Climate change: more ambitious targets at national and international level but also in the private sector

The science shows temperatures are in record-breaking territory, greenhouse gas levels are mounting, sea level is rising, and natural disasters are getting much worse. The success of the Paris Agreement as well as the chance to tackle climate change depends on how aggressively countries and non-party stakeholders, including the private sector, implement ambitious and effective actions in line with what science tells us. To close the gap between existing country pledges and the necessary ambition level to limit global temperature increase to 1.5C°, decision-makers from both the public and private domain have started to explore a number of approaches that complement those agreed in international fora.

In the Paris Agreement, urgent action takes the form of greater “ambition.” The international community will need to focus on how to build greater ambition over time so that the gap is progressively reduced. While enhanced ambition therefore needs to build on bolder GHG emission reductions, these efforts should also be accompanied by broader actions that go beyond country-driven commitments. The November webinar addressed ambition from three different yet interdependent perspectives – multilateral, national, and private – and explored efforts to enhance ambition on climate change.

While the driver of change remains domestic leadership, multilateral processes are essential to open new windows of opportunity for engagement and further ambition. The proliferation of regional and national plans, strategies, and legislation is often the direct result of landmark international agreements. An effective and timely response to the global challenge of climate change must be necessarily multilateral to make sure that solutions are globally shared, supported and implemented at larger scale.

These were the issues of the sixth meeting of the @Youth4ClimateLive series helded on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 16:00 (Italian time).

United Nations
This year the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations reminds us that multilateralism is not an option but a necessity as we build back better for a more equal and more sustainable world. The United Nations is at the centre of this effort, and it works to mobilize political and economic energy at the highest levels to advance climate action. Specifically, agencies like UNFCCC and UNDP support domestic climate efforts while helping parties and other actors enhance respective pledges and therefore increase their ambition.

National policy ambition remains a cornerstone of global efforts to tackle climate change. Whereas the Kyoto Protocol embodied national mitigation targets for Annex-I Parties, the Paris Agreement requires all parties to put forward self-determined targets through the submission of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). As highlighted by the IPCC, first round of NDCs still falls short of pathways to ensure global temperatures do not exceed 1.5°C. For this reason, dramatic strengthening of NDCs is needed already in 2020 to ensure a chance to meet the long-term goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

Private sector
While governments have a major role to play in addressing climate change, the private sector must also be a strong partner in climate action. More and more companies, financial organizations and insurance companies are stepping up their actions to reduce their emissions and environmental footprints, and to increase capital flows towards sustainable investments, therefore playing a key role in driving the greening of the global financial system. For instance, many businesses - representing over US$3.6 trillion in market cap - are already committed to set science-based targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C so as to make their critical and necessary contribution to limiting the worst impacts of climate change.

Race To Zero
The November webinar was also held as part of The Race To Zero Campaign, chaired by Chile and United Kingdom, which provides an unprecedented global platform to ensure further mobilization from businesses, cities, regions, and investors that are committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

The event
The session covered ways how international community, governments, and private sector could:

• secure support for the main change levers and coordinated actions needed to accelerate the transformation processes that will deliver the vision for a resilient, zero emissions world;
• emphasize the need of the governments to strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement;
• address the engagement of non-Party stakeholders, particularly the private sector, for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and/or at adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Young people input
During the webinar youth speakers were asked to provide their inputs on the above topics, including by:

• providing their views on how multilateral action can contribute to effectively achieve the Paris Agreement goals;
• sharing their own experience in driving youth action and awareness on the elaboration of the Nationally Determined Contributions;
• based on the outstanding results achieved so far by the Race to Zero Campaign, describing how private sector is engaging in more climate actions and what role is possible for youth in this field.
 

High-Level Speakers
António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General (video-message);
Sergio Costa, Minister for the Environment Land and Sea, Italy;
Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of the B Team.
 

Youth Speakers
Nisreen Elsaim (Sudan), member of the UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Council on climate change and Chair of Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change.
Maximo Mazzocco (Argentina), founder of Eco House (one of the environmental organizations with the highest amounts of volunteers in Argentina), co-founder of the Climate Alliance Argentina, and UNDP Youth Leader (Generation17).
Luisa-Marie Neubauer (Germany), member of Alliance 90-The Greens and the Green Youth. She is one of the main organisers of the school strike for climate movement in Germany, where it is commonly referred to under its alternative name Fridays for Future.
 

Moderators
Salina Abraham, outgoing President of the International Forestry Students’ Association and former coordinator of the Youth in Landscapes Initiative;
Ahmed Badr, writer, multi-media artist, social entrepreneur, the Founder of Narratio and a former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment.
 

SumItUp!
For those between the age of 15 to 29 it is possible to participate in #SumItUp competition by presenting a summary of the main messages of one of the episodes.

All information available here:
https://www.reachnotpreach.com/sumitup
https://www.minambiente.it/notizie/disegna-il-clima-con-la-tua-creativita-partecipi-all-incontro-mondiale-dei-giovani-milano

Race To Zero Campaign: https://racetozero.unfccc.int

Previous episodes: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9R0MYGYsvktTHzxKY9KjGcKLIsqyjwyz

 

November 18, 2020
Driving Ambition

 Virtual event

 Time: 16:00-17:00 CEST - 10:00-11:00 am EDT 

 Type: open

 Format: discussion, italian translation available

 Description

The webinar was focused on the roles of multilateral, national and private sector actions to further enhance ambition on climate change and achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal to hold the global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

The webinar was attended by the Italian Minister for the Environment Land and Sea, Sergio Costa and the B Team CEO, Halla Tómasdóttir. The video message of the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, have also been released.

The session covered ways how international community, governments, and private sector could:

• secure support for the main change levers and coordinated actions needed to accelerate the transformation
  processes that will deliver the vision for a resilient, zero  emissions world;

• emphasize the need of the governments to strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement;

• address the engagement of non‐Party stakeholders, particularly the private sector, for mitigating
  greenhouse gas emissions and/or at adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Youth speakers were asked to provide their inputs on the above topics, including by:

• providing their views on how multilateral action can contribute to effectively achieve the Paris Agreement goals;

• sharing their own experience in driving youth action and awareness on the elaboration of the Nationally Determined Contributions;

• based on the outstanding results achieved so far by the Race to Zero Campaign, describing how private sector is
  engaging in more climate actions and what role is possible for youth in this field.

 

 Documents: Concept note

ITEM AND SPEAKERS

Moderators

Salina Abraham
Outgoing President of the International Forestry Students’ Association and former coordinator of the Youth in Landscapes Initiative.

Ahmed Badr
Writer, multi-media artist, social entrepreneur, the Founder of Narratio and a former Iraqi refugee working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment.

High-Level Speakers

Sergio Costa, Minister for the Environment Land and Sea, Italy.
He described Europe's commitment to climate change and the events of 2021, with particular emphasis on the youth event in Milan 2021.

 

Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of the B Team.
She described the action taken by the private sector to support the fight against climate change.

 

Pre-recorded video messages
António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General.
He presented the UN strategy about the fight against climate change.

 

Youth Speakers

Nisreen Elsaim (Sudan)
Member of the UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Council on climate change and Chair of Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change.

 

Màximo Mazzocco (Argentina)
Founder of Eco House, one of the environmental organizations with the highest amounts of volunteers in Argentina, co-founder of the Climate Alliance Argentina, and UNDP Youth Leader (Generation17).