The world can't afford

another carbon cop out

Harnessing company climate

actions for Paris and beyond

a daily


magazine on

climate change

and sustainable



11 December 2015

Be PaperSmart: Read Outreach online


pic: Arne Hoel / World Bank


1 The world can't afford another carbon cop out

2 How COP21 can emphasise action over rhetoric

3 Harnessing company climate actions for Paris and beyond

4 How Israel’s green technology can combat climate change

5 Climate action by businesses: The difference between big and small

6 Aviation’s climate action

7 UK-led Global Alliance of universities urges government action on

climate change

8 Innovating business and investment for climate-resilient

sustainable development

9 Humans: Behave!

10 Incentivising methane mitigation

11 Is there room for environmental management in hospitality?

12 HELIO Index For Investors

13 Side events calendar

14 Reflections from COP21, Thursday 10 December




pic: Arne Hoel / World Bank


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Outreach is a multi-stakeholder publication on

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of the Parties (COP) and World Water Week.

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Amy Cutter

Assistant Editor Jack Nicholls

Print Designer Faye Arrowsmith www.flogo-design.co.uk

Web Designer Tom Harrisson


Marie Briguglio

Helene Connor

Melissa Cox

Sandrine Dixson-Declève

Michael Gill

Dirk Hoffmann

Karmen Lužar

Euan Munro

Amath Pathe Sene

Philipp Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg

Iain Patton

Joanna Read


University of Malta

HELIO International

Veolia Institute

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group

Air Transport Action Group

Klimablog “Climate Change Bolivia”

Aviva Investors

World Centre for Sustainable Development

VU Amsterdam

Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges

UK Youth Climate Coalition and YOUNGO

Patrick Schroeder, Kartika Anggraeni & Uwe Weber SWITCH-Asia Network Facility

Glenn Yago

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The world can't afford another carbon cop out

Euan Munro

Aviva Investors

Light-touch regulation was one of the

main causes of the global financial

crisis. Yet, policymakers could be

sleepwalking into a new catastrophe if

COP 21 fails to agree a global mandatory

target to reduce carbon emissions.

It is not just coral reefs and polar bears that are under threat if

temperatures continue to rise unchecked. Climate change is a

long-term and potentially irreversible trend, which could result

in huge losses for the global economy, the investment industry,

and the savers, pensioners and beneficiaries that depend upon

it for their own future too.

A rise of roughly 4°C in temperature could wipe an estimated

$13.9 trillion off global asset values through to the end of the

century, according to research by the Economist Intelligence

Unit. That is close to the GDP of the world's third largest

economy, Japan. If average temperatures rise by 6°C by 2100,

we stand to lose up to $43 trillion. When considering that the

combined capitalisation of global stock markets is currently

around $70 trillion, the potential losses to governments,

private companies and individuals could be enormous. If that

is not enough to focus the minds of policymakers attending

the Paris summit, nothing will.

At first glance, 2100 may seem way off. But managing the

risks from climate change is unlike managing traditional

financial market risks, such as sudden interest rate hikes or

hyperinflation. We won't be able to apply a Band-Aid to make

portfolios more resilient. Short-term fixes, behaviour that is

sadly all too common in the financial markets, miss the point

altogether. In essence, climate change is a macro-economic

risk that will undermine all future assets through weaker growth

and lower returns, cumulatively and over time. The longer it is

left unaddressed, the bleaker the long-term outcome.

Anyone unconvinced at the urgent need for action may wish

to consider that global warming through to 2050 will be the

result of past emissions. In other words, it is already too late

to take remedial steps on the climate change the world will

experience 35 years from now. This is concerning because

investment options will be limited in a world where significant

climate change has occurred. Investors, large and small, will

fare much better in the latter half of the century if preventative

action to mitigate climate change takes place now, not when

problems manifest in the years or decades to come.

At COP 21 we need policymakers to commit to firm targets

for carbon emissions. At the time of writing, the cumulative

impact of global commitments to reduce emissions would

lead to 2.7°C of global warming if fully implemented;

uncomfortably close to the 4°C rise that would cause almost

$14 trillion of losses and not so far off the 6°C rise that would

cause a financial catastrophe. The outcome from the Paris

Summit must be a collective commitment to reduce emissions

to a level where warming is limited to 2°C.

The financial industry has a key role to play in meeting that target.

The first step in preventative action is to plug the disclosure gap

to produce emissions data that is as timely, comparable and

reliable as earnings data. The current lack of such disclosure by

the majority of large listed companies prevents investors from

pic: Ian Britton

factoring carbon and climate risk into portfolios. Governments,

national regulators, stock exchanges and non-profit organisations

have developed a plethora of schemes to address environmental

disclosure over the last decade, but they tend to be voluntary,

and hence have limited scope.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions

(IOSCO), the global hub for all securities regulators, must

step in and enforce consistent reporting standards. Sceptics

will recall how the 2009 Copenhagen Summit failed to reach

an accord. However, with so much preparation and stage

management ahead of COP 21, there is every reason to hope

governments will arrive at a positive outcome this time around.

In that event, IOSCO's role becomes crucial, so that good

intentions translate into concrete action.

There is proof that a robust approach to transparency is effective.

Each of the top-10 stock exchanges ranked in Corporate

Knight Capital's Measuring Sustainability report are located in

jurisdictions with broad and mandatory reporting requirements.

As civil society is well aware, effective disclosure is just the tip

of the iceberg. Companies and investors subsequently need to

be able to compare performance with others in their sector.

Given that information, investors could more easily move

money away from companies that score poorly on emissions

and other sustainability measures; incentive enough for those

companies to make the necessary improvements.

Beyond disclosure, governments can do more to correct the

market failures; namely by establishing a material carbon price,

either through fiscal measures, emissions trading schemes or

by setting producer responsibility standards. This would put

climate change at the centre of corporate valuations, and

ensure capital is put to work in the right places.

For that to happen, COP 21 must lay firm foundations. Nonstate

actors, including investors and civil society, can then

lead on the establishment of transparent benchmarks ranking

corporate performance against climate change and other

sustainability goals.

The world cannot afford a climate crisis. Global leaders must

hammer out a pact with punch and IOSCO must deliver

effective implementation. A fluffy cop out due to conflicting

vested interests, haggling and excessive compromise would

not be fit for purpose.


Euan Munro is Chief Executive Officer of Aviva Investors.


How COP21 can emphasise action

over rhetoric

Sandrine Dixson-Declève

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group


Much has been said by world leaders

gathered at COP21 about the unique

opportunity they see to galvanise action

to transform the global economy.

Paris is filled with an energy and enthusiasm not seen in

previous climate negotiations. But we must remember that we

will be judged by current and future generations not by our

intentions, but by our actions here in Paris.

The pathway to a secure future is grounded in finance.

Hearteningly, economists have demonstrated that economic

growth is not reliant on escalating emissions. Yet we still

must resolve the fact – through Paris and well beyond – that

to address climate change, financial flows must be directed

to a low-carbon, efficient and affordable energy system.

This transition will require a massive influx of public and

private finance. Only a clear long-term goal and a promise

by governments to regularly update their ambitions will give

investors the signal they need to increase low-carbon finance.

Undoubtedly the need to finance adaptation, resilience and to

build capacity for developing countries is crucial to a unified

outcome from Paris. Yet, since greater mitigation ambition in

fact helps to assure resilience to global warming and lockedin

impacts, it makes sense to also direct public and private

resources in all nations to actions that offer rapid cuts in

emissions, especially those we can enact before 2020.

Two fiscal policy tools can drive multi-lateral decarbonisation

efforts quickly, irrespective of whether they are enshrined in

the Paris text: carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidy reform.

They are effectively two sides of the same coin: paying for

carbon emissions should act as an incentive to reductions; and

removing subsidies to fossil fuels unlocks resources for clean

energy, development, education, healthcare and infrastructure.

Subsidy reform offers transparency and consistency – two

of the most valued tenets of a healthy relationship between

governments, businesses and citizens – by ensuring public

resources are not used to articificially deflate the costs of oil,

coal and gas, the primary cause of emissions. Continuing to

direct public resources to subsidise the consumption of highcarbon

energy undermines the actions of others, such as the

commitments by cities and companies to achieve net zero (or

carbon neutral) goals. They also distort markets by creating

false value in industries most needing radical transformation

and impede investment in clean energy and energy efficiency.

Despite re-affirmation in 2015, the G20 major economies

have been slow to deliver on their 2009 pledge to phase out

subsidies. Each year, over $500 billion of public money is

directed to fossil fuels, more than four times that invested in

renewables. As New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on

COP21 opening day: fossil fuel subsidy reform is the missing

piece of the climate change puzzle.

Policy-makers gathered in Paris will need to act on ambition.

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies is a great place to start

delivering tangible action in 2016, converting the promise of

transformation into a practical pathway. In doing so, impactful

leadership can drive all sectors to support public efforts.

Business relies on enabling policy and operates best when it has

long-term certainty to direct its investment decisions. Clarity

that public resources are shifting away from fossil fuels will

unleash investment in innovations to accelerate renewables,

electric vehicles and low-carbon infrastructure, bringing the

cost of these technologies down. Already low-carbon sectors

are growing 4 per cent per annum or better globally, offering

much needed job creation.

pic: Walmart installing solar power generating

systems throughout California and Arizona

Subsidies for fossil fuels encourage wasteful consumption

by the rich and middle-class, who benefit by up to six times

more than the poor and vulnerable from them. With energy

prices at a historic low, phasing out inefficient subsidies will

be gentler on better-off consumers and national economies.

Redirecting public finance from consumption subsidies

offers governments pathways to deliver commitments to the

Sustainable Development Goals too, by supporting energy

access for poor communities with renewable solutions, or

investing in social healthcare, schools or other societal needs.

When it comes to climate mitigation, countries seeking feasible

ways to finance the cost of national GHG reductions goals will

find the elimination of consumption subsidies offers a costeffective

10 per cent emissions cut by 2050. Delivering action

on the direction of public resources to match the commitments

in the words of the Paris agreement makes climate sense and

robust economic sense.


The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG)

brings together 23 global business leaders working to

advocate solutions on climate change. Stora Enso is

CLG’s newest member. The CLG is part of a coalition of

40 countries and hundreds of businesses who endorsed the

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Communiqué.


Sandrine Dixson-Declève is Director of The Prince of Wales’s

Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).

Harnessing company climate actions for

Paris and beyond

Philipp Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg

Institute for Environmental Studies, VU Amsterdam

Additional and sustained action is needed

to get climate politics back on track

towards the 2°C target. In the run-up to

Paris, companies and investors have been

identified as having the potential to

close the existing pre-2020 ambition gap.

By making public commitments and supporting ambitious

climate policies, many companies are taking an active and

public role in global climate governance. Examples include

Microsoft’s ‘Carbon Fee’ model, IKEA’s €1 billion pledge to fight

climate change, and Unilever’s high-profile engagement with

sustainability issues. In addition, companies started to engage

in cooperative initiatives, collaborative arrangements between

stakeholders such as companies, regions, cities, NGOs and

countries, which aim at implementing concrete climate actions.

CONNECT project). While the overall picture that emerges is

cautiously positive, we have identified a few pressing challenges.

First, the geographical distribution of companies is heavily

skewed towards the Global North. The vast majority of the

companies in our study are headquartered in OECD countries,

in particular in industrialised countries such as the United

States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

Similarly, in terms of numbers, the lion’s share of companies

comes from sectors with relatively small carbon footprints,

such as service sectors and finance.

Second, a few key players are more engaged than others. Of

the 775 companies and investors in the NAZCA data set, 100

participate in more than one cooperative initiative. The Dutch

electric appliances company Philips, for instance, is part of

30 per cent of the cooperative initiatives with companies

in NAZCA. We identify 15 leading companies in terms of

participation and found that, somewhat worryingly, their

performance in terms of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG)

emissions is mixed at best.

Third, we examined the potential versus achieved GHG

reduction of companies in cooperative initiatives and found

large discrepancies between expectations and reality. Moreover,

in some instances, the intensity of GHG emissions per unit of

product has been reduced considerably, while due to overall

growth, the net effect in terms of carbon emissions is positive.

pic: Northern Ireland Executive; Transport Minister Danny Kennedy at the launch

of the new electric vehicle rapid charging point at Ikea, with Environment

Minister Mark H. Durkan and IKEA Belfast's Sustainability Leader Nigel McGarry

The potential impact of non-state actors, including companies,

could be substantial. PwC, a consultancy, estimated that one

cooperative initiative – the Low Carbon Technology Partnership

initiative (LCTPi), comprised of some 140 companies and

additional 50 partners, could generate 65 per cent of the

global GHG reductions needed to achieve the 2°C target.

What is needed to harness this potential? The previous and

current COP presidencies in Lima and Paris, together with

the UNFCCC secretariat, have actively supported companies

by providing them with a podium to share commitments and

collaborations. During COP 20 in Lima in 2014, the ‘Lima –

Paris Action Agenda’ (LPAA) was launched, aiming to boost

non-state climate action by companies, investors, cities, and

regions. A Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA)

has been launched and linked to the UNFCCC homepage,

providing a forum for companies and other non-state actors to

showcase their climate commitments. To date, NAZCA contains

over 10,000 climate commitments by companies, investors,

cities and regions. It also engages over 700 companies in over

20 different cooperative initiatives.

A recent study scrutinised climate actions by over 2,100

companies spread across over 100 cooperative initiatives

registered in NAZCA and part of the CONNECT data set (see

Fourth, ex-post data on performance in cooperative initiatives

is largely unavailable. There are very few openly accessible

progress reports on how companies are doing on their

cooperative initative commitments, and even fewer repositories

for registering them.

Against this background, what could governments do in Paris

to create an enabling environment for companies to accelerate

climate action and overcome the challenges listed above?

• Building on NAZCA and similar data repositories, the creation

of a common accounting framework could strengthen their

legitimacy by recording real progress;

• Based on a common assessment framework, leaders and

laggards could be more easily identified, allowing for learning

and knowledge exchange across different communities.

Also, this would improve our understanding of why some

cooperative initiatives and their participants do better than

others; and

• Encouraging more companies and cooperative initiatives

from the Global South and emerging economies could

address actions where they have the chance to make large,

long-term effects.

Governments have started to recognise the positive

contributions of companies taking climate actions. Companies

on their side, increasingly make public commitments to take

action. This positive momentum needs to continue after Paris

to harness the mitigation potential inherent in collaborative

arrangements on climate change.


How Israel’s green technology can combat

climate change

Glenn Yago

Milken Innovation Center-Jerualem Institute/ Graduate School of Business Administration, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Israel is heading to COP21 in Paris to

confirm its pledge to reduce its

carbon emissions to 7.7 tons per

capita by 2030, a reduction of

about 25 per cent from a decade ago.


This goal will be met through government policy, regulations,

education, community outreach, industry initiatives – and

greater investment of capital. Israeli researchers are working to

meet the technical challenges of mitigating climate change. And

the Government has stepped up as well, approving significant

budget expenditures and guarantees to investments that will

reduce carbon emissions and develop new green technologies.

Government spending alone won’t solve the problem, but

government investment that leverages greater channels of

long-term, institutional investment will. Numerous studies

have concluded that private investment will outpace anything

governments can spend on climate change, and will play a

critical role in slowing global warming while also preserving

private-sector profits and growth. To win the fight against

climate change we must double the share of renewable

energy production and distribution in the global energy

mix, increase energy efficiency in buildings, improve water

recycling, implement better waste management and transfer

inefficient fossil fuel subsidies (estimated at $548 billion by

the International Energy Agency) to clean energy technology.

The consequences of climate change are huge and proven.

The message from all countries in the run-up to the Paris

summit in December is clear: if companies and countries do

not make a serious effort to manage carbon risk, investors may

dump their stocks, triggering a downward economic spiral.

Standard & Poor’s, the credit-rating agency, has already started

downgrading the creditworthiness of governments vulnerable

to extreme weather events linked to climate change. Investors

have begun to respond. Citigroup recently announced that it

would 'lend, invest and facilitate’ $100 billion for investment

in businesses that address climate change. Bank of America

declared a similar commitment, pledging to increase its

involvement in low-carbon businesses to $125 billion through

lending, investing and advisory services. If one includes the $70

trillion under management by institutional investors that have

expressed commitment to low-carbon investments, the private

sector is on track to spend large amounts leveraged through

public-private partnerships. The market for ‘green bonds’ to

fund climate friendly projects is growing rapidly among major

investors whose balance sheets are large enough to ensure that

projects are funded at attractive interest rates. These bonds

have come from nowhere three years ago to $37 billion in

issuance in 2015. The face value of bonds issued is expected

to reach $70 billion to $100 billion by the end of this year.

The economic transition required to address climate change

requires a redeployment of public money that leverages private

investment through public-private funds. This is precisely the

type of programme the Israeli government initiated last month

pic: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv; The Hadera Desalination Plant, the newest and most

modern desalination facility in Israel, and the leading desalination plant in the world

when it appropriated 300 million shekels ($76.6 million) to help

private companies improve energy efficiency. The government

will also allocate 500 million shekels in government guarantees

($130 million) to leverage private capital to develop clean

technologies to reduce carbon emissions in Israel and abroad.

Israel, accustomed to finding creative ways to cope with

scarcity, is the ideal laboratory for perfecting technologies to

address problems at the energy-food-water nexus. Climate

change matters for Israel because it presents opportunities

to exercise global leadership in a critical endeavour and

help countries decouple economic growth from increased

consumption of natural resources.

The effects of climate change are creating greater demand

among developing and developed countries for technologies

and systems that Israel can supply and help finance. The 2014

Global Cleantech Innovation Index ranked Israel No. 1 in clean

technology startups per capita, citing its culture of innovation.

In fact, Israel already provides solutions to meet priorities set

by the Asian Development Bank, which has singled out the need

for precision irrigation, more efficient water use and waste-toenergy

technologies. Desalination and leak detection, which

create new sources of water and reduce use, are other important

areas where Israel can provide expertise. The World Bank and

the state of California have both signed agreements to expand

use of Israeli water technologies. Over 350 Israeli companies

have been mapped into a CleanTech Ecosystem focusing on

everything from alternative energy, alternative fuels, water use,

agriculture, infrastructure materials and disaster response.

The global demand for information and communications

solutions drove Israel’s entrepreneurial culture, knowledge

capital and government programmes during a three-decade

economic expansion. Now, the scarcity of energy, water and

agricultural resources are giving birth to new technologies that

will propel Israel’s next wave of innovations for use at home and

abroad. As the demand to address climate change and feed

growing populations increases, Israel’s exports of technology

and expertise in water, energy and food technologies will drive

a new period of domestic economic growth while helping other

nations meet their obligations to reduce humankind’s impact

on natural resources.

Climate action by businesses:

The difference between big and small

Patrick Schroeder, Kartika Anggraeni and Uwe Weber

SWITCH-Asia Network Facility

Many of the world’s leading companies were

present this week in Paris, some of which are

hoping for an ambitious climate change deal.

Their motivation for advocating a strong signal from the world’s

political leaders is obvious: For low-carbon business strategies

to thrive, certainty about current and future climate change

policy development is a necessary condition. The low-carbon

economy can mean big business for many large corporations

and investors that commit to leadership on climate action.

They are taking action because doing so offers tremendous

opportunities for prosperity, and hence creating jobs. Given

those opportunities, it is surprising that so far only a rather

small number of large multinationals have come forward to

announce their proactive stances, targets and concrete actions

on climate change. For instance, only 53 multinationals have

joined the RE100 initiative and committed to source 100 per

cent renewable power for their operations. While this is a big

commitment, it is only carried forward by a relatively small

number of companies compared to the 40,000+ multinationals

operating worldwide.

Another field in which companies need to do much more is

reporting against their corporate climate change mitigation

and adaptation performance. So far mainstream corporate

reports lack comprehensive information and comparable

climate change related data. The current information gap on

CO2 equivalent emissions and energy use from companies

limits the effectiveness with which investors can allocate their

capital to its most effective uses.

Green supply chain management represents a further relevant

activity. For example, several multinationals have committed

to remove commodity-driven deforestation from their supply

pic: Edgar Vonk; Deforestation for a palm oil plantation in Malaysia

chains. This will help to reduce a significant source of CO2

emissions, counter biodiversity loss and render their supply

chains more sustainable and resilient in the long-term.

All this is easier said than done, as it requires the active

involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as

essential elements of global supply chains when multinationals

implement low-carbon business models beyond their in-house

operations. Already for the average European SME, which is

not directly involved in the low-carbon technology business,

the situation post-COP21 can become quite challenging as

their in-house capacity to develop and implement low carbon

strategies is limited. In Europe, SMEs represent 99 per

cent of all enterprises, employing 66 per cent of the whole

workforce and generating over 50 per cent of GDP. Therefore,

additional support from governments and their big corporate

customers will be necessary to move swiftly towards a lowcarbon


The situation for a large number of SMEs operating in the

developing countries is even tougher. Being forced by big

players in the volatile global market to produce at the lowest

possible costs, lacking management capacity and technical

skills, having low awareness on climate change, and suffering

from shortage of human resources and green finance, most

SMEs in the developing world are – if at all – only marginally

involved in low-carbon development. These are real barriers

for SMEs, preventing them from joining the low-carbon

economy movement.

Consequently SMEs are one of the main target groups of the

SWITCH-Asia Programme, funded by the European Union since

2007, with the objective of promoting sustainable production

and sustainable consumption (SCP) practices in Asia. To date,

SWITCH-Asia has supported more than 80 grant projects

that directly and indirectly, via industry associations, work

with thousands of SMEs in 16 developing countries in Asia,

across a wide spectrum of sectors, ranging from textiles to

food, from construction to manufacturing, and more. Through

this avenue, SWITCH-Asia has reached out to and improved

the environmental and social performance of thousands of

Asian SMEs, enhancing their contribution to climate change

mitigation, local economic development and livelihoods. A

number of SMEs involved in the SWITCH-Asia Programme

also stand out for their innovation potential and CO2

emission reduction solutions, which, for example, have been

implemented to create zero-carbon resorts in the Philippines

and Thailand, install biogas equipment in Sri Lanka, or deliver

low energy housing districts in China.

More work is needed to support Asian and European SMEs in

the transition to realise the benefits of low-carbon business

and scale-up low-carbon innovations. Large multinationals, if

serious about their climate change commitments, are in an

excellent position to make a big difference by working with

their SME suppliers to decarbonise the supply chains of their

products. In this context, the SWITCH-Asia projects and their

SMEs can provide a starting point for large companies to green

their supply chains.


Aviation’s climate action

Michael Gill

Air Transport Action Group

pic: ozz13x


The global aviation industry connects

the world like no other mode of

transport and has been one of the

main driving forces of globalisation.

Over 3.3 billion passengers a year, a third of world trade by

value and half of all international tourists travel by air. Aviation

supports around 60 million jobs and 3.5 per cent of global

GDP, but also produces around 2 per cent of the world’s

human-induced CO2 emissions.

The aviation industry recognises its contribution to climate

change and is determined to lessen its impact on the

environment. In 2008, aviation was the first transport sector to

set global goals and to proactively manage its climate change

impact. These goals include capping net CO2 emissions from

2020 through a global market-based measure (MBM), being

developed at the International Civil Aviation Organization

(ICAO), and a longer-term goal to reduce net CO2 emissions from

aviation to half of 2005 levels, by 2050. The third, short-term,

goal of an annual average 1.5 per cent improvement in fuel

efficiency between 2009 and 2020 is already being surpassed.

The industry is united in taking on the climate challenge and

much work is already underway in every sector of the industry,

all over the world. The industry’s strategy is based on four

pillars of: developing new technology; improving operational

efficiency, creating better infrastructure and supporting work

on developing a global MBM for aviation at ICAO.

To demonstrate the scale of climate mitigation work already

going on in the industry, ATAG produced a publication called

the Aviation Climate Solutions. This publication showcases 101

examples of individual and collaborative climate actions being

taken by members of all sectors of the industry. It highlights

everything from sustainable alternative fuel production to work

on lightweight materials and navigational efficiencies. The

purpose of Aviation Climate Solutions was not only to cite largerscale

technological advancements, like new aircraft or nextgeneration

engines, but also the smaller-scale actions which,

when added together, have significant climate benefits. The

solutions therein demonstrate the impressive work on first three

of the four pillars of the industry’s strategy underway right now.

The fourth pillar, a global market-based measure, which is

expected to be finalised at the ICAO Assembly in a year’s time,

is something that the industry cannot deliver itself. Despite the

strong ongoing encouragement from the industry, ultimately,

the MBM is a political agreement that governments will need

to deliver.

A comprehensive and fit-for-purpose MBM is the cornerstone

of the industry’s ambition to achieve carbon-neutral growth

from 2020. This is why industry leaders from all sectors joined

together to pen an open letter to the world’s governments,

calling for them to agree on an MBM in 2016.

Progress, so far, has been encouraging. Many of the technical

issues surrounding an MBM have been thrashed out, leaving

a political agreement the final piece of the puzzle. While

various options regarding the structure of the MBM exist, the

industry’s preferred option is a global offsetting scheme. This

would provide the highest environmental integrity and be the

most cost effective for governments, as well as the industry.

Importantly, it will also be deliverable by 2020.

However, implementing an MBM is not the only way in which

governments can help aviation achieve its climate goals.

In addition to this, the open letter calls for government

support on a range of other actions: air traffic management

investment and reform; continued support for research into

new technology, operations and sustainable alternative fuels;

improved intermodal transport planning; the right policy

framework to help accelerate the availability of sustainable

alternative fuels for airlines.

If this happens, then aviation can be confident in its ability to

continue to provide the undoubted benefits of air travel in a

sustainable way far into the future.


Michael Gill is Executive Director of the Air Transport

Action Group.

UK-led Global Alliance of universities urges

government action on climate change

Iain Patton

Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges

The collective voice of the world’s

universities, colleges and students was

heard at COP21 when a pioneering Open

Letter was presented to Ministers by

representatives of a UK-led Global Alliance

of university, college and student networks

and associations on every continent.

In the Letter, governments are urged to acknowledge and

strengthen the research and education role that universities

and colleges play in finding and implementing solutions

towards climate change mitigation and adaptation, placing

it in the context of addressing wider issues of sustainability,

including social and economic policies and practices.

The letter also proposes more specific measures to be

implemented, such as showcasing universities and colleges

as living laboratories for climate change adaptation and

mitigation, increasing support for trans-disciplinary learning,

teaching and research approaches and using university and

college campuses and operations as a leverage agent to

accelerate the transition to clean energy sources.

Iain Patton, CEO of the UK based Environmental Association

for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), said:

"Never before have students, colleges and universities across

every continent spoken with one powerful voice to urge national

and international governments to take action. Education has

the creative solving power to be the unique catalyst to help

society better understand our changing climate and to lead on

solutions. Through this pioneering Open Letter, over 10,000

universities and colleges are demanding that Ministers at

COP21 recognise this power and provide the policy, reporting

and funding changes from our governments to fully unleash

the power of our staff and students. We hope that for the sake

of all our futures the Ministers will help us to do more.”

pic: Light Brigading; XL Dissent student climate change protest

Last week, two of the three International Green Gown Awards

were won by UK institutions, so we know there is excellence

going on here. But we also know that with more support the

true potential of UK universities and colleges could really

shine and be better recognised and valued by our institution

leaders and wider society as a unique catalyst to find solutions

to climate change.

Unfortunately, that support is not forthcoming from the UK

Government and if anything is regressing. So COP21 is our

chance to be recognised and placed at the heart of delivering

a more sustainable planet. Led by the EAUC, education

networks from every corner of the earth have come together

and spoken with one voice to COP21. We call to be recognised,

valued and better supported. By pushing ourselves centrestage

into the UN and intergovernmental processes we can

help UK Governments listen and help us to do more.

But COP21 is also a key opportunity for UK tertiary education

to ensure other UK sustainability stakeholders recognise the

role of university and college education as a key delivery agent

of sustainability and to ensure that we have the relationships

necessary to collaborate with other partners to take

sustainability to the next level. If you are interested in helping

us ensure the next generation of citizens and employees have

the sustainability skills, understanding and values we will need

them to have – please get in touch.


Read the Open Letter – www.educationalliance.global

More on the Environmental Association for Universities and

Colleges – www.eauc.org.uk

Contact: ipatton@eauc.org.uk

pic: Iain Patton handing the Open Letter to COP21

Secretary General Pierre-Henri Guignard at UNESCO, Paris


Iain Patton is the CEO of the Environmental Association for

Universities and Colleges.


Innovating business and investment for

climate-resilient sustainable development

Amath Pathe Sene

World Centre for Sustainable Development

2015 has been a busy time for the

international negotiations on the future

of our planet. Just two months after

the adoption of the bold and ambitious

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last

September, in New York, 147 world leaders

have gathered again in Paris to negotiate

a pact to keep global warming below 2°C

above pre-industrial levels.


In the ‘city of lights’, under state of emergency after the

terrorist attacks, the COP21 gives a unique opportunity for our

generation to reflect the future we want: peaceful and inclusive

societies that are resilient to climate change.

Achieving that future requires a shift for all countries towards

a low carbon development trajectory, as outlined in SDG 13 on

climate change, and its related targets. This means a radical

change in the way we live, the way we produce, the way we

structure our economies, the way we finance them.

Over the last decades, rapid business development, genuine

innovation and massive investments have played an important

role in wealth creation and helped humanity achieve

tremendous development gains. At the same time, they have

contributed to numerous negative externalities, such as more

frequent natural disasters, drought, storms, wildfire, sea level

rise, which in turn also pose serious threats to businesses

performance and growth sustainability. This gives businesses

an opportunity to play a key role in addressing climate change.

Developing countries remain the most vulnerable to climate

change, a burden they consider a historic responsibility of

developed countries. Business opportunities and growth

potential in many countries in the Global South are imperiled by

climate variability and change. Climate risks are now a serious

hurdle for investors when $100 billion per year investment

is needed by developing countries to tackle climate change.

Moreover, the investment gap to achieve sustainable development

is estimated at $2.5 trillion annually by 2020 and the Addis

Ababa Action Agenda has set ambitious transformational goals

for sutainable development financing. Financial mechanisms

such as the Green Climate Fund, SDGs Fund, Corporate Social

Responsibilities initiatives, among others, should work together

to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 agenda.

The good news is there is no shortage of money across the

world. More often, there is a lack of de-risked bankable

projects. To date, the global financial system manages almost

$140 trillion of financial assets through banking, $100 trillion

via pension funds, $100 trillion on capital markets including

bonds and more than $73 trillion in equity. Some of this money

already supports a growing number of real-time initiatives

guided by innovative policies seeking to align the financial and

capital markets with sustainable development and climate

change action. For example:

pic: Simon Davis/DFID; A building boom in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

is helping to fuel one of the fastest-growing economies in the world

• The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Brazil’s

BOVESPA stock exchange require sustainability disclosures;

• The Bank of England’s prudential review of climate risks to

the UK´s insurance sector is based on a connection between

its core prudential duties and the UK climate change Act; and

• Regulators such as Standard & Poor´s ratings services

identified climate change as a key mega trend effecting

sovereign bonds.

So far, and with only one more official day to go before the end

of COP 21, only $200 million has been announced by some

developed countries (USA, UK, Canada and Japan) to support

the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) on climate

adaptation and more than $10 billion in promised funding for

the Green Climate Fund. Much more is needed to reach the

100 billion required.

The time has now come for governments, international

organisations like the United Nations, and civil society to

engage with the private sector to raise the money required

from taxpayers in the richest countries, and from private

investors and financial system, to tackle climate change.

Governments can signal its willingness to engage by acting

on key drivers of business, such as government policies –

climate change policy (incentives, regulations, investments

and funding, risks), consumer demand (for green products,

services and companies) and affordable technology innovation

transfer (products, innovation), especially on wind, solar,

waste management and transport.

Strong, simple and coherent mechanisms from the Paris pact

to prevent corruption, ensure transparency, and make funds,

including innovative finance, work quickly and better to impact

on most vulnerable people, in particular women and youth in

developing countries, are needed.

Investing in the wellbeing of our planet and halting climate

change should not be seen as a ‘cost’, but as a worthwhile

economic investment for future generations. Business

worldwide must act now as shareholders, not only as donors,

and this COP 21 must ‘seal the deal’ for people and planet!

Humans: Behave!

Marie Briguglio

University of Malta

Once COP21 is over and the commitments

have been made, delegates will go

back to their countries with a renewed

ambition to roll out policy for climate

mitigation and adaptation.

To do so, they will deploy an artillery of tools, including some

aimed at changing human behaviour. They will field subsidies,

incentives and investments to boost desirable behaviours, and

they may even wield taxes and fines, to discourage emissions.

They will, undoubtedly, also resort to softer interventions like

information and education.

Information provision, incentives and disincentives have one

thing in common: they implicitly assume that people make

considered, rational decisions. In other words, that people use

the information given and weigh expected costs and benefits

before deciding how to behave. By tweaking these trade-offs

governments can tip people towards desired behaviours.

Certainly, this kind of intervention has, and will, continue to

make humans behave ‘better’, particularly as governments get

better at pricing carbon and supporting the right investments.

But ‘rational’ and ‘self-interested’ does not fully describe

the human decision-making process. More importantly,

understanding the other dimensions of human behaviour

offers up additional innovative options for intervention,

which employed with more traditional approaches, can help

countries achieve climate goals faster. Fortunately, there

is a large body of multidisciplinary research about human

behavioural change, which can complement the science on

climate change itself.

We know, for instance, that people have social (and not just

private) preferences, caring about what others do, about

fairness, and reputation. This offers the potential to change

behaviour by providing information on positive norms.

It also suggests that, in emphasising the prevalence of

laggard behaviour, we risk undermining our very objectives.

Descriptive negative norms are powerful and, moreover, they

may suppress efficacy beliefs. For similar reasons, it matters

who conveys and advocates climate goals. Following COP21,

governments will likely communicate their commitments. Yet

using politicians to front efforts can sometimes be a divisive

strategy, which risks frustrating behavioural change among

those less sympathetic to these public figures.

We have, in fact, long known that people feel uneasy when they

behave in ways contrary to their morality. Many governments,

non-governmental entities and businesses invest considerable

funds and effort on awareness raising. But this is often limited

to stimulating environmental issues. A complementary route

is to link climate miss-behaviour with other aspects of one’s

morality like fairness, political ideology, bequest motives, and

even spiritual motives. Similarly, rather than focusing so much

on the benefits that will accrue to future generations, we should

be highlighting the benefits of action to present communities.

Apart from its factual relevance, this strategy avoids another

human bias that often hamstrings change: myopia.

pic: Stephen Morton; UGA College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences – OCCS

teach children about the environment on Jekyll Island, Georgia

The truth is that we have plenty of evidence that people find it

hard to change behaviour, even if it benefits them personally

to do so. This has been a major stumbling block for some

incentive/information based intervention, yet it offers an

interesting avenue for policy innovation. Opting people into

greener energy plans, for instance, would result in very little

switching into dirtier (even if cheaper) practises, even if

they would be allowed to do so. Similarly, even if the force

of habit has worked against behavioural change to date (e.g.

car dependency), the same force can be used to generate new

behaviours that stick (e.g. by offering free public transport for

some time).

Until a decade ago, evidence of how to tap such behavioural

traits for policy was diffuse and largely undocumented. But

research has burgeoned, Nobel prizes have been awarded, and

front-runners in governance are making inroads in designing

behaviourally-informed interventions. Moreover, there exists an

even broader spectrum of policy tools and methods that can be

used alongside behavioural approaches. So let’s share what we

know about what works, let’s continue to invest in developing

evidence-based, context-specific policy in partnership with

researchers and let’s employ the entire toolkit to reach our

goals. We cannot afford not to.


Dr. Marie Briguglio is an environmental economist. She worked

for 15 years in policy and was Malta’s National Focal Point to

the UNFCCC before returning to academia to conduct research

in behavioural economics. She is active in outreach activities

and was recently awarded the World Intellectual Property

Organisation medal for creativity.


Incentivising methane mitigation

Melissa Cox

Veolia Institute

pic: Geoff Livingston; The Trans-Jordan landfill turns methane gas into energy for 4500 homes, according to Audi


Perhaps the principal obstacle to slowing

anthropogenic climate change is that the

release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is

inextricably linked to things that we

don’t want to do without.

Burning fossil fuels to produce heat and energy has underpinned

industry, and hence our economy, for centuries. The fact that

CO2 is produced in the process is inconvenient, but seemingly

unavoidable, unless the – so far – misaligned incentives are

turned into a real stimulus for decoupling economic growth

and CO2 emissions. That is the first lever of action.

There is another GHG that is arguably as important as CO2,

and may prove easier to tackle by virtue of not being linked to

the production of something useful: methane. That is the other

lever. This was the focus of an international Conference hosted

by the Veolia Institute, jointly with the Agence Française de

Développement and the Prince Albert II de Monaco Foundation,

on 9th November 2015, along with two associated COP21 sideevents

held on December 8 at COP21. The most prevalent of the

Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs), methane accounts for

one-third of GHGs. It does not remain in the atmosphere as long

as CO2 – its half-life is only around a decade – but it certainly

packs a punch: its impact on climate has been shown to be a

colossal 84 times as great as CO2 over a 20 year period. So in

terms of getting to grips with GHGs in the near term, the way

we deal with methane could prove to be critical. The good news

is that many strategies to mitigate methane emissions already

exist. The challenge is thus not to create new technologies, but

to identify the appropriate incentives to ensure these strategies

are implemented and solutions scaled-up.

An illustration of the challenge comes from landfills (third

source of anthropogenic methane) where methane is produced

when waste buried in landfill decomposes anaerobically. The

technology exists and operators know how to capture it, to

flare to prevent it entering the atmosphere and even to recover

the gas and turn it into an alternative source of energy.

However, this will not happen without a financial incentive

to make the process viable. There additionally needs to be

regulation of landfill tariffs and power prices, which currently

vary enormously from region to region.

As for the largest industrial source of methane, it comes

from various leakages of methane in oil and gas operations

and distribution. The business actors in this sector have the

resources, the technologies and the means to drastically

reduce methane emissions.

Last but not least comes methane from agriculture: from

livestock and from rice farming to a smaller extent. In the

latter case, a solution is to intermittently drain the field. The

deployment of this technique known as Alternate Wetting

and Drying (AWD) is already used in China, motivated by

the financial expedience of saving irrigation water. The real

challenge is to innovate and up-scale these technologies to

make 140 million farmers follow that practice.

A potentially powerful incentive would be to put a price on

methane – like carbon. Since its impact on climate is 84 times

greater than carbon, it should arguably be priced 84 times

higher. This would provide a financial incentive for mitigation

that is proportionate to the potential cost of inaction.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has developed a climate finance

mechanism called the Pilot Auction Facility (PAF), which

coordinates the auction of a ‘put option’ an option to sell assets

at an agreed price on or before a particular date for methane

projects – guaranteeing the practitioner a minimum sale price for

carbon credits, and hence providing a financial incentive to invest

in the project. At scale, this could provide further assistance for

private sector investment in methane reduction projects.

More generally, financial resources are available and the

challenge is to direct investments towards low-emitting projects

and operate a real transition towards a low-carbon future.

Methane mitigation is critical for achieving short-term targets

in GHG reductions. The solutions already exist and they can

come with positive returns: health improvement, and profitable

projects. The innovation lies, as Dr. Ramanathan from the

University of California stated at the Methane conference on

November 9th, “in the convergence of scientists, policy-makers

and companies working together because everyone benefits”.

Is there room for environmental

management in hospitality?

Karmen Lužar

Environmental management is usually

associated with industries that pose a

substantial risk to the environment,

such as mining. However, tourism, as

the biggest industry in the world

also has a valid reason to consider

its implementation. Not only from the

perspective of expected impacts, but also

as a tool to raise profits.

In alignment with environmental responsibility, smart hotels

and resorts are increasingly recognising the need to implement

environmental and sustainability initiatives that rise beyond

legal conformity. From the owner/manager perspective

ensuring that the business stays strong and vibrant longterm

requires staying commercially astute whilst running the

business in a way that delivers value to all stakeholders. The

British Research Foundation, EIRIS, a leading global provider

of responsible investment research found that almost all

companies that exhibit improved environmental performance

have a good environmental management system in place.

Similarly, the International Centre for Ecotourism found in

their Australian-based research that ‘what gets measured,

gets improved.’ In reality, however, most environmental and

sustainability initiatives in hospitality sector are predominantly

occasional, unsystematic and poorly communicated. Without

a properly developed strategy, owners of tourism venues often

plunge into high investment costs for environmentally friendly

design. The variety of choice and lack of sage advice about a

systematic continuous approach add to financial frustration,

which eventually trumps the potential intent for implementing

environmental management at a venue in full capacity.

Consequently, sustainability as a core business strategy and

a brand standard is still a rare occasion, despite existing case

studies, which show that business innovation of such kind is a

way to successfully defend position on the competitive market.

Systematic environmental management in the hospitality

sector comprises of several larger components, including

sustainable design to increase the efficient use of resources

and lower the costs, optimisation of supply chains, training

of staff about environmental initiatives and their part in

organisation’s environmental responsibility, as well as

communicating environmental efforts to all stakeholders. All

of these components need to be taken into consideration when

looking at environmental investments. There is, however, no

‘one size fits all’ approach to it. For improved environmental

performance, it is imperative that all of these components are

tailor-made developed and implemented with a full-cycle in

mind. For example, efficient building design cannot succeed

without monitoring and analysis systems in place, and

stakeholders’ communication cannot be well received without

targeted marketing and promotion. This last part, in particular,

is often neglected in environmental management, or even more

commonly replaced by ‘green-wash’ publicity. The encouraging

outlook, however, lies in the increasing demand for evidence

pic: www.joiseyshowaa.com; Sustainable tourism in Costa Rica

from the public and guests. Environmental management is a

dynamic strategy that requires active linkage between all of

these components.

There lies a great opportunity in making the room for

environmental management in hospitality, the kind that

brings profits and the positive evidence-based reputation.

However, first and foremost, owners and managers need to

be informed about the proper way to go about it, i.e. what a

full environmental management system comprises of. It is of

fundamental importance to know that the return on investment

(ROI) in environmental management in hospitality sector is not

related only to a green design, it is a multi-faceted approach

that requires a balance between development, conservation and

promotion. Secondly, initial investment needs to be made in

employing an environmental manager, who is properly trained

to provide leadership and coordination of these departments,

rather than randomly dispersing sustainability related tasks

onto other staff positions. And thirdly, we all need to know that

environmental management is a journey not a destination;

for it to be a successful hospitality business innovation and

investment it requires continuous attention, from tourism

providers, as well as the rest of us – consumers.


HELIO Index For Investors

Helene Connor

HELIO International

In the next few years trillions of dollars

of investments will be spent in the

energy sector. What criteria will guide

investors and governments' policy-makers?

There is a growing need in the sustainable investment

community for tools that provide timely information on the

quality of countries' policies. This need stems from the

fact that today more and more investors look for improved

efficiency and want to direct their investments towards socially

responsible alternatives leading to ‘eco-development’. For this

allocation to be effective there is a call for tools to identify

these investments, and to help to measure their ex-post

performance. The HELIO Index for Investors (HIFI) aims to fill

those needs by helping financiers around the world to identify

countries that best suit their objectives because their policies,

and in particular their energy policies, are truly conducive to

the eco-development of the country.

Managing energy wisely is essential to the economic and

social development of a country, as well as to environmental

protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation. In

order for a country to achieve a balanced growth while reducing

its ecological footprint, it is crucial to have reliable tools that

can measure and monitor how well a country’s energy policy

supports eco-development goals.


Eco-development builds on the concept of traditional

sustainable development – associated with the Brundtland

principles – by bringing in two additional elements, which

are necessary for long-term success in the energy field:

‘usufructal’ technologies (Usufructal technologies only use

renewable, harmless forms of energy and do not rely on fossil

stocks) and participative governance. Eco-development can

only be achieved when all forms of capital (financial, produced,

natural, human and social capital) are truly operating in

harmony, reinforcing one another.

Over the last two decades, HELIO devised methodologies

to help decision-makers and other stakeholders assess

the degree to which a given country's policies provide its

population with clean and efficient energy services that

are reliable, affordable and resilient to the impacts of

environmental degradation and climate change. The resulting

methodology, TIPEE, was successfully tested in a number of

Africa’s most vulnerable countries.

This accumulated knowledge has now been encapsulated into a

single index, the HELIO Index for Investors (HIFI), a composite

index, based on the 24 TIPEE indicators grouped among the

five forms of capital.

Some of the main advantages of HIFI are that:

• It is founded on the Working Group on Statistics for

Sustainable Development (WGSSD) framework. Accordingly,

HIFI is a tool that provides a multi-faceted view on sustainable

energy investments;

• It can cover most of the world’s countries, enabling rigorous

comparisons on a global scale; and

pic: Russell Watkins/DFID; Elizabeth Mukwimba is a 62-year-old Tanzanian woman

who now has solar lighting and electricity in her home at the flick of a switch

• It focuses on policies that are within the control of policy

makers in the energy sector.

The HIFI allows all stakeholders, investors, policy makers and

members of civil society, to monitor how effective national

policies are, thus helping to identify areas for successful

investment in climate-proof, sustainable energy projects. This

tool will act as a signal for investors to invest in a country where

their projects are likely to be more successful and profitable.

It will allow them to compare countries' performance and

identify those that offer better conditions for investment in

energy projects, thus stimulating countries to improve their

own energy policies.

HIFI, aims at promoting sound energy investments in

economic, environmental, technological, civic and societal

terms through assessments of conditions and policies at

country level, and will generate a unique set of primary data

that will be available to parties wishing to conduct research.

Unlike some initiatives that are carried out on a one-time basis

or updated infrequently, those who will find it useful for their

own purpose will keep HIFI updated.

Side events calendar



11:15 - 14:14




11:30—13:00 Observer rm 01

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 03

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 04

Healthy lives on a healthy planet: What is next for research and policy?

Shaping effective climate risk management: The role of NAP, climate risk

insurance & private finance

The Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM): Achievements and recent progress of

project implementations

Arab Communities Adapting to CC – A comprehensive approach of DRR &

Acceleration of using RE

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 08 Preparing for the Action Plans on Post-2020 Climate Change Regime in Asia

11:30—13:00 Observer rm 02 Initiatives to address climate change : The India story

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 02

Technological break-through in the RAC sector-new cost effective and energy

efficient solutions

WHO, Rockefeller Foundation, The Lancet, Universite Sorbonne Paris Cite,

Universite de Geneve, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,

Universitat Heidelberg, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Wellcome Trust

Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Munich

Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII)

Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC), Overseas Environmental

Cooperation Center, Japan (OECC)

Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), Egypt, Fonds E7

pour le développement énergétique durable (E7 Fund)

Climate Change Center, Centre for Built Environment (CBE), Freie Universität

Berlin (FUB), Seoul International Law Academy * (SILA)

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Shakti Sustainable Energy

Foundation, Vasudha Foundation

Israel, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 04 Adapting and building resilience to climate change in mountain communities Lesotho, Colorado State University, Mountain Institute, Inc. (TMI)

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 08 Domestic finance and climate learning key to Ghana's INDC HATOF Foundation, Ghana

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 01 The Brazilian post-2020 Climate Change Policy: challenges and opportunities. Brazil, Instituto Ethos de Empresas e Responsabilidade Social * (Ethos)

13:15—14:45 Observer rm 03 Climate Law and Governance: Future Practices and Prospects

Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), Ateneo

de Manila University (ADMU), National Council for Climate Change,

Sustainable Development and Public Leadership (NCCSD)

Reflections from COP21, Thursday 10 December


Renewable energy and energy efficiency are central pillars for

decarbonising the energy sector. Moreover they hold collectively

the greatest potential for addressing the climate crisis in a

sustainable, decentralised and cost-effective way.

Despite the world’s recent annual average of 1.5 per cent increase

in energy consumption, and an average 3 per cent growth in GDP,

CO2 emissions in 2014 were unchanged from 2013 levels. For the

first time in four decades, the world economy grew without a parallel

rise in CO2 emissions. This landmark ‘decoupling’ was due – in

large part – to the increased use of renewable resources, and efforts

to promote more sustainable growth through increased use of

energy efficiency and renewable energy. This decarbonising of

the economy also illustrates the place of renewables and energy

efficiency at the heart of the solution to mitigate climate change.

The numbers speak for themselves. By the end of

2014, renewables contributed 19.1 per cent to the

global final energy consumption and supplied 22.8 per

cent of the world’s electricity. Over the course of the year,

renewables represented 59 per cent of net additions to global

power capacity, clearly showing that a transition to renewables

is well underway in the electricity sector. Nevertheless, this

transition must be accelerated across all energy sectors. In 2014,

renewables contributed only 8 per cent to the heating and cooling

sector. And much more action is needed to decarbonise the

transport sector.

It is evident that renewables are part of the solution agenda to

reaching the 1.5°C objective. We have the technological solutions

pic: Walkaway Wind Farm, Western Australia - Infigen Energy and Clean Energy Council

to address this challenge. Morally we have no excuse not to

commit to an energy transition that moves us towards 100 per

cent renewable energy and energy efficiency, and thereby ensuring

energy access for all.

Renewables are cost-completive; the renewables train has left the

station. An ambitious agreement coming out of the Paris talks

would do much to help accelerate this transition.


Reflections from COP21, Thursday 10 December

Dirk Hoffmann

Klimablog “Climate Change Bolivia”

Joanna Read

UK Youth Climate Coalition and YOUNGO

Everyone at COP 21 knows about the terrible impact of climate

change on Small Island States – but what about the populations

of the world´s mountain ranges who are amongst the most

vulnerable and marginalised globally?

Mountains have not been very visible here at COP 21, but as

it is International Mountain Day tomorrow (December 11th), a

number of events will take place in an attempt to make mountain

people and their struggle against the impacts of global change

more visible.

Today´s side event ‘Adapting to climate change – success stories

and challenges from across mountain ranges’ highlighted the

impacts of climate change across the continents, with cases

being presented from the Swiss Alps, Nepalese Himalayas,

Peruvian Andes and Tajikistan Hindukush.

Meeta Pradhan from The Mountain Institute Nepal, presented

the extra challenges that mountain dwellers are facing in the

aftermath of the April 2015 earthquake, stressing the importance

of improving preparedness and disaster risk reduction based on

a livelihood and ecosystem based approach.

Mohammed El Moatamid from Morocco’s Agricultural Ministry

and the host country of COP22 presented Morocco’s mountain

development strategy, which offers hope that mountains might

play a more prominent role within the climate negotiations in

the future.

Mountains had already received special attention, when at

the Peruvian Pavilion famous glaciologist Benjamín Morales

announced the creation of an Andean Mountain Museums in the

city of Huaraz in Peru.

On the sidelines of the negotiations it has also became known

that the government of Switzerland is planning to propose an

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special

Report on Mountains; to broaden knowledge of climate change

issues in mountains, put the science before key audiences and

aim for a more substantial role of mountains within the context

of the Climate Convention.

Today has been more unusual for me than most. I usually

take part in several 'actions' coordinated by YOUNGO, the

recognised youth constituency of civil society that interacts

with the UNFCCC. Actions are the most visible way to get a

message across and usually attract lots of media. However after

yesterday's mass action, where approx. 300 people from across

civil society took part in calling for climate justice immediately

outside the plenary halls, as we had not been given any other

access to the negotiations, I was a bit 'actioned out'.

So I spent this morning meeting with some other YOUNGO

members to write the text for our intervention to be given at

the final plenary session (hopefully!) tomorrow. We discussed

whether to be sarcastic, or angry, or connect to the negotiators

emotionally, and how best to communicate our frustrations at

the injustice of the text.

I also wrote an open letter to my country's negotiators, in

response to the most recent draft version of the text which was

released yesterday afternoon – they had dropped some key

points such as gender equality, rights of Indigenous Peoples and

intergenerational equity (rights for future generations) from the

operative, legally-binding section of the agreement. Although it

came out later that dropping intergenerational equity was a copy

and paste error! We asked them to push to keep global average

temperature increase below 1.5°C, and to choose the more

ambitious Long Term Goal option. So I posted this letter as a

blog and handed it to one of the UK negotiators at their offices,

where we post a daily to do list under their door along with a

Postcard to Paris, which contain messages from UK youth.

So we're all on tenterhooks for the next version of the text, ready

and waiting for rapid response.

The event, co-organised by the government of Tajikistan, the

Peruvian NGO Oikos and the Mountain Partnership coordinated

by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was the start

celebration of International Mountain Day - for which the topic

this year is the promotion of mountain products to improve

livelihoods of mountain people.

Everyone is invited to join in on Friday 11th December at 13:15

in Observer Room 04.

Happy Mountain Day everyone!

pic: Dirk Hoffmann

Outreach is made possible by the support of

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