Week of 1st – 7th February 2021

Zero carbon energy systems. The circular economy action agenda. Accelerating the transition to an electric mobility. Industry transformation post-pandemic: why executives must focus on sustainability. Cost and policy prospects of a hydrogen economy. How can we engage citizens in the green revolution? Material efficiency strategies for business – untapped climate solutions for buildings and mobility. Discover these and more online events of the week!

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Biodiversity & Environment

2 – 3 February
“Opportunities and Challenges for a Blue economy in Asia-Pacific region in COVID 19 world” (by The Energy and Resources Institute – TERI, KAS Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change Asia-Pacific and Asian Institute of Technology)

The workshop aims to examine the numerous opportunities and challenges that stand before the Asia-Pacific Blue Economy framework that has a great influence on regional cooperation, resource security, science and technological cooperation and sustainable development in the said region. Amidst the myriad definitions of blue economy, the underlying crux has always been strengthening economic growth, social development, security paradigm, and sustainable development. As oceans and coasts suffer from an almost uncensored exploitation due to factors like growing global population coupled with excessive industrialisation on the existing resource base, it is essential to tread on a sustainable path furthered by a blue economy…

2 February, 19:00 – 20:00 CET
“Natural Capital Conversations – Cultural Ecosystem Services Connected to Water” (by Stanford University)

People derive multiple non-material benefits from ecosystems. For example, forest-dwellers, fishers, and birdwatchers’ identities all depend on forests, fish, and birds respectively. We also derive recreational benefits from nature, and develop place attachment to certain landscape and seascape characteristics. The purpose of this session is to show novel approaches to studying and characterizing water-related cultural services. With examples from pre-Hispanic fisheries in Peru and from riparian areas and rivers in Idaho, USA, we will have a discussion session on qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating cultural services of people in the past and present.

Climate Policy & COP26

2 February, 21:00 – 22:00 CET
“Argentina Facing Climate Change: An Agenda for the Care of our Common Home” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

With the adoption of the National Law on Global Climate Change, and under the leadership of President Alberto Fernández, the Argentine Republic has adopted climate action as a state policy. In December, Argentina submitted its second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The new submission commits to cut emissions to nearly 26% lower than the first NDC, and also includes Argentina’s second Adaptation Communication. Join a high-level panel discussing Argentina’s latest climate developments, reflections on the importance of this commitment within the broader climate ambition agenda.

5 February, 13:30 – 14:30 CET
“The Path to Net Zero in the UK” (by University of Oxford)

In December 2020 the UK Climate Change Committee published the Sixth Carbon Budget report, which provides ministers with advice on the volume of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-2037. This report is based on an extensive programme of analysis, consultation and consideration by the CCC and its staff, building on the evidence published the previous year when advising on a new ‘Net Zero’ target for the UK. Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change, will provide an overview of the CCC’s advice in this landmark report, which sets out for the first time a detailed pathway to achieving Net Zero in the UK by 2050 including the first ever detailed assessment of the changes that will result – and the key milestones that must be met.

5 February, 18:00 – 19:00 CET
“The Climate Emergency in Latin America and the Caribbean: threats and opportunities for sustainable development” (by University of Oxford)

A lecture within Climate Change and the Challenges of Development series that will be delivered by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Register here.

Renewables & Energy Transition

1 February, 14:00 – 15:00
“Zero carbon energy systems” (by University of Oxford)

The combustion of fossil fuels is responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in industrialised countries. Systemic change in energy systems is therefore a critical component of any net-zero agenda. It is a huge global challenge, but recent developments give cause for optimism that a Green Industrial Revolution is possible. Join the discussion about how the declining costs of renewable electricity mean they can provide cheap mitigation, as well as enabling major improvements in energy efficiency, so that the total amount of energy that will need to be decarbonised is much lower than often projected. Watch the talk here:

1 February, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
“Towards a Hydrogen Economy: Cost and Policy Prospects” (by International Association for Energy Economics – IAEE)

This webinar aims to introduce the basics of the hydrogen market, as well as to outline the broad opportunities and constraints for the sector in the coming decades. It will also focus on assumptions about the future hydrogen market towards EU decarbonization and about technological costs of hydrogen supply. Finally, it will look into the applicable regulatory framework for hydrogen networks and the geopolitical and energy security challenges that may emerge within a future commoditized market model for hydrogen.

2 – 3 February
“Accelerating Fleet Electrification” (by Eurelectric)

One of the fastest ways to accelerate the transition to an electric mobility future is to scale the electrification of fleet vehicles. Many corporates and public sector entities are now taking advantage of the low total cost of ownership. But how do we raise awareness and unlock this huge opportunity? This high-level event will strengthen political and industrial momentum for accelerating electric mobility and will explore EV market trends and sustainable growth acceleration strategies. We will bring together amongst others: charging station operators and service providers, car manufacturers, industry captains, national and EU policy makers, academia and corporates to participate in inspiring and interactive sessions and enjoy a rich exhibition dedicated to the sector.

2 – 4 February
“Inspiration event for European prosumerism” (by Dutch Research Institute For Transitions)

How can we engage citizens in the green revolution? On the mornings of February 2-4 2021, participants will share the key knowledge needed to support people or communities in producing and consuming their own green energy at a cross-European online conference. Throughout the conference days, experts and practitioners are invited to join ‘prosumerism’ dialogues and policy exchange.

2 February, 03:00 – 09:00 CET
“2nd Cleaner Energy Future Initiative for ASEAN (CEFIA) Forum” (by Ministry of Energy of Thailand, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and ASEAN Centre for Energy)

At the 2nd CEFIA Forum, ASEAN+3 government officials, international organisations, universities, and private companies will gather online to share progress on activities and discuss future activities aimed at energy transition and the realisation of a low-carbon society in the ASEAN region.

2 February, 18:00 – 19:00 CET
“Biomass Carbon Removal and Storage” (by Center on Global Energy Policy of Columbia University)

Can carbon from plants and algae be stored underground to help fight climate change? Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) has been part of the global climate dialogue for decades, although critics have argued that its potential is modest and risks are considerable. A panel of experts will explore the technical potential for carbon removal and storage using biomass and discuss how these processes can be implemented in ways that promote food security, rural livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and other important values, and standards and policies that would help them achieve their full potential, drawing on a new roadmap. During this webinar, speakers will present the roadmap, and leading experts will offer their thoughts.

3 February, 12:00 – 13:00 CET
“Prospects for commercial biomass gasification in Sub-Saharan Africa” (by UKaid)

Researchers set out to identify the optimal conditions under which biomass gasification can offer a competitive solution for heat and power generation, to analyse experiences with gasification in various regions of the world and to draw conclusions on the commercial potential for gasification in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This webinar aims to share key findings and insights generated from this research to guide practitioners, policy makers and investors make informed decisions regarding implementation of biomass based gasification in SSA.

3 February, 14:00 – 15:00 CET
“Concentrating Solar Power: Clean Power on Demand 24/7” (by ATA Insights)

Thanks to its ability to store energy for days with minimal loses, CSP can provide the flexibility and dispatchability that electricity systems need to effectively incorporate a high share of variable renewable energy from PV and Wind. By combining low-cost variable renewables such as solar PV and wind power with CSP plants, in areas with high direct normal irradiance, overall system costs can be minimized and the benefits of locally sourced and produce renewable electricity maximized. In this webinar, experts from the World Bank and IRENA will draw upon the findings of their brand-new report “Concentrating Solar Power: Clean Power on Demand 24/7” to analyze the role of CSP in energy systems. Comments on prospects for future development of CSP will be heard from Tunisia’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines and from the Madrid-based Protermosolar industry association.

3 February, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
“The Regulation of Power-to-Gas Facilities and Regulatory Sandboxes” (by Florence School of Regulation – FSR)

Reaching the ambitious energy and climate targets to which the European Union (EU) is committing requires harnessing all the opportunities associated with hydrogen, for which a strategic approach is needed. In this context, in its Hydrogen Strategy, the European Commission launched a plan to reach 80 GW of electrolyser capacity by 2030, half of which within the EU and the other half in Europe’s neighbourhood, with the export of green hydrogen to the EU. The envisaged massive increase in electrolyser capacity in the EU calls for clarity on the regulatory approach to these installations and, more generally, to power-to-gas facilities. In this online debate, FSR intends to identify the best regulatory approach to power-to-gas facilities, and the potential use of regulatory sandboxes for this purpose.

3 February, 16:00 – 17:30 CET
“Long-Term Energy Scenarios (LTES) for Developing National Clean Energy Transition Plans in Latin America” (by International Renewable Energy Agency – IRENA, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean – UN ECLAC and GET.transform)

This is the first even of online series providing a platform to exchange knowledge, collect best practices and experiences from government energy planners in Latin America in the development and use of long-term energy scenarios to guide national energy plans in the clean energy transition. The detailed concept note is available here.

4 February, 10:00 – 11:30 CET
“Energy Transition in the Power Sector in Europe: State of Affairs in 2020” (by Agora Energiewende and Ember)

How much electricity did renewables generate in 2020? What impact did the Corona pandemic have on European electricity consumption? And what does Europe need to do in the next ten years to meet the new 2030 climate target of 55 percent greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to 1990? For the fifth year in a row, the two think tanks Agora Energiewende and Ember have teamed up to produce a comprehensive report on the state of the energy transition in the power sector in Europe. This annual overview uses up-to-date statistical data to illustrate key developments in the European power sector through easy-to-understand graphs and charts. The focus is on electricity generation, electricity consumption, CO2 emissions, and the performance of the EU-27 and the UK.

4 February, 12:00 – 13:00 CET
“Photovoltaic Market and Industry Trends 2020” (by European Copper Institute and International Energy Agency – Potovoltaic Power Systems Programme)

This webinar will address the key drivers of the PV market and industry in the coming years based on the Trends 2020. Gaëtan Masson, Operating Agent of IEA PVPS Task 1, will look at the past developments and future scenarios, from a global market development point of view to some key price evolution features. From social aspects of PV, collective and decentralised self-consumption policies to floating PV, this webinar will browse the global landscape of PV development. Izumi Kaizuka, deputy chair of the IEA PVPS Task 1, will present the trends of the PV Industry.

4 February, 21:00 – 22:00 CET
“The Politics of a Clean Energy Transition in the U.S.” (by Center on Global Energy Policy of Columbia University)

Dr. Leah Stokes, Assistant Professor of Political Science (University of California) will cover themes related to her book, Short Circuiting Policy, which explores how to clean up the US electricity system and examines the role that utilities have played in promoting climate denial and rolling back clean energy laws. It will also discuss the federal agenda for climate action in 2021, and how the new Biden-Harris administration can move forward to cut carbon emissions while also battling the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing income inequality and racial injustice. Specifically, Leah will discuss the current debate over a national framework committed to 100% clean power and ways to shape a clean-electricity standard that would qualify for inclusion in a Congressional budget reconciliation bill.

Sustainability & Circular Economy

1 February, 19:00 – 20:00 CET
“High-level launch of the Circular Economy Coalition for Latin America and the Caribbean” (by United Nations Environmental Programme – UNEP)

In an interactive discussion, government representatives and partners will elaborate on circular economy as a key mechanism to build back better while contributing to the climate change, biodiversity and pollution prevention goals. Coordinated by UNEP, the new coalition will be led by a steering committee composed of four high-level government representatives on a rotating basis, starting with Colombia, Costa Rica, Perú and the Dominican Republic for the 2021-2022 period. While many of the region’s countries have been actively working on national circular economy strategies, the coalition is an unprecedented opportunity to increase cooperation, scale up initiatives and strengthen public-private partnerships, as well as innovation and capacity development.

2 February, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
“Material Efficiency Strategies for Business – Untapped Climate Solutions for Buildings and Mobility” (by International Resource Panel, Green Growth Knowledge Partnership, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and World Economic Forum)

How does material efficiency create value for businesses? What do the following key material efficiency strategies mean concretely for business models: more intensive use, lifetime extension, material substitution, better recycling and efficient design? How can the buildings and mobility sectors implement more intensive use strategies for existing housing and vehicles? What are key policy incentives for “more intensive use” and other approaches to material efficiency? This webinar will launch “Implications for Business Leaders,” an addition to the recent report “Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future”.

3 February, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
“Adapt to Survive: Business transformation in a time of uncertainty” (by World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environmental Programme – UNEP)

The age of ‘business as usual’ is over. Organisations from across the economic landscape need their efforts towards environmental sustainability coupled with wholesale economic and societal change. The Covid-19 pandemic has already had a profound impact on corporate governance, and the global climate and nature crises pose an even greater challenge. It is more important than ever that businesses are resilient and adaptable to changing market conditions and help to lead the way in building back better. ‘Adapt to Survive’ is the first of six GEO for Business Briefs written by UNEP to better inform, engage and stimulate positive action from business leaders. Join the launch of the first in the series to strengthen your understanding of the environmental challenges and business opportunities that the global community faces.

3 February, 16:00 – 17:00 CET
“Climate Change and Water Resources: Practitioners’ Insights, a Conversation” (by University of Oxford)

Speakers will share their experiences and insights on sustainability and developing climate resilience, the importance of water for both adaptation and mitigation, and the basic elements of policy and regulation that societies and countries need to tackle climate change and ensure sustainable water availability.

4 February, 10:00 – 11:00 CET
“Industry transformation post-pandemic: Why executives must focus on sustainability” (by Financial Times and Accenture)

At Industry transformation post-pandemic: Why executives must focus on sustainability we have taken our content, global audience reach and engagement to a new level through a series of unmissable virtual events. Our compelling programmes, chaired by respected FT journalists, feature the most senior and thought-provoking decision-makers in business, finance and politics, all accessible from your office or home. This discussion will assess the practicalities of moving sustainability to the top of core business decision-making, and discuss how this can help add value to almost all sectors of the economy.

4 February, 15:00 – 16:30 CET
“Time to Act: The Circular Economy Action Agenda” (by World Resources Institute – WRI)

How a circular economy can contribute to tackling the climate crisis while promoting economic wellbeing, protecting human health and biodiversity, and creating decent work? Where businesses, governments and civil society organizations can start – and what is needed for a better and faster transition? This event will bring together leaders from business, government and civil society to launch the Circular Economy Action Agenda. Developed collectively by more than 200 experts from 100 organizations, the Action Agenda is a rallying call to accelerate the transition to a circular economy – and to a better future for people and nature. The five reports focus on plastics, textiles, electronics, food, and capital equipment.

5 February, 18:00 – 19:00 CET
“Political Economies of Energy Transition: Wind and Solar Power in Brazil and South Africa” (by University of Oxford)

Latin Americanists are familiar with the importance of economic transitions, e.g., to neoliberalism, for the region. In this presentation, Kathryn Hochstetler (LSE) will show how similar analytical frameworks can be used to study energy transitions, key to global climate outcomes. The presentation will showcase the key ideas of her recent book on wind and solar power in Brazil and South Africa. Wind power has expanded quickly in Brazil, while solar power lags there and both wind and solar power have struggled to take off in South Africa. She argues that the interests and institutions associated with four different political economies – climate change, industrial policy, consumption and distribution, and siting infrastructure projects in local communities – help account for energy transition. Moreover, coalitions are being built on each of these at the same time, potentially interlocking to reinforce or counter-balance each other.

Waste Management

4 February, 14:00 – 15:15
“Plastics and Trade” (by Geneva Environment Network)

 Plastics recycling efforts often involve exports, the majority flowing from developed to developing countries, where they have become a source of controversy due to the inadequate infrastructure for proper treatment and disposal. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for single-use plastics for personal protective equipment has increased. In order to promote sanitation and slow the spread of virus, various governments, have rolled back or postponed bans on single use-plastics. Governments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) are showing increased interest in tackling plastics pollution. Leading experts invited to talk at this session will look at the contributions of the trade policy to international cooperation to reduce plastic pollution.