Week of 7 – 13th December 2020

Climate change adaptation in mountain areas. Accelerating the clean energy transition in a changing world. Decarbonising the industrial sector. Using green and digital technologies to reduce food waste. Building back better: potential policies for COVID recovery and climate action in the U.S. Public finance and a green recovery. Stimulating investment in community energy. Climate Ambition Summit. Find out about these and more online events of the week!

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7 December, 2:00 – 3:30 PM CET
“Equity Considerations in Nationally Determined Contributions” (by Geneva Environment Network)

Under the Paris Agreement, the countries are due to submit their updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 31 December 2020. They are, therefore, invited to report on equity and fairness considerations. This event will look into how these equity and fairness considerations can help highlight principles to stimulate the countries to be as ambitious as possible.

7 December, 2:00 – 3:30 PM CET
“Labour implications of the circular economy transition” (by OECD)

Governments emphasise potential job creations as one of the main beneficial aspects of resource efficiency and circular economy policies. These new jobs would follow the anticipated structural changes in the economy from material-intensive to more labour-intensive activities. A green recovery from COVID-19 under circular economy principles could possibly provide the opportunity to not only reduce the material intensity of the economy, but to also generate new growth for employment and the economy. This World Circular Economy Forum online side event invites policymakers and representatives from business, NGOs, academia and other stakeholders to learn about the state-of-the-art knowledge on circular policies and expected employment effects.

7 December, 2:00 – 4:00 PM CET
“Nitrogen Challenges in Agri-food systems: Halve Nitrogen Waste by 2030” (by UNEP and FAO)

Nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere, land and water and is a crucial element for building structures of living organisms. However, the excessive and inadequate use of nitrogen in agriculture has major negative impacts on people and the planet. To address global warming and protect biodiversity, it is vital to manage reactive nitrogen more efficiently. Some farmers around the world are already applying technical solutions and good practices to reduce excessive nitrogen losses from agri-food systems. This webinar will focus on the nitrogen challenges and potential technical solutions and policies in agri-food systems and highlight the ongoing efforts to better manage nitrogen. It will provide an opportunity to learn about the multiple roles of nitrogen in agri-food systems and on how different stakeholders can help to achieve sustainable nitrogen management.

7 December, 2:00 – 4:00 PM CET
“1st European Circular Cities Declaration” (by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability)

The first European Circular Cities Declaration webinar will present examples of good practice from the group of over 30 signatories. It will also provide an introduction to the Declaration to cities and regions potentially interested in signing.

7 December, 2:30 – 4:00 PM CET
“The Private Sector to the Rescue of the Energy Transition: ESG and the Role of Banks” (by Florence School of Regulation – FSR and Energy Community Secretariat)

This is a final session of webinar series within the Vienna Forum on European Energy Law focused on the solidarity principle, the European climate law, carbon pricing, and the role of the private sector in the energy transition. To discuss these topics, organisers bring together a panel of experts for a roundtable debate and a live Q&A session with the audience.

7 December, 4:00 – 5:30 PM CET
“From Risk to Opportunity: Climate Transitions and Tropical Commodities” (by Climate Action and Orbitas)

Join a launch an analysis of the impacts of climate responses on the tropical soft commodity sector. The research shows how macroeconomic transitions flow down to individual companies. Companies face three major risks – stranded assets, growth constraints, and GHG emissions costs. However, if firms get ahead of climate transitions and act sustainably then there are substantial financial opportunities. The report will also highlight recommendations for producers, capital providers and governments on how they can support the transition to sustainable and profitable deforestation-free commodity production.

7 December, 4:00 – 6:00 PM CET (10:00 AM EST)
“Decarbonizing the Industrial Sector” (by Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT)

In this webinar, speakers will look at the different technology intersections involved in industrial decarbonization: electrification, coupling of reactions and separations, bio-based approaches, circular processing, and sustainable utilization of petroleum feedstocks. The event is a part of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) and Energy Initiative (MITEI) energy innovation webinar series focused on the energy transition.

8 – 9 December
“European Business & Nature Summit 2020” (by European Commission)

The EBNS will serve as a launchpad to strengthen the growing movement of businesses that consider nature as part of the solution to economic wellbeing. In line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, participating businesses (including SMEs) and financial institutions will share their practical experience in how to integrate biodiversity and natural capital within their business models, how to measure and reduce their impacts and dependencies on nature, and how to make nature part of the solution to solve current challenges. They will also demonstrate how their strategies positively impact both nature and their economic performance. Current policy responses from the European Commission to support business initiatives that aim at integrating natural capital and biodiversity into corporate decision making will also be discussed.

8 – 9 December
“C3E Symposium: Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition in a Changing World” (by C3E Women in Clean Energy)

Climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, related economic challenges, and social inequity are among the challenges we are facing as we work to accelerate the clean energy transition. We must move faster and smarter to transform and decarbonize our energy system. Join thought leaders to discuss opportunities to effectively scale new low- and no-carbon technologies, rapidly deploy capital to mitigate global warming and provide affordable, reliable energy solutions to all. Join this free event consisting of plenary sessions, award presentations, panel discussions, and a virtual reception with live student poster presentations.

8 December, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM CET
“European cities share their best sustainable mobility solutions” (by EUROCITIES)

Learning from your city peers as if you were visiting them – how is that supposed to work during a global health pandemic? That has been this year’s challenge. To meet it, CIVITAS has asked seven cities to film their best mobility solutions and share their insights through short case studies. Discover innovative and sustainable mobility solutions presented by European cities of Bratislava, Helsinki, Aachen, Rethymno, Sarajevo and Szeged and Madrid.

8 December, 12:00 – 1:30 PM CET
“Circular economy opportunities: perspectives of transition economies” (by UNECE)

This event will focus on the circular economy transition in UNECE’s 17 programme countries in Central Asia, Caucasus and the Western Balkans. For example, some Central Asian countries agreed in 2019 on the Principles of Sustainable Trade to address some of the most serious challenges of climate change and social development.

8 December, 3:00 – 4:00 PM CET
“Circularity showcase: the product circularity data sheet” (by Ministry of the Economy of Luxembourg, Luxinnovation and Impakt)

The promotion of products’ circular properties is hindered by several data-related challenges. The session introduces a framework that enables circular property reporting throughout value chains.

8 December, 8:00 – 9:00 PM CET (2:00 PM EST)
“Greenlink Equity Map: Visualizing Equity Issues to Build Stronger Climate Solutions” (by Clean Energy States Alliance)

Cities across the U.S. have begun to recognize the importance of prioritizing equity and environmental justice when designing and implementing climate and sustainability strategies. However, a lack of access to accurate and understandable equity data has presented a challenge to policy makers and community advocates alike. To help bridge this critical information gap, Greenlink Analytics and Upright Consulting Services partnered to launch the Greenlink Equity Map (GEM) and Process Guide. GEM is an online map designed to help visualize equity-related issues and how burdens are spread across communities…

9 December
“Energy efficiency in the Time of Covid-19: Highlights from Energy Efficiency 2020” (by International Energy Agency – IEA)

This webinar focuses on the highlights of the IEA’s Energy Efficiency 2020 Report. The report includes a detailed analysis of the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on energy demand and efficiency as well as policy responses to date. The webinar looks at how the crisis is affecting energy-using behaviour both globally and in Latin America. It explores energy efficiency trends in the buildings, industry and transport sectors. The webinar shows how governments are making efficiency a key plank of stimulus packages, creating millions of energy efficiency related jobs worldwide.

9 December, 9:00 – 11:00 AM CET (3:00 PM Bangkok time)
“Using Green and Digital Technologies to Reduce Food Waste at Consumer Level” (by UNEP, Thailand Environment Institute and International Resource Panel)

Food waste exacerbates our triple planetary crisis, generating 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, using finite land and water resources needlessly, adding significantly to soil and water pollution from agriculture, and negatively impacting biodiversity. One-third of the food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted, costing 2.6 trillion USD annually. Development and deployment of green technologies has been highlighted in green recovery plans in many countries. This webinar will bring policy makers and practitioners to discuss how to further unlock the potential of green technologies to reduce food waste at consumer level. It will also share successful stories and business models in different regions and explore opportunities and challenges to scale them up.

9 December, 12:00 – 1:00 PM CET
“Securing financing for the new generation of PV projects in Africa” (by ATA Insights)

In Africa, utilities and private large consumers (mines, factories, communities, etc.) are moving to solar power because of its low price and predictability in the long term. Many projects are under development and in order to realize them it is necessary to obtain long-term financing. Hear about the major institutions that are prepared to back PV projects in the African market and what they look for when deciding whether to finance a project. Learn about what it is required to obtain long-term financing from a technical point of view, and more.

9 December, 2:00 – 3:15 PM CET
“High-Level Roundtable on Nationally Determined Contributions and Short-lived Climate Pollutants” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

Reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons are essential to achieving cleaner air and better health outcomes for people around the world. Prioritizing national strategies to reduce SLCPs also hold the key to reducing the rate of global warming and keeping temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit)—an ambition that all countries signed on to as part of the Paris Agreement. Already, some countries – including Chile and Rwanda – have included action on short-lived climate pollutants in their enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs), while others are considering how they can do so. High-level representatives from these two countries will open the virtual discussion, which will include other government representatives and Q&A with the audience.

9 December, 2:00 – 3:30 PM CET
“Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Industry and COVID-19 Realities” (by Austrian Development Agency, UNIDO, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)

This event will take place as part of the Industry Track of the Vienna Energy Forum (VEF) Virtual Series. The VEF Virtual Series is a platform that aims to progress agreed recommendations and deliver policy briefs with action-oriented solutions in targeted locations, in order to assist countries around the world align their recovery efforts with an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development. The sessions in the Industry Track will explore the integration of sustainable energy in the industrial sector.

9 December, 2:30 – 4:00 PM CET (7:00 – 8:30 PM IST)
“The True Opportunity of Restoring Land: Lessons from India” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) is building a strong global movement for a sustainable future. Nature-based solutions like landscape restoration are a triple-win: They can cost-effectively create jobs and protect local livelihoods, safeguard biodiversity, and help limit climate change. Join to learn how governments, funders, civil society, and local communities can unlock the finance needed to realize the economic, social and climate benefits of restoring Sidhi – and landscapes around the world.

9 December, 2:30 – 4:00 PM CET
“Stimulating Investment in Community Energy” (by International Renewable Energy Agency – IRENA)

This session of IRENA’s Policy Talks will focus on citizen-led renewable energy projects – commonly referred to as ‘community energy’, and the findings of the IRENA Coalition for Action white paper “Stimulating Investment in Community Energy: Broadening the ownership of renewables”. Renewable energy investments by citizens and communities have gained traction in a number of countries. This Policy Talks will discuss key opportunities and challenges in stimulating investment in community energy, focusing on how policies can be designed to value citizen participation, current experiences in the implementation of financing instruments to support community energy, and examples of initiatives that have successfully mobilised financing for community energy projects.

9 December, 3:00 – 4:00 PM CET
“Regulating Untaxable Externalities: Evidence from Vehicle Air Pollution” (by RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment)

Arthur van Benthem (University of Pennsylvania) will discuss results of research assessing the effects of fire-related smoke on population health in the Brazilian Amazon. Research found that exposure to smoke, measured by PM2.5 concentration levels, is robustly associated with an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory conditions. The effects are higher among children and the elderly, and increase non-linearly with pollution levels. Join to find out more.

9 December, 6:00 – 7:30 PM CET (12:00 AM EST)
“2020 U.S. Climate Action Update” (by Environmental and Energy Study Institute – EESI)

The briefing featured a presentation of two major reports, “We Are Still In to Deliver America’s Pledge: A Retrospective” and “Delivering on America’s Pledge: Achieving Climate Progress in 2020”. Together, the reports cover progress made by states, cities, and businesses to reduce emissions since 2017 and explore the implications of COVID-19 on reaching 2030 emission reduction goals. The presentation is followed by a moderated discussion focused on what Congress can learn from the policies and on-the-ground projects that have driven emission reductions in recent years.

9 December, 8:30 – 9:30 PM CET (11:30 AM Pacific Time)
“The Pentagon and Climate Change” (by Stanford University)

The U.S. Department of Defense has been ahead of the curve on climate change. They worry that the military’s likely use in responding to natural disasters is a potential distraction and strain on their resources and primary missions, and they are concerned that sea level rise and flooding put many of its installations at risk. Further, they see climate change increasing the competition for natural resources such as fresh water and arable land, in already volatile regions, and as “threat multiplier,” potentially leading to increased armed conflict. What they haven’t addressed, even as they green the services, is the enormous scale of their own greenhouse gas emissions — larger than the annual emissions of most of the world’s countries…

10 December
“Bloomberg Green Solutions Summit: Setting and Achieving Bold Climate Commitments” (by Bloomberg)

Making public commitments is a key tool in the collective battle against climate change. But how do you select the best commitment for your organization, your country or yourself? And once the goal is set, how do you finance it, develop the innovations needed to achieve it, and track your progress? At the Green Year-End Solutions Summit, organisers will convene a highly curated audience for deeper dialogues on the challenges and opportunities that arise when embarking on a climate pledge. Working together, participants will brainstorm and identify meaningful key takeaways that you can use to accomplish your climate commitment.

10 December, 12:00 – 1:00 PM CET
“Linking Emissions Trading Systems” (by Florence School or Regulation – FSR)

The Linking Emissions Trading Systems webinar aims at summarising the Carbon Market Policy Dialogue about the relevance and challenges of linking emissions trading systems (ETSs). The objective of this webinar is to translate the research of the project LIFE DICET into learning and to bring it to a much wider audience. Special attention is devoted to the six ETSs represented in the Carbon Market Policy Dialogue (those of California, Quebec, EU, Switzerland, China and New Zealand) and to the research reports “Emissions Trading Schemes with different levels of environmental ambition: implications for linking” and “Emissions Trading Schemes with different price-control mechanisms: implications for linking”. The reports offer conceptual frameworks to characterise environmental ambition and price control mechanisms.

10 December, 1:00 – 2:00 PM or 3:00 – 4:00 PM CET
“Data Tools for Assessing New National Climate Commitments” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

Five years after the Paris Agreement was adopted countries are now set to enhance ambition of their national climate commitments (NDCs). To date, only 15 countries have submitted an enhanced or updated NDC but well over 100 more have indicated they will do so in 2020 or before COP26 next year. How do the national climate plans submitted thus far stack up? Which ones will likely be submitted next? And what resources and tools are available to access what these national plans contain and if they are rigorous?

10 December, 2:00 – 3:00 PM CET
“Plastics and Climate and Air Pollution” (by Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat, Center for International Environmental Law and Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute Geneva)

The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. Many initiatives, projects and governance responses and options have been developed to tackle this major environmental problem, but we are still unable to cope with the amount of plastic we generate. In addition, there is a lack of coordination which can better lead to a more effective and efficient response. This session of Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues will discuss an often hidden dimension of the plastic crisis: the plastic’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

10 December, 2:00 – 3:00 PM CET (8:00 AM EST)
“Ramifications for IUCN World Conservation Congress and Beyond: What Have We Learned?” (by Green Growth Knowledge Platform)

To set the stage for the Congress, the “Infrastructure and Nature” webinar series gather leading private and public sector actors on the financing, planning, and development of sustainable infrastructure exploring solutions for reducing risks and generating incentives for building nature into future infrastructure business models. This final session will test the solutions discussed throughout the webinar series with a convened panel of policy experts. Will these do enough to arrest declines in biodiversity, rapidly worsening climate extremes, and economic inequality in a pandemic? What essential actionable items should be discussed at the World Conservation Congress and incorporated into the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and other policy platforms in 2021 and beyond?

10 December, 2:00 – 3:00 PM CET
“Two Degrees Initiative for Food and Agriculture: Stakeholder voices and global R4D topics” (by CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and World Resources Institute – WRI)

The ‘Two Degree Initiative’ (2DI) is a coalition of hundreds of like-minded partner organizations from around the world. They are brought together with a single unifying vision – to transform the global food system for a climate-smart future. 2DI’s ambition is to reach 200 million farmers through ten participating Regional Challenges that include projects in low- and middle-income countries. It organizes its projects around a set of themes that align with a rigorous theory of change developed by CCAFS. In this event, WRI will present the preliminary findings of a forthcoming report that summarizes the key outcomes of the 2DI Listening Sessions.

10 December, 2:00 – 3:30 PM CET
“Accelerating Energy Transition for Product Efficiency” (by Austrian Development Agency, UNIDO, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)

This event will take place as part of the Industry Track of the Vienna Energy Forum (VEF) Virtual Series. The VEF Virtual Series is a platform that aims to progress agreed recommendations and deliver policy briefs with action-oriented solutions in targeted locations, in order to assist countries around the world align their recovery efforts with an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development. The sessions in the Products Track of VEF will focus on energy efficiency in building-related products, specifically addressing the efficiency of appliances.

10 December, 3:00 – 4:00 PM CET (9:00 AM EST)
“Building Back Better: Potential Policies for COVID Recovery & Climate Action in the U.S.” (by Climate Advisers and Third Way)

America faces multiple generation-defining crises—a pandemic, an economic downturn, a changing climate—that it must tackle simultaneously. A responsible recovery from the COVID-19 recession should include climate action to strengthen both our economy and our resilience to future shocks. Facing the potential of a split Senate, what are the Biden Administration’s options for taking climate action that places the United States on a path to net-zero emissions by mid-century and reinvigorates a sluggish economy? Join experts for a discussion about the potential executive climate actions the administration can take in support of economic recovery and about the policies that have the best shot in passing what may remain a McConnell-led Senate.

10 December, 3:00 – 4:00 PM CET
“Circular organisations that adapted and thrived in times of Covid-19” (by Circular Tayside and Perthshire Chamber of Commerce)

Hear from local, circular Tayside organisations (Scotland) how they adapted to the Covid-19 restrictions and continued to deliver their circular products and services. Through adapting, reimagining and reshaping their business and offering, these organisations give a great circular example to follow.

10 December, 3:00 – 4:00 PM CET
“Putting the law at the heart of the Paris Agreement” (by Legal Response International)

What are the issues that need to be addressed, specifically during COP26 in the UK in 2021, in order for the Paris Agreement to succeed? Climate lawyers from around the world present their ideas in 3 minutes to raise one issue that they consider a priority in the further implementation of the Paris Agreement. The event will be chaired by former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Carnwath.

10 December, 4:00 – 5:00 PM CET
“Public Finance and a Green Recovery: A Conversation with EIB President Werner Hoyer” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

Join this fascinating discussion between Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI President & CEO, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, as they dive into how public finance can support a green recovery. The conversation will explore the European Investment Bank’s journey towards alignment with the Paris agreement, the economic case for climate action, nature-based climate action, and how the banks can work with developing countries to recover from the COVID crisis and mobilize investment for climate-resilient, inclusive development.

10 December, 5:30 – 7:00 PM CET
“Launch of Oxford Offsetting Principles” (by University of Oxford)

Carbon offsetting is a widespread tool in efforts to achieve net zero emissions. But current approaches to offsetting are unlikely to deliver the types of offsets needed to achieve global climate goals. Net zero pledges from many companies, such as those recently from BP and Google, and the recent 2060 “carbon neutrality” pledge from China are likely to use offsets. But what types of offsets are acceptable and under what conditions should they be used? The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting (or ‘The Oxford Offsetting Principles’) provide guidelines to help ensure offsetting actually helps to achieve a net zero society. Join this launch event to hear from the authors and leading stakeholders.

10 December, 8:00 – 9:00 PM CET (2:00 PM EST)
“Enabling circularity in Canada through the UN Sustainable Development Goals” (by Global Compact Network Canada)

During this event speakers will present best practices on mapping the plastics value chain, common incentives across the value chain, and key considerations required to set up circularity pilot projects with multiple participants.

10 December, 8:00 – 9:00 PM CET (2:00 PM EST)
“Looking Ahead: Benefit-Cost Analysis for Environmental Regulation in the U.S.” (by Resources for the Future)

The Trump administration introduced several changes to the conduct and use of benefit-cost analysis for environmental regulation, some of which are likely to be revisited by the Biden administration. What is the future of this important policy analysis tool, and why does it matter? Join a panel of experts considering this topic in the first of a three-part series on environmental economics for a new administration.

11 December, 2:00 – 3:15 PM CET
“Climate change adaptation in mountain areas: What role is there for parliamentarians?” (by Geneva Water Hub)

Mountain areas are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts, but do not receive adequate attention in international processes. During this webinar, international mountain experts and parliamentarians will present solutions and discuss potential ways forward to close these gaps.

12 December, 3:00 PM CET (9:00 AM EST)
“Climate Ambition Summit” (by UNFCCC)

The Climate Ambition Summit 2020 will mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, and will provide a platform for government and non-governmental leaders to demonstrate their commitment to the Paris Agreement and the multilateral process. The summit is positioned as a “sprint to Glasgow,” where the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place from 1–12 November 2021. Co-hosted by the UK COP26 Presidency, the UN and France, in partnership with Chile and Italy, the Summit aims to rally momentum and call for much greater climate action and ambition. National governments will be invited to present more ambitious and high-quality climate plans, as well as COVID recovery plans, new finance commitments and measures to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Watch the Summit live broadcast here.