Day 6 at COP22
Today, COP22 was on the topic of education. This week is supposed to be more political because of more high level events (including negotiations by global leaders). Though there were many side events on other topics like the rural communities, indigenous people issues, etc. the prime focus remained on the research, education and technologies. So indeed, it was a long day full of many interesting things. The first thing I visited were the exhibits from various organisations working on different aspects of climate change like the climate storage capture to the virtual reality tools for showing forecast of carbon emissions and climate changes. Then I ended up in the countries’ pavilion where I mostly saw the presence of UAE (unexpected, but obviously considered as they are soon going to run out of fossil fuels for sure) and the most important point they mentioned was about their ministry’s investment in sustainability like the initiative of the solar park. You can check their initiatives here. The other countries I saw was Malaysia, and India, which had really good initiatives like Forest City and Smart city, respectively. France (unfortunately everything there was going on in French) had some good very good field action science reports on the decentralized and rural electrification.
After this,I went to the climate tracker meeting, which consists of really cool young people who give updates about the events a day before and day to come. They notified about very important things that I would like to share (which you can read more as some facts): (1)Global carbon budget evaluation is out now and the carbon emissions has stalled for the third year running. (2) Also, China gave a statement that they are going to be the global leader for climate change as US falls out and they declared it in a coalition event of China, Brazil, and South America. (3)There were some questions about different type of funding for investment in climate change: “How the balance in private and public equity will be?” (4) On similar lines, in terms of climate change, 2017 is believed to be the year of finance and 2018 a major decider for global stocks
Next I attended an event by imperial college London’s Grantham institute, which researches on investment and risks for climate change in a new concept called Green bank. These green banks do majorly two things: invest in the activities which are green like sustainability innovation ideas, or second, reshape the setup institutions to accommodate for the new financial green market. This was a very well received concept in developing countries like China where the government showed interest in starting their own green bank. You can check more about green banks here. There were questions raised about the biomass and the skepticism about why it is involved in the policies of green bank (BioCCS). The speakers replied that they understand the debate and they will accept it only if they are burnt on the marginal lands. They are also looking into mainly other solutions and not just biofuels. “There is no way it (biofuels) is going to happen from investment point of view” one of the speakers said, boldly
Then, I attended the event at the Indian pavilion on women entrepreneurs in renewable energy. This was a milestone event as the UNWomen and the renewable energy ministry of India signed an agreement to promote more women entrepreneurs in India. This event not just talked about this specific agreement but also the investment of India in renewable energy sector. I would like to mention some interesting facts that I listened. These facts are also from a small event I attended later in the the evening for Indian pavilion, which had the main speaker as the Minister of environment of India, Mr. Anil Madhav Dave.(1) India and developing countries in general need to focus in tropical region on 3 things: Economies of scale, Solar power, and Self Help. (2) 600,000 LEDs have been provided in households in India, dropping the price (3) It targets to electrify 650,000 villages (350,000 more) by 2018, and many more…
Then after a pure vegan (and delicious) lunch (after a very very long queue), I ended up in other side event which was hosted byAbibimman foundation, climate initiative, and CoLab of MIT. This event talked about various different topics but majorly showed the new different types of tools coming up for tackling climate change. CoLab talked about their various competitions where 1000s of communities are participating to bring a solution. Abibimman foundation talked about their technology (a device) in Ghana which prevents the people getting affected by the pollution produced in domestic areas due to the smoke of stoves. 4.5 million people die due to this type of pollution every year. Finally climate interactive showed their technology which lets people generate scenario for climate change and see the results.
For half an hour gap in between I bumped in a press conference hall where the business leaders talked about their take on climate change. This was quite interesting looking at the combination of companies like Bosch.They all promised their interests in sustainability and how they are giving their best to reduce their own carbon emissions. One of their means was minimizing their energy consumption. Frankly, it felt like they were present there because they had to be there. So nothing interesting I got from here. Still you can check the 30 minutes press conference here.
Finally I ended up in the IPCC conference on "what is next? After 1.5 degree target”. Here the IPCC vice chair was present who told the process of how the various scientific reports of 1.5 degree target was made and negotiated with the governments. That was a rather long discussion! But definitely helpful and informative considering a policy analysis background.
All in all, the day was way too fruitful than expected. Looking forward for tomorrow which would be focused over gender related discussions. Good night folks, my dinner is here :D
PS: For the photos, I would ask you to follow @energyclubtudelft and @tudelft on instagram! ;)
Day 7 at COP22
Today the day was a amalgam of different types of events. The events for me started with a plenary meeting on the report on the Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts. Next were the exhibits area that I couldn’t see yesterday that I ended up in. I visited Korean, Indonesian, USA, Brazil and Pakistan pavilion. Then, was the time for an event on the “Urban development as the catalyst for the climate change”. The other event that happened in the afternoon was a highly policy-oriented event which focused on how the parties can write their technical analysis reports. A small visually appealing event I attended was by NASA which discussed how satellite imaging can help in gathering information for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Then was a science policy event which discussed how science and policies are interacting for easier implementation of solutions. Finally, I attended the event on Woody Biomass Energy to understand the controversy around it. And then I headed for a dinner in the center with my co-observer delegates from YES-DC!(they are cool! check them out on their website: http://www.yes-dc.org/)
To start with the plenary meeting, it was like a general assembly and more of a high level segment meeting. It discussed the report of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts. This was related to the funding from the Global Climate Fund by parties to the developing countries in case of loss and damage. The discussion bodies were Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). They talked about need of a comprehensive gender and climate action plan, and mentioned about further assessment in the Paris in May 2017.
There were some awesome tools I found at German Development Institute’s exhibit and USA center exhibit. First one is called the NDC explorer with future forecasts and present scenario due to strategies of climate change adaptation, mitigation, finance & support and planning process. The second one by NASA can be found on their climate website which imposes satellite images on the maps to depict the changes over time from 6000 meteorological stations in terms of sea temperature rise, Carbon di-oxide emissions, and further changes. I wanted to attend the pacific islands: information management event which cancelled, but I am sure it would have been fun for data science enthusiasts!
RECNET and RESURBE held their event on urban development as catalysts and discussed that highly developed countries do not mention a lot about the urban content, while developing countries mention it in depth (not so good news!). They discussed over carbon trade systems, funding for working unions, retrofitting buildings, participatory involvement, fiscal policy (which is light on land, heavy on building and this needs to be reshaped). This event also had Sweden ministry of environment, who talked about integrated approach, requirement of local leaders required, gender equality, housing and infrastructure. WMO (World meteorological Organisation) talked about their models on hazard mapping in static and dynamic risk domains like floods to UV radiation forecasts in the cities. The interesting part was that they are able to study emissions tracing back to the sources via atmospheric monitoring using wind patterns mapped over cities. This helps urban decision makers monitor the right sources and thus help planning of cities better. There was also the mention of shared economies, autonomous vehicles and leading technologies like IOT and their role in the transition of cities.
International Consultation and Analysis (the high end policy oriented event) by FSV was a technical analysis session specifically meant for parties, and this included many high words that I would need another full post to explain. So, maybe another time ;)
Science policy event was held by ICLEI, Carbonn, WBGU and they talked about the need of managing the vertical integration between all levels of government as necessary because of the integration approach on adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development needed for local, regional and national level. Sweden, Canada, Denmark, and Fiji was present in this event. "Canada is back" was the first statement mentioned by the delegate and he talked about the research from University of Alberta & Alberta climate dialogue where citizen panel from different demographics and occupations was set up. These people were put in a room for 6 consecutive sessions and they helped translate science into layman language. Though they were divided on their opinions in the sources of climate change, they had consensus on the idea about the transition. City administration found it useful to convince people. Public took it more seriously. This helped transition from very ambitious things to more basic ideas which locals can relate to. Taiwan shared their ecomobility concept. The discussion ended with again mention about the digital revolution.
Finally, the discussion over woody biomass energy was what I attended. This was a highly controversial discussion. It was claimed that this is a cheaper, faster and easier path for developing countries. It was mentioned that the idea behind this is to stick to “not let anyone behind” which included the poor sections of world who relied on biomass for fuel everyday. Bioenergy is said to be the only renewable energy, where the term renewable is taken literally unlike solar, wind, wave, etc. A new improved value chain for charcoal was presented and then the idea of biomass charcoal was also shown, which is actually smokeless fuel for household. Coming to the controversy, about loss of biodiversity due to heavy plantations and non-clumping bamboo, the answer was that a proper landscape planning is done before this plantation is done. It was promised that 10 hectares of land can support 1600 households i.e. 14000Kwh/ hectare, but the problem of efficiency was disregarded.
Btw, some of the news I heard: (1) International Solar Alliance (ISA) corpus fund investment is done (Yaay!) which aims at development and deployment of solar energy and it is the first International and Inter-Governmental Organisation of 121 Countries to have Headquarters in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner. (2) WMO support established for the UN Urban Agenda. (3) ICRAF and INBAR MOU signed for production in bamboo biomass energy (I was not that happy about this one!)
Finally because I heard this quote a lot, I would like to say this “Cost of inaction is much higher than action for climate change!” So it is now or never!
See you tomorrow, folks! It is going to be exciting day again :D