Week of 15th – 21st February 2021

The role of ‘behavioural aspects’ for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. Cultural ecosystem services connected to land. Drivers of and solutions to deforestation around the world. Leveraging nature-based solutions to drive down emissions. Addressing single-use plastic products pollution with a life cycle approach. Beyond zero: the role of negative emissions. AI for the Planet. Energy efficiency policy and regulations. Discover these and more online events of the week!

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Biodiversity & Environment

16 February, 14:00 – 15:00 CET
“Spotlight on deforestation fronts: Drivers of and solutions to deforestation around the world” (by World Wildlife Fund – WWF)

Habitat loss, including unsustainable land use and deforestation, is one of the leading causes of the decline in wildlife populations and runaway climate change. Despite a multitude of zero-deforestation commitments, deforestation continues at an alarming rate, particularly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Most of this global forest loss is in “deforestation fronts,” places with the largest concentration of forest loss or severe degradation in the world. An area roughly the size of Morocco – over 43 million hectares – was lost in these fronts between 2004 and 2017. In this learning session, WWF’s Pablo Pacheco will introduce the findings of a new WWF report that provides a comprehensive analysis of the drivers of forest loss in deforestation fronts, Equilibrium Research’s Nigel Dudley will discuss the policy implications of the findings, WWF’s Stefano Zenobi will present a case study on the deforestation front in the Mekong, and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Dr. Lisa Rausch will present a case study on Brazil’s Soy Moratorium.

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

In another session focusing on the cultural benefits that nature provides to people, panelists will present novel approaches to studying and characterizing land-based cultural services. 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. With examples from farmland in Europe and biological corridors in China and Tanzania, we will discuss participatory methods for characterizing and mapping cultural ecosystem services related to land.

18 – 20 February
“Third Global Session of the UN Science Policy Business Forum on the Environment: Integrated Solutions for Nature” (by UNEP)

The UNEP Science-Policy-Business Forum brings together influential actors from the business, technology and finance sectors, as well as Government ministers, public policy experts, policy makers, leading scientists, civil society and the media. The Third Global Session will witness the launch of the Youth work stream of the Forum, which focuses on green technology and green jobs. The Forum will witness the launch of joint pilots facilitated by the Forum and announcements of decarbonization and sustainability milestones and by partner industries and enterprises. Register here.

Climate Finance

18 February, 13:00 – 14:30 CET
“The State of Urban Climate Finance: A focus on financial flows towards urban adaptation and support for project preparation” (by UNDRR Global Education and Training Institute and Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance)

Access to finance remains one of the biggest hurdles to reducing risk and build resilience. This webinar aims to introduce useful tools and resources to enhance local governments’ capacity in developing bankable projects for financing key disaster risk reduction and resilience actions.

19 February, 17:00 – 18:00 CET
“Financing a resilient recovery: Applications to cities and beyond” (by Global Center on Adaptation, Climate Policy Initiative, Atlantic Council and Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance)

This event will highlight findings from two recently released reports: Adaptation Finance in the Context of COVID-19 (from GCA and CPI) and Analysis of Urban Climate Adaptation Finance. Through brief presentations on these reports and a panel of experts and implementers of adaptation finance, the discussion will highlight: 1) adaptation finance instruments deployed and key outcomes to date, 2) lessons learned and opportunities for scale and replication, and 3) transformative interventions that could support implementation of adaptation finance solutions.

Climate Policy & COP26

15 February, 14:00 – 15:00 CET
“Beyond zero: the role of negative emissions” (by University of Oxford)

Putting the “net” in net zero, nearly all scenarios for climate stabilisation involve not only the reduction of emissions, but also the removal of carbon dioxide from the air. As net zero ambition spreads around the world, attention is rapidly turning to novel technological approaches to removal, as well as more established natural approaches such as planting trees. What are the different ways to remove carbon dioxide from air? How much potential do they have, and how can we scale them up? Perhaps most importantly, will negative emissions be a vital addition to action on emissions or a costly distraction? Join Dr Michael Obersteiner, Director of the Environmental Change Institute, in discussion with Dr Steve Smith, Executive Director of Oxford Net Zero:

15 February, 16:00 – 17:00 CET
“California-Quebec Cap-and-Trade: Will it Make it to 2030?” (by International Association for Energy Economics – IAEE)

California and Quebec (Canada) are part of the same cap-and-trade system, aiming at reducing GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 (under their 1990 level). Their cap-and-trade has the largest coverage of all emission trading systems, with a price floor increasing every year. It’s been working well since 2013 – but hasn’t been tested hard since caps have been relatively high. Consumers didn’t notice so far the 10-15¢/gallon (2-4¢ per litre) they’ve been paying on their gasoline for its carbon content. With rapidly declining caps in the next 10 years, the real challenges are yet to come. This webinar will cover the key components of this carbon market, how it behaved until now and what to expect by 2030.

16 February, 13:00 – 16:00 CET
“The role of ‘behavioural aspects’ for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050” (by International Energy Agency – IEA)

This discussion will focus on the role of behavourial aspects for government ambitions to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The webinar will examine the topic from three different angles: policy best practices, individuals’ role for ensuring a just transition, and behavourial aspects in modelling. The main aim of the discussion is to give governments an opportunity to exchange best practices and current priorities, and to deep-dive into examples of ongoing research programmes and projects.

16 February, 15:00 – 17:30 CET
“Reporting on the Impacts of Response Measures – a case study on Ghana” (by European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition – ERCST and Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana)

The first workshop of the project focused on outlining the project deliverables, introducing to stakeholders the topic of response measures under UNFCCC and describing the methodology that ERCST has developed for the Chilean Case Study. This workshop will focus on the second and third steps of the methodology, identifying important sectors to the Ghanaian economy and limiting the list of sectors potentially vulnerable to international response measures. ERCST and the EPA will present the research undertaken for these two steps and it will also be an opportunity to gather input from participants and respond to questions.

16 February, 16:30 – 18:00 CET
“Contributing to global climate goals: How can the gas infrastructure sector develop low-carbon and renewable solutions?” (by Euractiv)

How can we make best use of existing gas infrastructure to reach net-zero emissions by 2050?What are the opportunities and challenges to scale up renewable gases? How can a global approach in energy system planning be achieved by leveraging existing gas grids with sector coupling solutions? Can renewable gas be the optimal complementary energy technology to balance intermittent renewable electricity such as wind and solar in the coming decades? How to accelerate the integration of conventional gas and renewable gas in road, rail and marine transportation and support the deployment of low-carbon infrastructure, such as recharging points? What can we learn from the experiences in California, Québec and France?

16 February, 18:00 – 19:00 CET
“The Road to Net Zero” (by Bloomberg)

Corporations and investors globally are working to align with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, which will require global net-zero emissions by 2050. But what really needs to be done to make the transition to a low carbon economy? This event will convene leading executives and thought leaders for deeper dialogues on the challenges and opportunities that arise when transitioning to a low carbon economy. We’ll examine the major industries taking action, how we finance the transition, and how we can collectively work together to achieve net zero.

17 February, 10:00 – 11:00 or 16:00 – 17:00 CET
“Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Roadmap Towards COP26” (by ICLEI)

Yunus Arikan, ICLEI’s Global Advocacy Director, orients local and regional governments on the agenda and processes of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), held in November 2021 in Glasgow, as well as on issues of multilevel governance and progresses in the global climate negotiations. ICLEI acts as the focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency.

18 February, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
“Access to climate data for non-state actors in Africa” (by Climate Chance)

This online workshop focuses on greenhouse gas emission factors used for national or local inventories. The factors used by both national and local governments are often not adapted to the African context and can significantly modify the calculation of the impact of certain sectors such as livestock or transport, but also that of offset projects carried out on the continent. Their choice or construction is therefore not only a technical issue and can influence public policies and the support given to certain economic activities. In this workshop, speakers will address several issues raised by these challenges, on the very importance for African countries and local authorities to have adapted factors, on how to make these factors accessible and the governance model to be given to a carbon base, or on the techniques for constructing emission factors.

19 February, 19:00 – 20:30 CET
“Leveraging Nature-Based Solutions to Drive Down Emissions” (by Center for Climate and Energy Solutions – C2ES)

This webinar will examine how companies can approach using nature-based solutions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, including the most effective use of resources when investing in nature-based solutions, understanding the growing role of carbon removal in reaching net-zero emissions, and the criteria companies should consider when selecting projects. The webinar will also explore how to leverage natural solutions to reduce emissions within and outside a company’s value chain. Register here.

Energy Efficiency

17 February, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
“The Renovation Wave – making a step change on the EU’s energy objectives” (by Florence School of Regulation – FSR)

The European Commission recently published Renovation Wave Strategy aiming to change this. It targets at least doubling the renovation rates. The renovations should lead to substantially higher energy and resource efficiency and decarbonisation of heating and cooling. How to break existing barriers? How to provide well-targeted financing? How to connect the European ambition with national and local policies? What new European regulation to expect?

17 February, 14:00 – 15:30 CET
“Energy efficiency policy and regulations” (by Vienna Energy Forum)

This session is a part of Vienna Energy Forum virtual series. Guided by the theme “Accelerating Energy Transition,” the 2021 edition of the series explores the pathways that stimulate demand and promote economic recovery in three end-use sectors: Food systems, Industry and Products. The sessions in the Products track, such as this one, focus on energy efficiency in building-related products, specifically addressing the efficiency of appliances.

Renewables & Energy Transition

15 – 18 February
“Off-grid Renewable Energy Statistics – Online Conference” (by International Renewable Energy Agency – IRENA)

The conference will provide a forum to discuss how some of the challenges to collecting off-grid energy data might be overcome. The conference will be open for anyone to participate with a main target audience of people responsible for collecting, reporting or using off-grid energy statistics within governments, the private-sector, NGOs and International Organizations.

16 February, 16:00 – 17:30 CET
“All aboard for the green economy: Can Europe perform an energy transition that leaves no one behind?” (by Clean Energy Wire)

The Clean Energy Wire invites industry and workers’ representatives from the affected sectors, as well as politicians and researchers, to share their views on questions such as: (1) Which regions and industries are most likely to need help in making the transition to a low-carbon economy? (2) What are the EU’s new “just transition” policies and how are the various elements of the policy package expected to work? (3) What steps are business leaders and worker representatives in affected sectors taking to be competitive in a carbon-neutral economy? (4) How can coronavirus recovery programmes support a just transition. The event is for journalists only.

16 February, 19:00 – 20:00 CET
“Energy, climate, and the media: What gets lost in translation” (by Payne Institute for Public Policy)

Canada needs a more realistic and honest dialogue about the trade-offs between energy policy, the economy, and climate protection. But how do we facilitate that dialogue? What are the challenges for climate/energy policy actors when working with reporters, and vice-versa? How can energy and climate stakeholders work with the media to better communicate the scientific and economic realities of the energy transition?

17 February, 16:00 – 17:00 CET
“The Vast New Landscape of Minerals & Materials for Energy” (by International Association for Energy Economics – IAEE)

Is the world prepared for the strategic, security and environmental risks associated with efforts to accelerate alternative energy technologies? In the face of potentially huge demand for minerals and materials, numerous questions remain unanswered related to sourcing, trade and sustainability. Considerations for life cycle management across materials supply chains have generally been ignored as accelerated wedges for wind, solar, battery energy storage have been built into outlooks to meet climate targets…

Sustainability & Circular Economy

16 February, 9:30 – 10:45 CET
“Farm To Fork – Can it lead to a ‘gold-standard food system’ in Europe, focused on sustainable development goals?” (by Euractiv)

The Farm to Fork strategy is central to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The strategy is designed to help the EU make progress towards its climate and energy targets (SDG 7 and SDG 13), and improve the viability and sustainability of its agriculture sector (SDG 2) and the health of the EU population (SDG 3). How can the EU reduce the environmental and climate footprint of its food system, strengthen its resilience, and prevent mismanagement of resources?What is the best way to support EU farmers sustainably and address the decline of the farmer population in Europe? What would constitute a ‘gold-standard food system’ and how quickly could the EU establish one? And how could this help other countries to achieve food systems that address SDGs?

16 February, 14:00 – 18:00 CET
“AI for the Planet” (by UNESCO, UNEP, StartUp Inside and Microsoft)

Scientific assessments estimate that humanity has ten years remaining to solve the unprecedented global environmental challenges it faces. Business as usual in the global economy is clearly not working – and we need to find ways to make exponential progress in addressing these global environmental challenges including climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution management, ocean protection, as well as air and water quality. Big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation can play important roles to ensure environmental sustainability and sustainable development…

16 February, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
“How capital markets can take sustainability to the next level” (by University of Oxford)

As the world strives towards net zero carbon, corporate sustainability data is no longer going to be merely a ‘nice to have,’ or something to make shareholders feel better about their investments. It will be central to a corporation’s long-term license to operate and thus inseparable from that of prospective financial return and risk. Therefore accountants must agree and implement a set of global sustainability standards. This event session will be based around the high profile debate about how corporations should be presenting their ESG debits/credits as part of their standard financial reporting and the adoption of a global set of standards for this reporting.

16 February, 15:00 – 16:00 CET
“Unravelling South Africa’s just transition: Unpacking cross-cutting interventions” (by Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies – TIPS)

South Africa has initiated a transition to a more sustainable development pathway. This notably involves moving towards a low-carbon economy. In a highly unequal society like South Africa, the need for a just transition, which would empower vulnerable stakeholders, has emerged as an imperative. International experience suggests that fostering a just transition requires long-term, ambitious interventions at multiple levels. South Africa’s mix of measures remains in development and a high source of debate. This dialogue aims to inform this just transition process.

18 February, 14:00 – 15:00 CET
“Commoning mobility” (by University of Oxford)

Scholars have argued that transitions to more sustainable and just mobilities require moving beyond technocentrism and rethinking the very meaning of mobility as we need to move beyond not only infrastructural, but also cultural “lock-in” of high-carbon societies. Drawing on global comparative research of low‐carbon mobility transitions, the speaker Dr Anna Nikolaeva will examine the key logics that are driving mobility planning and problematize their effects. She will then present an alternative logic, the logic of “commoning mobility” that offers a potential to challenge primarily techno-centered transitions envisioned by public and private sector around the world, aiming at maximizing efficiency and producing seamless, individualized mobilities …

18 February, 15:00 – 16:30 CET
“The Future of Cities: an online discussion on how research can shape the cities of the future” (by University of Oxford)

The panel discussion will focus on how industry and academia work collaboratively for mutual benefit; ensuring that academic expertise informs business development, and that businesses’ real-world challenges are explored in academic research. Attendees are invited to join the discussion and help us explore how business and academia can contribute to the cities of the future being smart, energy efficient, environmentally sustainable, and promoting equality and active citizenship, while addressing population growth and rising urbanisation.

19 February, 13:30 – 15:00 CET
“The Value-Chain Approach to Action on Sustainable Consumption and Production” (by UNEP, International Resource Panel and One Planet Network)

In this digital event on the sidelines of the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly, members of the International Resource Panel and One Planet network Task Group will present the Value-Chain Approach and discuss how it can strengthen the science policy-interface on sustainable consumption and production. It will share findings from its application to three critical sectors: food, construction and textiles. Register here.

Waste Management

16 February, 15:00 – 16:00 CET and 18 February, 10:00 – 11:00 CET
“Plastic Waste Partnership: activities on transboundary movements of plastic waste and Plastic Waste Amendments” (by Secretariat of the Basel Convention)

This webinar will provide an overview of the activities of the project group on transboundary movements of plastic waste established under the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership (PWP). It will also highlight the information collected by the project group related to national and international specifications for shipments of plastic waste destined for recycling, as referred to in decision BC-14/12 (“Plastic Waste Amendments”). Presentations by stakeholders from government and industry will provide an opportunity to discuss issues surrounding such specifications. The webinar is intended for government and other stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Plastic Waste Amendments and the transboundary movements of plastic waste. All stakeholders are welcome to participate.

19 February, 12:00 – 13:30 CET
“Addressing single-use plastic products pollution with a life cycle approach” (by UNEP)

Interested in knowing how various countries deal with plastic pollution? Want to know how single-use plastic products perform against their alternatives from an environmental life cycle standpoint? Tune in to this virtual UNEA5 side event to get the facts first-hand, ahead of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA5). Register here.