Week of 11 – 17 January 2021

Plastics and human rights. Understanding dimensions and implications of legal trade in wildlife. The road to COP 26 in Glasgow. Ensuring the economic feasibility of nature-based solutions projects. Sustainable development goals investing – make it happen! A vision for inclusive and fair clean energy transitions. Distribution grid investment to power the energy transition. Low-carbon fuels. Find out about these and more online events of the week!

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Biodiversity & Environment

11 January, 10:00 – 19:00 CET
“A One Planet Summit for Biodiversity” (by United Nations, World Bank and France)

This high-level meeting is a major milestone for the political mobilization for nature in 2021, the year that should lead to an ambitious new international agreement on biodiversity. France in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank organises a ‘One Planet Summit’ for biodiversity which will be an opportunity to raise the level of ambition of the international community on the protection of nature, while responding to the new questions raised by the crisis. This event will bring together heads of state and government as well as leaders of international organizations, financial institutions, the business sector and NGOs, all ready to make commitments for concrete action to preserve and restore biodiversity, to make strong new announcements and to launch transformational initiatives for nature.


12 January, 13:00 – 15:00 CET
“Exploring linkages between climate change and biodiversity for the development of Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework” (by UN Convention on Biological Diversity)

Participants will informally examine the linkages between the issues of climate change and biodiversity, and ways to improve synergies between climate change and biodiversity conservation actions, and enhance coordination between the UNFCCC and the CBD. The webinar is envisioned as an informal space to hear perspectives from Parties and stakeholders on key issues and concepts, and to help inform their negotiating positions.

13 January, 9:00 – 10:00 CET
“Ensure the economic feasibility of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) projects” (by Nature4Cities)

Want to find economic levers for more nature in urban spaces? Join this Breakfast conversation about the importance to develop new more supportive economic models for a successful NBS implementation. A focus will also be made on the measure of NBS economic impacts, as their costs and co-benefits are often not well known.

14 January, 20:00 – 21:00 CET
“The Race to Save the Arctic” (by World Wildlife Fund – WWF)

The Arctic is a region like no other in the world. Diverse landscapes—sea ice, coastal wetlands, upland tundra, mountains, wide rivers, and the sea itself—are home to more than 4 million people and an abundance of wildlife. However, due to climate change, mining, shipping, oil and gas development, and overfishing, the Arctic faces an uncertain future. Join us to hear from Elisabeth Kruger, WWF’s Manager for Arctic Wildlife, as she talks to us about her work to save iconic species like polar bears, bowhead whales, and narwhals in this majestic corner of the world. Register here.

15 January, 17:00 – 18:00 CET
“Understanding dimensions and implications of legal trade in wildlife” (by Oxford University Centre for the Environment)

Generally when wildlife trade is mentioned in the context of conservation we tend to think almost exclusively about illegal wildlife trade and its impacts on a subset of charismatic species. Yet international regulations only include a small subset of species relative to the many thousand we depend on and understanding the true dimensions of trade and its impacts is crucial to ensuring that unsustainable trade does not threaten the survival of species. In the webinar, Alice Hughes explores the true dimensions of global trade, with a special focus on the reptile trade…

Climate Policy & COP26

12 January, 14:30 – 15:45 CET
“In conversation with Archie Young – the road to COP 26 in Glasgow” (by European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition – ERCST)

During this one-hour conversation, Archie Young, the United Kingdom’s lead climate negotiator will talk about the road to COP 26 in Glasgow and the priorities of the UK presidency. After an introductory interview, Andrei Marcu and Michael Mehling will moderate a Q&A with participants.

13 January, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
“Transforming innovation systems for evidence-based action at scale” (by CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security)

This event is a Part 1 of the “Climate resilient food systems for Africa: From evidence to action” virtual dialogue series that aims to identify principles and approaches to strengthen evidence-based action.

13 January, 14:00 – 16:00 CET
“The state of the European Green Deal” (by European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition – ERCST)

The European Green Deal can be seen as a collection of priorities, principles and areas where legislative proposals will be produced in the coming years towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as other environmental objectives. The implementation of the European Green Deal has been picking up speed, with high-profile files, as well as the framework legislation on the 2030 Target and 2050 climate neutrality having been agreed upon. Meanwhile, the Commission is laying the groundwork for a number of other climate files, including through public participation processes, for the set of policy proposals expected by June 2021. This session will focus on the recent high-level policy developments under the European Green Deal, and the ‘general sentiment’ of stakeholders on the direction and implementation of the EGD.

15 January, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
“Digitalization to improve planning and monitoring of adaptation actions” (by CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security)

This event is a Part 2 of the “Climate resilient food systems for Africa: From evidence to action” virtual dialogue series that aims to identify principles and approaches to strengthen evidence-based action.

15 January, 19:00 – 20:00 CET
“US Climate Policy Outlook for 2021: What to Expect in the First Year” (by Smart Prosperity Institute)

The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Administration is poised to enter office on the back of an ambitious climate agenda, departing from four years in which the White House was largely indifferent or even antagonistic to climate priorities. On the surface, the Biden-Harris climate agenda sends powerful signals to the international community, to business and to sub-national governments. Beneath the surface, the agenda will face a number of challenges to implementation. So what can we expect to see in the Biden-Harris Administration’s first year?

Climate Finance

14 January, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
“Green Infrastructure in the Decade for Delivery: Assessing Institutional Investment” (by OECD)

Infrastructure, such as energy, water, transport and healthcare, is critical for socio-economic development and delivering global climate and development commitments. Yet, the infrastructure we need to meet these goals requires an additional annual investment of around USD 2.5-3 trillion globally. Governments cannot plug this gap alone – mobilising private capital is imperative. The key role of institutional investors in infrastructure development has been long recognised. Infrastructure assets with their long-term, stable and often inflation-hedged revenues align well with the risk-return profile of long-term investors like pension funds and life insurance companies. But with over a decade spent on increasing institutional investment in infrastructure, what progress has been made? How green are the infrastructure assets in institutional portfolios? And what are the levers to upscale investment?

14 January, 15:00 – 16:30 CET
“Science Based Targets for Financial institutions: Target Validation Criteria Deep Dive” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

The finance sector is key to unlocking the system-wide change needed to reach net-zero emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures. In October, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) released a new framework that, for the first time ever, allows financial institutions to set science-based targets that align lending and investment activities with the Paris Agreement. This webinar will provide an in-depth explanation of this new framework. In order to help financial institutions and other stakeholders better understand this framework and how to prepare science-based target submissions, we will discuss the target validation criteria for financial institutions and offer an overview of the SBTi’s recommendations for financial institutions.

Energy Efficiency & Zero Carbon Buildings

13 – 15 January
“BAU Online – Forum Future of Building” (by Bauwelt, DBZ, Bundesbaublatt)

Find inspiration with exciting projects from internationally renowned architects. The event will feature talks and discussions from the forums as live streams and as recorded videos — for a global audience. In addition, companies will have the opportunity of presenting their products virtually in their own online sessions. To enable participants to engage with each other, there will be virtual networking modules within the digital format.

14 January, 9:30 – 11:10 CET
“Think Big! Is industrialisation of energy renovations the best route to scale up the Renovation Wave?” (by EuroACE – Energy Efficient Buildings)

The event will focus on the industrialisation process of energy renovations and how this approach will positively affect the delivery of an ambitious Renovation Wave. The discussion will also shed light on another important topic within this framework which is the upskilling of the construction sector workforce. To this end, this webinar will include presentations by the European Commission on the European Agenda for Skills’ flagship initiative: the “Pact of Skills”, and the Blueprint for a sectoral skill strategy in construction.

Just Transition

12 January, 21:00 – 22:00
“The Power of Labor in a Green Economy” (by ClimateXChange)

A just transition to a clean energy economy requires ensuring that labor groups are at the table, and that quality green jobs are created across the country. But how can climate advocates and policymakers ensure that the move away from fossil fuels and toward renewables doesn’t leave anyone behind? In this Deep Dive webinar, participants will be hearing from a broad range of experts who will overview the importance of ensuring labor groups are at the table during this transition.

Renewables & Energy Transition

11 January, 14:30 – 15:00 CET
“IEA special projects and key priorities for 2021” (by International Energy Agency – IEA)

IEA’s Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol, will host a press webinar to announce new projects and key priorities for the coming year in line with its focus on accelerating clean energy transitions. He will provide an update on the IEA’s assessment of global trends, and outline the Agency’s plans to support international efforts to reach energy and climate goals in the lead-up to COP26. This will include new special projects and initiatives, which Dr Birol will announce during the press conference.

12 January, 11:00 – 12:00 CET
“The EU Solar Market Outlook” (by SolarPower Europe)

Produced in-house by SolarPower Europe’s Market Intelligence team and with the support of national associations and corporate members, the annual report provides forecasts on solar market developments and policy trends for the coming 5 years. The webinar will provide a summary of the EU Market Outlook for Solar Power 2020-2024 with emphasis on: (1) Solar in the EU today; (2) 5-year solar market outlook for EU-27; (3) Details on leading EU markets; (4) Analysis of key solar trends with policy recommendations.

12 January, 11:00 – 12:30 CET
“Operational Planning for Electric Vehicles Integration with Distribution Networks in India” (by The Energy and Resources Institute – TERI)

TERI is organising a stakeholder consultation in the form of a virtual round-table discussion to discuss some of the important findings of a recent study on estimating the load curve for the National Capital Territory of Delhi due to EV addition and charging behaviour patterns for the year 2025 and 2030. Various scenarios for different electric transportation options have been modeled and the impact of EV charging on the city’s power distribution system has been simulated. The virtual round-table discussion will have experts from various stakeholder categories who will share insights on operational planning for EV integration in city distribution networks. Watch the event here:

12 January, 16:00 – 17:15 CET
“An Introduction to the Global Power System Transformation Consortium” (by Global PST Consortium)

Join leaders from champion institutions including the National Grid ESO, the Energy Systems Integration Group, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Imperial College London, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Fraunhofer Society for an overview of the Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) Consortium and its five action pillars. This webinar is the first in a series of webinars focused on G-PST pillar activities and targeted technical topics. The G-PST Consortium is a newly-launched initiative focused on cutting-edge research, holistic support and knowledge infusion for system operators integrating large shares of renewable energy and complementary technologies with the grid.

12 January, 19:00 – 20:00 CET
“Solar+Storage Fire Safety Training: Single and Multifamily Residential” (by U.S. Clean Energy Group)

The solar PV and battery storage industry in the United States is rapidly growing, with more systems being installed each year. As with any technology, solar PV and battery storage systems are not without safety concerns. Although battery system failures are rare, firefighters need to be prepared when something unexpected does happen or a fire occurs where batteries are located. Unfortunately, battery storage safety training opportunities are limited. As the battery storage industry continues to grow, it’s vital that firefighters and building managers are equipped with the knowledge they need to respond to emergencies when batteries are involved. his webinar focuses on solar and battery response safety for single and multifamily residential projects.

13 – 14 January
“Eleventh Session of the IRENA Assembly: Stakeholder meetings” (by International Renewable Energy Agency – IRENA)

Over 1,400 delegates from more than 140 governments, the private sector and civil society will gather virtually to discuss key issues in the global energy transformation and chart the way forward for the Agency against a backdrop of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Register here or watch livestream of the events here.

13 January, 16:00 – 16:45 CET
“A vision for inclusive and fair clean energy transitions” (by International Energy Agency – IEA)

Join this online discussion between Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol.

14 January, 11:00 – 12:00 CET
“Accelerating the Energy Transition: Dynamic Line Ratings for an Optimised Grid” (by currENT)

Power line monitoring is an integral part of the future grid. It helps with RE integration and market facilitation by increasing grid capacity. By visualizing system/component limits, we can also operate our system more safely under changing climatic conditions. A panel of industry leaders will present their perspectives on this topic, followed by a panel discussion with questions from the audience. Watch the event recording here.

14 January, 11:00 – 12:30 CET
“Connecting the dots: Distribution grid investment to power the energy transition” (by Eurelectric and EDSO)

Join the launch of this one of a kind study on investment needs in distribution grids – a joint undertaking by Eurelectric and EDSO (for smart grids). For some time now there has been little to no analysis of investment drivers and estimated investment volumes in distribution grids at EU level, this study explores this gap and in particular tackles the following questions: What investment volumes are we talking about and where do they predominately need to take place? What are the main investment drivers other than the integration of renewables, such as electrification in transport but also digitalisation and resilience? What are the overall societal benefits compared to the costs of these investments? Finally, what are the changes in policy that we need for these investments to happen? The study will be discussed and debated by our expertise panel made up of representatives from the DSO industry, EU policy makers and the financial sector.

14 January, 16:00 – 18:00 CET
“Low-Carbon Fuels” (by Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT)

Join us to hear what MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program and Energy Initiative are doing together with their industrial partners to address the climate change challenges. Though we’ve made progress in decarbonizing electricity generation, there is still a dire need to further reduce the carbon footprint of other sectors, including transportation, industry, and buildings. In this webinar, leading researchers will discuss the role that low-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen and biofuels, can play in getting us to net-zero emissions across all of these sectors—an increasingly urgent cornerstone of any effective climate change mitigation strategy.

15 January, 17:00 – 18:00 CET
“MIT Hydrogen Startup Webinar” (by Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT)

Hydrogen is enjoying never-before-seen momentum due to the growing need for lowering carbon footprint. This is the time to scale up technologies and bring down costs to allow hydrogen to become widely used. MIT Startup Exchange is convening an MIT Hydrogen Startup. Featuring 5 MIT startups (including our STEX25, Syzygy) and a panel on Hydrogen Innovation with startup and corporate speakers.


12 January, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
“The Great Protein Debate” (by UN SDG2 Advocacy Hub and CGIAR)

This webinar will feature a conversation about the role of protein in our food system tied to the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit. It will include a panel discussion with Namukolo Covic, Senior Research Coordinator from IFPRI for the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, CGIAR UNFSS representative, Chef Conor Spacey and Chef Selassie Atadika from the Chefs’ Manifesto.

13 January, 12:00 – 12:45 CET
“SDG Investing – Make it happen!” (by The Graduate Institute Geneva)

5 to 7 trillion USD per year is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Getting there will not only require to increase the level of finance for the SDGs significantly but also to quickly integrate SDGs into mainstream finance. Fighting both battles will require the private sector, public sector, regulators, and academia to work together and design new investment instruments, new analytical tools, and new ways of collaborating. Join this online presentation of the Executive Certificate on SDG Investing and ask all your questions to Bertrand Gacon and Dawid Bastiat-Jarosz, programme co-directors.

13 January, 13:00 – 15:00 CET
“Planning for equal rights: integrating gender and youth perspectives in SDG work (SDG5, SDG 10)” (by Nordregio)

The Nordics are global champions when it comes to gender equality and equal rights, but there are things that remain to be done: sexual harassment, gender-based violence, honour culture, segregated labour markets, gaps in income and health, youth not participating the decision-making process, and more. Meet three municipalities that are frontrunners when it comes to integrating gender and youth perspectives in their work – to achieve equality and reach the SDG targets.

13 January, 21:00 – 22:00 CET
“Stories to Watch 2021” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

Will the world recover from COVID-19? How will the incoming Biden administration influence the direction, and which other leaders will emerge? What technologies will breakthrough? And, will we learn the right lessons from the year like no other? As we look ahead, there are signs of hope, especially with the emergence of a COVID vaccine, but the world continues to grapple with major challenges. Join WRI to look to the big moments, trends and people that will shape the world in 2021. For the 18th annual Stories to Watch, WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer will share insights why 2021 could set a foundation for a cleaner, sustainable and more equitable future.

14 January, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
“The Path to a Sustainable Ocean Economy: U.S. Launch of the Ocean Panel Transformations and Report” (by High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy)

As the world looks to recover from COVID-19 and the economic fallout, a sustainable ocean economy can help solve global challenges and make communities stronger. The Ocean Panel invites you to a discussion featuring U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Norway’s Ambassador to the United States Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, Vidar Helgesen, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Andrew Steer, and other experts on how to achieve a healthy and prosperous ocean, in 2021 and beyond.

14 January, 15:00 – 16:30 CET
“Cookstove Emissions, Climate, and Health Impacts: An Integrated Lab, Field, and Modeling” (by Clean Cooking Alliance)

Reason for concern: 3.8 billion people (49% of the global population) still rely on traditional energy sources to support household needs such as cooking, heating, and lighting. Due to this, household air pollution is a top-ten risk factor for global morbidity and mortality. This webinar will provide a summary of research findings from “Quantifying the climate, air quality and health benefits of improved cookstoves: An integrated laboratory, field and modeling study” and related, ongoing research at Colorado State University.

Waste Management

14 January, 14:00 – 15:00
“Plastics and Human Rights” (by Geneva Environment Network)

Twenty years ago, the Special Rapporteurs on Toxics and Human Rights (Special Rapporteur Toxics) already mentioned that “the export of plastic wastes represents a potential risk to life, health and the environment.” Twenty years later, our understanding of the interlinkages between environmental degradation and human rights violations has matured, as well as our consideration of full life-cycle approaches to identify impacts of materials and activities. During this online session, leading experts will discuss the human rights aspect of the plastic life cycle and identify the possible roles and extent of a rights-based approach to address the plastics crisis, including the protection to the most vulnerable groups in society, the access to information, participation in decision making, and ensuring accountability. Register here.