Monday, November 18, 2013

Caring for Climate Forum: Highlighting the Role of Business

In cooperation with the COP19/CMP9 taking place in Warsaw, a Forum will be held that emphasizes the role of businesses in helping to address the issue of climate change.

Launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, “Caring for Climate” is the UN Global Compact, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) initiative aimed at advancing the role of business in addressing climate change. It provides a framework for business leaders to advance practical solutions and help shape public policy as well as public attitudes. Chief executive officers who support the statement are prepared to set goals, develop and expand strategies and practices, and to publicly disclose emissions as part of their existing disclosure commitment within the UN Global Compact framework, that is, the Communication on Progress. Caring for Climate is endorsed by over 350 companies from 50 countries.

The UN Global Compact, UNEP and UNFCCC secretariat are organizing the first annual two day event (November 19 & 20) titled Caring for Climate Business Forum: Innovation, Ambition, Collaboration. This multi-stakeholder event is a platform for dialogue and action. It brings together chief executives with investors, leaders from civil society, Government and the UN.

The Business Forum will showcase contributions that business and investors can make towards climate action while providing a high-level leadership platform with policymakers.

On the first day of the Forum opening remarks will address the critical need for driving higher levels of ambition, innovation and collaboration to advance the global climate change agenda. Day one of the Forum will consist of 11 focused sessions.

The second day of the Forum will feature a high-level meeting on corporate climate leadership convening chief and senior business executives, Ministers and Heads of government delegations. Nearly 400 participants are expected to attend, with UN heads participating in key aspects of the event.

See an overview of the two day Forum below:

THEMATIC BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Day 1, November 19)

Advancing Energy Efficiency: Promoting energy efficiency, renewable and technology solutions

Convener: UNFCCC Theme: Mitigation, Technology Innovation is at the core of the necessary action needed in order to achieve the three objectives of the UN Secretary-General’s initiative Sustainable Energy for All: Ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The energy policies defined over the next few years through to 2020 will determine the world’s energy mix through to 2030 and beyond. This session will discuss the key role that the private sector plays in delivering the innovation, including the technological breakthroughs, needed to achieve these objectives, while at the same time delivering on the related climate benefits. Bringing to scale the technologies, both for energy efficiency and for renewables, will be crucial for the environment and the climate.

Demystifying Private Climate Finance: The transformational potential of the Green Climate Fund

Convener: UNEP / UNEP-FI Theme: Finance, Mitigation, Adaptation There is widespread agreement that the GCF will achieve its objective of transformational impact only if it is able to unlock at-scale private finance for mitigation, and adaptation, in developing countries. This session will clarify where and why exactly, private finance is essential to achieving the mitigation and adaptation objectives of developing countries; and how the GCF can mobilise the appropriate `classes` of finance to meet developing countries’ needs for low-carbon and climate-resilient development.

Climate Action & Partnerships – Perspective from Poland

Convener: Ministry of Environment – Poland, Global Compact Local Network – Poland Theme: Mitigation, Adaptation, Technology, Finance The session will present partnerships between the Polish Government and the private sector that highlight innovative practices, solutions and partnerships on climate change. During the session, Vision 2050: The New Agenda for Business in Poland will be presented. The document is based on the WBCSD’s Vision 2050 and defines challenges and their corresponding solutions that Polish companies face.

Responsible Corporate Engagement on Climate Change Policy

Convener: UN Global Compact Theme: Finance, Mitigation, Adaptation, Technology To help companies engage in climate policy, Caring for Climate, in partnership with WRI, CDP, WWF, Ceres and The Climate Group, has developed The Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy. Drawing on insights from interviews with more than 60 individuals from 20 countries, the Guide helps companies engage in climate policy in a transparent and accountable way that is consistent with their sustainability commitments. Most importantly, the guide puts core elements of responsible corporate engagement into three practical “action items” for companies to inform and advance effective climate change policy:

- Engage for Legitimacy and Opportunity - Align for Consistency and Accountability - Report for Transparency

The session will present the guide and give different stakeholder perspectives on the need to for action to accelerate responsible climate policy engagement in the lead up to the historic opportunity for business to elevate missions and strategies to align with an ambitious global legal agreement by 2015.

Mitigating Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

Convener: UNEP, Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Theme: Mitigation Fast action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), such as black carbon, methane and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that “live” from days up to a couple of decades in the atmosphere, has the potential to prevent millions of premature deaths each year, avoid annual losses of some of the world’s staple crops, and slow down the global warming expected by 2050 by as much as half a degree.

This session will showcase the work of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), in particular through its initiatives to reduce methane and black carbon from oil and natural gas production and to introduce alternatives and standards for HFCs, focusing on the opportunities for the private sector to further enhance its role in reducing SLCPs at the international scale.

Fostering New Financial Partnerships: Promoting technology transfer and deployment in developing countries

Convener: Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) Theme: Mitigation, Adaptation, Technology The Climate Technology Centre and Network aims to foster collaborations with all relevant actors including private companies, academic, governments, civil society organizations, regional climate technology centres and networks as well as financial institutions and organizations, to reduce the risks and costs of technology transfer for developing countries. This session aims to provide an opportunity to present and exchange ideas as to how to engage the private sector, multilateral banks, and bilateral project organizations in the implementation of project and investments in technology transfer. Furthermore, the session will explore how the CTCN can work together with Private sector associations and companies to promote investments and develop market opportunities.

Success Stories

A collaborative space for participants to explore, navigate and commit to key actions and partnerships on climate change including through the Climate & Energy Action Hub and Public-Private Partnership efforts of Governments. Caring for Climate and partner tools and resources will be featured. During this segment, Forum sponsors will host collective action sessions highlighting stories of success and showcasing innovative practices, solutions and partnerships on climate action.

Sustainability and the Olympic Movement – Catalysts of Change Hosted by Dow with the International Olympic Committee and Rio 2016

Unlocking the Value in Low-carbon Innovation

Convener: The Climate Group Theme: Mitigation, Technology Ambitious “bottom up” initiatives from businesses and governments will be crucial to achieving global emissions reductions at the scale needed. In this context, the development of effective models for low carbon innovation has increasingly come into focus. However, despite the increasing use of the term, the concept of low carbon innovation and its success factors still need to be better understood.

Low carbon innovation carries with it a particular set of challenges. Many low carbon technologies require new business models distinct from the core models companies and industries operate to today. Furthermore, these models must often work at the level of systems and markets, rather than just developing new ‘push’ products and services. These factors make partnerships with end-users and policymakers essential.

This session brings together leaders from businesses and sub-national governments to share experiences on successful low-carbon innovation from a systems perspectives, exploring its role as a driver of forward-looking corporate strategy, as well as the political framework conditions needed to supports its large-scale uptake. The outcomes of the session will feed into a broader two-year initiative The Climate Group is currently developing with its corporate and government network to advance the low carbon innovation agenda.

Forests and Finance: Phasing out deforestation from global supply and investment chains

Convener: UNEP/UNEP-FI Theme: Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is a critical piece in the puzzle of mitigating climate change. Achieving REDD+ objectives requires a systematic phase-out of deforestation from global commodity supply chains. This session will shed light on the catalytic role of finance and investment in the transition from conventional to sustainable forms of land-use.

Partnerships for Climate Action: Catalyzing adaptation and mitigation solutions

Convener: UN Global Compact Theme: Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance, Technology The session aims to provide greater understanding and examine the social, environmental and financial benefits of and discuss some of the key factors that make partnerships on climate change successful. It will provide a platform to highlight and showcase innovative and effective partnerships on climate change with a view to encourage further collaboration among business, investors, governments, civil society and the UN. Examples of initiatives that have potential for both impact and scale will be featured. The session will also feature the Climate and Energy Action Hub – an online portal that provides opportunities for companies and other stakeholders to steer collective climate action.

Climate Reporting for Sustainable Markets

Convener: Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) / Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) Theme: Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance Investors’ interest in corporate non-financial information is growing. Through CDP, investors managing in excess of US 87 Trillion assets support the disclosure of corporate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change data. Increasingly, there is recognition that corporate disclosure of climate risk, greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigation and adaptation activities is synonymous with superior financial performance and vice versa. However, these correlations are not being adequately reflected in financial analyses.

This event will build on the work of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), CDP and others that are working to provide consistent, transparent and reliable information to markets to enable investor to make better informed investment decisions about the risks and opportunities of climate change to a company’s ability to create and preserve value.

Ensuring Climate Resilience: Making climate insurance available to vulnerable communities

Convener: UNEP/UNEP-FI Theme: Adaptation, Finance Key to achieving climate resilience is access to sound risk assessment, management and transfer. The insurance industry possesses considerable expertise and know-how in these areas. This session will explore how insurance companies and governments can work together to provide to vulnerable communities, particularly in developing countries, access to the insurance services needed to better cope with weather extremes.

Closing Plenary

The Closing Plenary will distil leading climate practices, innovations and collaborations and identify promising business actions and commitments across Forum themes: mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology. The session will also provide opportunities for new commitments and partnerships that would bring greater scale and quality to climate action globally.

HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON CORPORATE CLIMATE LEADERSHIP  (Day 2, November 20)


The second day of the Forum is open only to Chief Executives and senior representatives of Caring for Climate signatory companies.

Chief Executives and senior representatives of Caring for Climate signatories will engage in high-level meeting together with Government representatives, including representatives of relevant institutions established under the UNFCCC. The high-level meeting will distil the outcomes from the first day – including examples of leading climate practices, innovations, collaborations and commitments to action across key climate change themes – and put forward key recommendations for Government actions that would help bring greater scale and quality to corporate climate leadership globally.

Following welcoming remarks and introduction of the Forum’s themes, participants will engage in interactive discussions focused on accelerating climate action in the following areas: Mitigation (Bridging the Emissions Gap by 2020); Adaptation; Capacity building and technology transfer; and Finance including innovative financing. The event will conclude with a report-back segment, announcement of new commitments to action.

Caring for Climate Steering Committee members will deliver short remarks on progress and partnerships on climate change efforts – with focus on highlighting key Business Forum outcomes covering mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology – and will discuss ways to scale-up these efforts at the global and local levels.

- Mr. Wagner Siqueira, Executive Manager, Banco do Brasil - Mr. Kersten-Karl Barth, Head, Corporate Sustainability, Siemens

Interactive Discussion

Accelerating Innovation, Ambition, and Collaboration: What are the opportunities and challenges to co-delivering a low-carbon, high-resilient future?

Brief remarks by government representatives on policy priorities and action imperatives followed by a facilitated interactive discussion on ways to scale-up corporate climate action – globally and locally – in ways that support the UNFCCC agenda covering mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology.

- Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Vice Minister, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China* - Ms. Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, European Commission*

Lead Discussants

- Mr. George Hamilton, Vice President, Dow Olympic Operations, The Dow Chemical Company - Mr. Nick Robins, Head of the Climate Change Centre of Excellence, HSBC

The Collective Way Forward

- Ms. Gitte Krasilnikoff, Partner, Green Economy, Deloitte - Mr. Huang Wensheng, Director General, Secretariat of the Board of the Directors, Sinopec and Secretary-General, Global Compact Local Network China - Mr. Alexandr Ivanov, Chairman, Global Compact Network Russia, Deputy Chairman, Vnesheconombank*

Concluding Remarks

- H.E. Marcin Korolec, COP19/CMP9 President - H.E. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal Otalora, Minister of Environment, Peru - Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC - H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

For more information click here

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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