainable recovery plans. Our organisations that work with investors stand ready to help governments to invest in a better, more resilient future.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY
An investable and sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic should:
1. Prioritise human relief and job creation. Governments must protect communities and workers, especially the most vulnerable, from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout. Recovery plans should create jobs across society that match with investments in net zero emissions energy, industrial, building and transportation systems, climate resilience measures and other sustainable infrastructure.
2. Uphold the Paris Agreement. Governments, investors and companies must maintain and strengthen their commitments in line with the Paris Agreement to keep average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. The Paris Agreement remains the best multilateral instrument to accelerate emissions reductions and reduce the human health and economic risks from climate change.
3. Ensure COVID-19 government support addresses climate risk. In particular, carbon-intensive companies that receive government bailouts, grants, loans, tax concessions and temporary equity purchases should be required to establish and enact climate change transition plans consistent with the Paris Agreement goals and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 in exchange for this public support. Companies should work closely with policymakers on the implementation of these transition plans.
4. Prioritise climate resiliency and net zero emissions economic solutions. Locking in carbon-intensive economic activities in pursuit of recovery plans will only exacerbate systemic climate risks and expose economies to escalating shocks. Governments can accelerate the recovery by facilitating fresh investment and jobs in clean energy, which can often also be deployed cheaper and faster than incumbent carbon-intensive activities. Governments should also support new sustainable infrastructure such as electrified transport systems, green industrial production and resilient community assets, which will drive long-term clean jobs and growth.
5. Embed investor participation in recovery planning. Many governments will be more fiscally challenged after deploying immediate pandemic relief, and unlocking private capital will therefore be critical to recovery. Governments can drive more efficient and equitable outcomes by ensuring investors assist in designing sustainable recovery plans.
Japan Climate Initiative
Japan should join calls for a “Green Recovery” and tackle climate crisis
The Japan Climate Initiative (hereinafter referred to as “JCI”) is a coalition of non-state actors established in July 2018 by Japanese companies, local governments and NGOs that pledge to stand at the forefront of global challenges in order to realize the decarbonized society envisioned by the Paris Agreement.
JCI comprises of nearly 500 diverse non-state actors that are playing active role in addressing climate change, such as large companies leading the Japanese economy, small and medium-sized enterprises supporting the local communities, local governments, religious groups, consumer groups, universities, think tanks, environmental NPOs/NGOs, etc. The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions and population of JCI members accounts for more than one-third of Japan’s total.
As collective voices of Japanese non-state actors, in February this year, JCI submitted a message calling for the enhancement of Japan’s Nationally Determined Contributions(NDC), and in May, another message calling for “Green Recovery” that contributes to the transition towards a decarbonized society to the Japanese government in order to encourage dialogues between Japanese non-state actors and the national government. Upon the "Online Platform Ministerial Meeting", we would like to deliver the voices of Japanese non-state actors to the world.
The spread of the COVID-19 infection has already taken lives of many people and has seriously affected the economy, corporate management, employment, and even social life both in Japan and in the world. It goes without saying that the most important issue right now is to take all possible measures to stop the spread of infection as soon as possible. While prioritizing these urgent efforts to address the coronavirus crisis, what we must not forget is to continue and strengthen efforts to overcome another crisis facing humanity, the climate crisis.
The stagnation of economic activity caused by the spread of infection is predicted to curb recent energy consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, what is needed to overcome the climate crisis is not a short-term emission reduction due to reduced economic activity, but a continuous and substantial reduction in emissions that is compatible with economic growth a transformation into a decarbonized social and economic system.
If the efforts to tackle the climate crisis are delayed, natural disasters that threaten human lives such as typhoons, heat waves, droughts and floods will become uncontrollable. In addition, climate change is predicted to lead to the spread of pre-existing infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, which could again cause the immense impact that the world is experiencing due to the COVID-19 right now.
Various international organizations, many countries, and various groups of companies have proposed "Green Recovery" and "Sustainable Recovery" that make investment for economic recovery contribute to climate change countermeasures. In addition to the European Union's green recovery plan, which is a representative example of the movement, “We Are Still In", a network of non-state actors in the United States, issued a statement calling on the U.S. Congress for support to Build Back Better. The voice of non-state actors calling for "Green Recovery” has been growing internationally.
Also in Japan, it is necessary to make recovery from the COVID-19 crisis consistent with efforts toward the transition to a decarbonized society. Many companies and local governments participating in JCI have taken the lead in efforts such as the expansion of renewable energy represented by RE100 and declaration of carbon neutrality. Recently, a series of proposals to raise the national renewable energy target for 2030 to more than 40 to 45%, which is about twice the current national target, have been announced by several groups of Japanese companies or local governments.
Prior to COP26 held in November 2021, the Japanese government will consider revisions of the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures and the Strategic Energy Plan. JCI will proceed with discussions and hold dialogues with the Japanese government so that these amendments will become proactive toward the realization of a decarbonized society in terms of the phase-out of all coal-fired power plants and the significant expansion of renewable energy etc.
Again, JCI calls on the Japanese government to enhance its NDC including the revision of its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, and to make the recovery from the coronavirus crisis “Green Recovery” that supports the climate efforts of non-state actors and contributes to the transition towards a decarbonized society, rather than fixing its dependence on fossil fuels.
JCI will actively participate in “Race to Zero”, which is a global campaign that non-state actors in the world join together with the aim of achieving net-zero as soon as possible, to accelerate Japan's efforts toward decarbonization and contribute to the earlier realization of a decarbonized society.
While saving lives and jobs is the priority it’s crucial to align long-term recovery plans to climate and sustainable development objectives
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is deeply hurting people’s lives, livelihoods and communities. It presents a huge global health challenge and it is already showing impacts on the world economy. CDP offers our enormous gratitude to front-line responders, and solidarity to all those impacted by the pandemic.
As governments look to help their citizens, attention is rightly focused on saving lives and protecting jobs. In the long run, stabilizing and rebuilding economies will be a crucial challenge – we must ensure that long-term recovery packages include pathways to help shape our economy into one that is more resilient, inclusive, low-carbon and sustainable. The parallels between the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change expose some of the fundamental risks to our economy, policies and business models – and how susceptible they are to sudden shocks and long-term issues, both caused or exacerbated by climate change.
CDP welcomes the recent commitment from G20 finance ministers to an ‘environmentally sustainable’ economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The joint communique, endorsed by all members, highlights the importance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and underlines the ‘long-term responsibility for our planet’ that all G20 members share.
Tackling the climate and ecosystem crises alongside Covid-19 is critical. While companies and sectors need to be supported to mitigate the impact of job losses and shocks to the economy, companies’ receipt of public money should be bound to meeting requirements that support governments’ climate and environmental commitments in the years following the immediate crisis.
CDP applauds governments who protect lives, safeguard livelihoods and ensure the long-term resilience and sustainability of their economies and strongly recommends that in order to build resilient economies, companies and financial institutions must tackle climate change, disclose climate-related financial information, set science based targets and commit to a low-carbon transition plan that is in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. We stand ready to support governments in their efforts to do this.
Climate Change Program Leader/ Deputy Director-General
Risa ENDO, Climate Change Program Leader/ Deputy Director-General
Jiro ADACHI, Executive Director
Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)
The ultimate goal of climate policies and actions is to maximize prevention against climate change damages. In light of the climate crisis and the social changes caused by COVID-19, it is important for countries, international organizations and other stakeholders to strengthen policies and actions, including adaptation measures for the most vulnerable groups, better energy access, employment opportunities, and poverty alleviation to ensure that no one is left behind.
Recommendation 1: Strengthening climate change adaptation measures for the most vulnerable groups
After the spread of COVID-19, damages believed to be caused by climate change, such as major cyclones, have been occurring around the world. Because of the increase in unemployment and poverty caused by COVID-19, there are also concerns about the growing number of vulnerable groups who are most likely to be affected by climate change.
Therefore, it is necessary for countries and international organizations to strengthen climate change adaptation measures and support*1 for the most vulnerable groups.*2 To this end, we should urgently identify and discuss which people have been left out of the rapid social changes caused by COVID-19, how they will be affected by climate change, and what kind of support is needed.
Recommendation 2: Accelerating global reduction for all types and sources of greenhouse gases in acomprehensive and cost-effective manner
The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions due to the reduction of economic activity during COVID-19 is temporary, and there are concerns that the emissions will increase significantly in the process of economic recovery. In order to prevent damage caused by climate change, it is necessary to dramatically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. For this, we should not forget other types and sources of emissions than energy-derived CO2 since one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions are composed of CO2 from Forestry and Other Land Use, fluorocarbons, methane, and so on.
Therefore, all types and sources of greenhouse gas emissions should be targeted for mitigation measures, and cost-effectiveness should be also considered to accelerate domestic mitigation measures. In addition, international cooperation is necessary for the global reduction of all types and sources of greenhouse gases (it is important for countries to utilize their own areas of expertise). Furthermore, to monitor global progress and devote resources to each measure more effectively, we must improve the current statistical systems of countries and provide support for developing countries to strengthen their capacities.
Recommendation 3: Ensuring energy access for vulnerable groups and promoting decentralized renewable energy systems
Reduced incomes caused by COVID-19 could lead an increase in the number of people who have limited energy access. Although it is essential to ensure energy security for hospitals and health facilities to treat patients, many of them are still not electrified and experience unscheduled power outages around the world.
Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen support to secure clean and stable energy access for all. Especially in this time of the COVID-19 crisis, supporting medical facilities to ensure clean and stable energy should be prioritized.
It is also necessary to take measures with the assumption that a global infectious disease like COVID-19 will occur again in the future. If economic activities continue to shrink due to prolonged outbreaks of these diseases, there are concerns that energy supplies from abroad could be insufficient and that domestic and regional supplies could be unstable.
To prepare for the risks mentioned above, the transition from centralized to decentralized renewable energy systems that utilize local resources should be promoted. This is also important for decarbonization and mitigation measures.
Recommendation 4: Pursuing integrated solutions to economic, social, and environmental challenges in the process of economic recovery from COVID-19, considering climate change, environment, sustainability, and disaster resilience
COVID-19 has put many people out of work, and they have sunk into poverty. While a global economic recovery is urgently needed, there are concerns about a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions during the economic recovery process.
Therefore, countries and international organizations should put all their efforts into implementing economic recovery measures that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change adaptation measures, and give due consideration to sustainability and disaster resilience. The reskilling of those who have lost their jobs and support for them is also important in addition to creating jobs through green recovery. Furthermore, toward the achievement of the SDGs in 2030, various goals and targets are expected to be achieved simultaneously. In achieving climate change and environment-related goals, it is necessary to consider their impact and contribution to social and economic goals.*3
*1 - For example, ensuring access to information and services for those who lack access to the information and services needed to prevent climate change damages, and providing an equal safety net for all, and so on.
*2 - The following could be included in the vulnerable groups, for example: women, children, immigrants, indigenous people, those in need, people with disabilities, businesses with weak management capacity, and workers with weak individual rights and positions.
*3 - For example, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and energy and resource access.
Asian Development Bank
Director General of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
Statement from the Asian Development Bank Woochong Um, Director General of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
His Excellency Koizumi Shinjiro
Her Excellency Patricia Espinosa
On behalf of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), I would like to extend our sincerest congratulations and support to the Government of Japan and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on the launch of the Online Platform on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The platform will serve as an important tool to enable access to and exchange of key information on experiences with climate actions and environmental protection measures as response to COVID-19 to inform the design of sustainable and resilient recovery measures.
Current context of compounding risks
Today the world is facing two global challenges at once: climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which are both threatening the long-term sustainability of development in Asia and the Pacific. Pre-COVID-19 analysis showed that climate change could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. COVID-19 has further depressed social and economic conditions. Estimates show that the global economy could suffer between $6.1 trillion and $9.1 trillion in losses—equivalent to 7.1% to 10.5% of global gross domestic product, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. *1 In developing Asia, the potential economic impact is estimated between $1.3 trillion to $2.0 trillion, equivalent to 5.7% to 8.5% of regional gross domestic product.
ADB’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic
On 13 April 2020, ADB announced a comprehensive support package of $20 billion to support developing members in addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic along with measures to streamline our operations for quicker and more flexible delivery of assistance. Up to $13 billion will be provided through a dedicated fund to help governments of developing members implement effective countercyclical expenditure programs to mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on the poor and the vulnerable. As of 24 August 2020, ADB has committed a little less than half of the $20 billion commitment from its own resources and mobilized $6 billion commitments in co-financing from other partners.
Support to low carbon and climate resilient development in the Asia Pacific
Climate change has been an integral part of ADB’s work and we remain committed to supporting our developing members to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economies. To achieve this ADB develops strategies, commits resources, and collaborates with partners to support our developing members accelerate climate actions.
ADB underscores its commitment with its Strategy 2030 by setting ambitious targets on climate change. By 2030, ADB will ensure that 75% of its committed operations will be supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation, and further deliver $80 billion of climate finance from its own resources cumulatively from 2019 to 2030. *2 In 2019, ADB met its first climate commitment to double its climate financing from $3 billion in 2014 to $6 billion set in 2015 one year ahead of schedule. It delivered over $6.37 billion in climate finance from its own resources, in addition to raising a total of $704.9 million from external financing.
Strategy 2030 highlights seven operational priorities one of which is on Tackling Climate Change, Building Climate and Disaster Resilience, and Enhancing Environmental Sustainability – three interconnected agendas which are central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Moreover, ADB is working jointly with other multilateral development banks (MDBs), to align its operations to the goals of the Paris Agreement, committing to a common alignment approach in supporting developing members to achieve low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development pathways.
Further, to support its developing members in meeting their commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, ADB is implementing NDC Advance, a technical assistance platform dedicated to helping developing members mobilize finance to implement their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) focused on assistance in refining and translating NDCs into climate investment plans; improving developing members’ access to external public and private climate finance; and developing methods and approaches to establish baselines and monitoring tools for indicators to measure and gauge developing members progress on climate actions. In implementing NDC Advance, ADB engages with the NDC Partnership, as an institutional member, working with other development partners and stakeholders, to ensure a coordinated approach to supporting developing members on NDC development and implementation.
Ensuring Green and Resilient Recovery in Asia and the Pacific
Adopting a low-carbon and resilient recovery can generate economic benefits, create employment, increase food and energy security, and have strong health co-benefits. Based on estimates from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, strong climate action has the potential to generate over 65 million new low-carbon jobs, deliver at least $26 trillion in net global economic benefits, and avoid 700,000 premature new deaths from air pollution. *3 Meanwhile, the Global Commission on Adaptation has estimated that investing $1.8 trillion globally from 2020 to 2030 in resilience-building measures could generate $7.1 trillion in total new benefits. *4
ADB will promote the integration of low-carbon development and climate and disaster resilience into the COVID-19 recovery plans of the developing members. Recently, ADB introduced a framework to assist its developing members in evaluating potential low-carbon and climate- and disaster-resilient recovery interventions. *5 The framework provides a systematic process for evaluating, and comparing, the potential of climate and resilience recovery interventions to achieve recovery objectives by assessing the interventions against a set of key requirements for COVID-19 recovery—or the characteristics of a “good recovery.” The framework is intended to support decision makers in selecting and prioritizing a package of interventions that will collectively achieve their recovery objectives and promote climate resilience through their medium-term recovery and longer-term transformation efforts. It can also help decision makers understand the potential negative implications of certain interventions.
Further, ADB will also continue to facilitate access to global climate funds, such as the Climate Investment Funds and the Green Climate Fund, carbon markets and support its developing members through climate and disaster management programs and initiatives. In addition to the NDC Advance platform, ADB will also continue the work with the Community Resilience Partnership Program, designed to support the developing members in scaling up investments in local resilience that explicitly address the nexus between poverty, gender, and climate and disaster risk.
Underscoring partnerships to deliver the COP 26 objectives
ADB recognizes the importance of fostering partnerships and knowledge exchange. A coordinated approach is important as it can contribute to improved harmonization, coherence and transparency of actions while reducing transaction costs. On the road to the 26th United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, ADB commits to continuing cooperation as well exploring new partnerships to more effectively contribute to COP26 objectives.
ADB strongly believes that genuine commitment, matched with proactive actions and collaborative endeavors in facing these global challenges will bring significant results for the betterment of the lives of the people.
Therefore, we express our support and wishes for the successful launch and effective implementation of this online platform on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19.
*1 - Abiad, et al. 2020. The Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Asian Economies: The Role of Outbreak Severity, Containment Stringency, and Mobility Declines. In S. Djankov and U. Panizza, eds. COVID-19 in Developing Economies. London: CEPR Press. https://voxeu.org/content/covid-19-developing-economies
*2 - ADB. 2018. Strategy 2030: Achieving a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific. Manila. https://www.adb.org/documents/strategy-2030-prosperous-inclusive-resilient-sustainable-asia-pacific
*3 - Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. 2018. The New Climate Economy. The New Growth Agenda. Washington DC. https://newclimateeconomy.report/2018/the-new-growth-agenda/
*4 - Global Commission on Adaptation. 2019. Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience. Washington DC. https://cdn.gca.org/assets/2019-09/GlobalCommission_Report_FINAL.pdf
*5 - ADB. 2020. COVID-19 Recovery: A Pathway to a Low-Carbon and Resilient Future. Manila. https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/625476/covid-19-recovery-low-carbon-resilient-future.pdf
The Adaptation Fund
Promoting a Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19 Written Statement from the Adaptation Fund
The recovery from COVID-19 needs to be a true transformation that involves enhancing resilience and scaling up concrete adaptation actions. The Adaptation Fund (AF) is the only multilateral climate fund serving the Paris Agreement with the exclusive mandate of funding concrete adaptation actions and a focus on the most vulnerable communities in developing countries. Through this core competency of promoting adaptation and resilience, the Fund is committed to supporting developing countries and partner institutions in a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19.
COVID-19 and its related challenges has put pressure on the normal operations of the Adaptation Fund, including the implementation of its project portfolio, new programming and ability to organize face-to-face meetings of the Board and its committees.
The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) has approved an increasing number of project extension requests in order to allow more time for countries and entities to complete project activities. To fulfill its mandate despite the lack of in-person meetings, the Board has taken extraordinary steps to organize its work virtually. The Adaptation Fund was the first multilateral climate fund to hold a virtual Board meeting in April 2020, with a limited agenda. Key governance decisions related to the Board’s composition taken at this meeting allowed the Board to subsequently continue its core responsibilities through virtual and intersessional processes, including the processing of new funding proposals and approval of FY21 administrative budgets and work plans. The Board in June 2020 cleared six new funding proposals (including two direct access projects) for over USD 30 million, the first multilateral climate fund to do so. It also has accredited two new partner institutions as implementing entities (IEs), bringing its number of IEs to over 50.
To ensure continuity of operations, the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat has taken proactive measures to support countries and IEs in mitigating the adverse effects of COVID-19 by advising on adaptive management options such as project extensions and providing flexibility for undertaking virtual implementation of certain project activities including inception meetings, monitoring or stakeholder consultations, if the context allows.
Despite the new challenges, AF-funded projects on the ground continue to build climate resilience of the most vulnerable communities while promoting sustainable development and broader resilience against environmental, health and economic risks. In some cases, AF projects have adapted directly to help communities build resilience in the face of the pandemic, further demonstrating that localized, tailored approaches are key to resilience and sustainability:
・A Direct Access project in India not only strengthens local livelihoods by building climate resilience in the face of fragile ecosystems and geographical isolation, it also empowers affected women’s self-help groups to stitch thousands of protective masks to meet emergent needs of isolated Himalayan communities in the State of Uttarakhand during the COVID-19 crisis.
・A WFP-implemented project in Sri Lanka used a garment factory that had been established through the project to provide local women with alternative livelihoods while supplying protective medical equipment to Sri Lankan hospitals that faced shortages of medical supplies. Project farmers also made fresh produce available to healthcare workers.
・A Direct Access project in Costa Rica promotes food security by empowering vulnerable farmers to diversify production and connecting local producers with local buyers to foster community development. It also enhances water access by improving local aqueducts. These adaptation measures allow communities to better respond to climate disasters and shocks such as COVID-19.
・A UNDP-implemented project in Uzbekistan has enabled vulnerable communities to secure agricultural products from self-sustaining greenhouses while quarantined at home due to COVID-19. More than 1,000 families in pilot project districts built their own greenhouses, safely providing 5,000 family members with income. Over 2,000 people have been trained in greenhouse methods of growing planting stock, vegetable and melon crops. The project is enhancing food security, while providing online trainings and sharing lessons so additional districts can build greenhouses.
Amidst the heightened risks and impacts from COVID-19 on climate-vulnerable communities, the Fund continues to receive increasing demand for its work. The relevance and urgency of the Fund’s Medium-Term Strategy and climate change adaptation is as strong as ever, and the Fund is providing vulnerable countries with new opportunities to foster learning and sharing, innovation and scaling up of successful solutions to further increase resilience.
The Adaptation Fund will continue to share knowledge and lessons learned on increasing resilience within the context of enhancing ambition for climate action, as well as a long-term sustainable and green recovery from COVID-19.
Message with photo and signature can be viewed here.
Greetings friends. And thank you to my friend Minister Koizumi. Your leadership on climate and energy continues to be an important influence on the global discussion of how we address these challenges today – and in the years ahead.
I’m sorry to not be with you in person, but I’m happy to have the opportunity to provide this written message of support.
There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have tragic health and economic impacts – and science and coordinated action around the world will lead us out of this crisis. Yet even as we manage through the current challenges, we know we need to act now to address the next global crisis: climate change. Although rising temperatures and increasing greenhouse gas emissions can seem like a problem of the distant future, the only way to avoid the worst possible outcome is to accelerate our efforts now.
We need a rapid technological transition to speed the development of clean technologies and innovative solutions to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, before it’s too late. And Japan can play a key role in marshalling the leadership and political commitment we need to build the industries and companies of the future.
While projections for emission reductions during the current pandemic are not wrong, the reality is that they are not sufficient or sustainable to fight against climate change. Unless we start right now, the damage inflicted by climate change will exceed COVID-19 – and the loss of life and economic misery will continue for much longer.
The good news is we can learn the lessons of COVID-19, including the need to act quickly, to follow the science, and to work together to ensure the solutions we develop help the poorest countries as well as the richest. The way we respond to this crisis can inform how we take on climate change.
Above all, we should let innovation lead the way in creating new tools and solutions that are accessible for the entire world. I am grateful that Japan is focusing on achieving a future with fewer greenhouse gas emissions to prepare for the impending global crisis.
Ladies and gentlemen…
I congratulate Minister Koizumi and the Japanese Government on its plan to develop an online Platform on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19.
COVID19 has caused the greatest international crisis since the second World War and threatens to undermine global climate action.
At the same time, the anticipated recovery is a historic opportunity to transform economies in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and to create a healthier, more sustainable world.
Will we choose to “go back to normal”? The normal where global temperature rise is on pace to more than double by the end of this century?
Or will we choose to—not build back better, but build forward? To enact policies that promote green growth, protect biodiversity, embrace renewable energy and more?
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to plan better and earlier for the impacts of disasters – we cannot afford to be caught off guard again.
We need to start building greater reliance to climate impacts well in advance of further disasters.
Governments are in the process of designing more ambitious national climate plans – Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs.
This Platform can be an extremely useful tool to provide valuable knowledge and insights as governments prepare their NDCs and then move into the implementation stage.
…and it can help both governments and civil society exchange valuable information on the best possible ways to collaborate in building greener and more resilient societies.
Finally, a crucial aspect of the platform is that it can help governments maintain crucial political momentum around the conversation on the specific policies they need to achieve their NDCs.
I thank you for your valuable contribution and for helping the international community work together in a spirit of inclusive multilateralism.
I look forward to productive discussions amongst Ministers at the official launch of the Platform on 3 September…
…and I am confident that both the Platform and the related Ministerial discussions can help build valuable momentum as we move towards COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next year.
Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & ASIA) is an international short film festival that began in 1999 and attracts more than 5,000 films globally every year. Since establishing the Minister’s Award, the Ministry of Environment in 2008, we have been delivering information on environmental issues, including climate change.
ショートショートフィルムフェスティバル & アジアは、1999年に開始した短編映画の国際映画祭で、毎年、世界各地から5000を超える数の作品が集まる。2008年に環境大臣賞を創設して以降、気候変動問題をはじめとする環境問題について、発信を続けている。
Following the current COVID-19 pandemic, SSFF & ASIA have begun streaming short films including past award winners on the online venue. This is a great example of how short films can be used to communicate climate change and environmental issues clearly and impressively.
The winner of the Environment Minister's Award 2020 is “OASIS” directed by Yuta Miyoshi.
”OASIS” and past winners since 2014 are available for view at Venue.
Prime Minister Abe,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I thank the Government of Japan for convening this meeting to consider how to forge a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and Minister Koizumi for his hard work on climate.
The decisions being taken now will have consequences for decades.
This is why I have been urging governments to incorporate meaningful climate action in all aspects of recovery initiatives.
I have proposed six climate-positive actions to recover better.
Invest in green jobs.
Do not bail out polluting industries.
End fossil-fuel subsidies.
Take climate risks into account in all financial and policy decisions.
And, most important, leave no one behind.
Many countries and cities are now prioritizing green investments in their post COVID recovery plans.
Here in Japan, I welcome the announcements of 151 local entities, representing 71 million people, in support of carbon neutrality by 2050.
This global shift towards climate action is gathering pace because leaders everywhere are realizing that clean energy delivers more jobs, cleaner air, better health and stronger economic growth.
The world’s top investors – including some in Japan – are abandoning fossil fuels because renewables are cheaper and more efficient.
Japan’s business associations have also asked the government for decisive climate action.
They understand that it makes no economic sense to burn money on coal plants that will soon become stranded assets.
There is simply no rational case for coal power in any investment plan.
To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, science tells us that global emissions need to be halved by 2030, and the world must achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
These goals remain achievable, but we are currently off track.
I urge all countries, especially G20 members, to commit to carbon neutrally before 2050.
And I ask them to submit more ambitious nationally determined contributions and long-term strategies before COP 26 that are aligned with the 1.5-degree goal.
Japan, which has led the way on technological development in many fields, can become a world leader on the sustainable and resilient recovery.
The country has the innovative power to avoid being left behind as this transition gathers pace.
I sincerely hope Japan will end external financing of coal power plants, commit to carbon neutrality before 2050, set an early phase-out transition for domestic coal use and significantly increase the share of renewable energy.
I also urge Japan and other donors to maintain their climate finance commitments and continue to support the most vulnerable.
We are facing two critical crises, COVID and climate change.
Let us tackle both and leave future generations with the hope that this moment is a true turning point for people and planet.
I wish you a fruitful conversation that can inspire action in all countries and sectors.