COP 23 Events Highlight South-South Cooperation, Youth Action on Oceans, SDG-NDC Linkages: 17 November Highlights

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17 November 2017: Among the side events that convened on 17 November 2017, the last day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, were discussions that addressed: youth action in raising awareness about oceans, climate change and the SDGs; South-South cooperation; and linkages between the SDGs and NDCs.

A side event titled, ‘Global Talanoa for Climate Action,’ focused on: the role of youth in safeguarding oceans and promoting peace; Peace Boat, a passenger ship sailing around the world to promote harmony and sustainability; and the Ecoship project, a ship under construction that will become operational by 2020 and set sail to raise awareness about climate change and the need to implement the SDGs. Speakers described both ships as “small floating villages” fostering community-building and solid friendships. They underscored the need to “hear the voices” of ocean-dependent people, and likened people who will suffer the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change crisis to those who have suffered the impacts of nuclear weapons. The event was organized by Peace Boat.

Global partnerships are crucial for SIDS to achieve both the NDCs and SDGs, said Dzebo.

A side event titled, ‘Connections between Climate Change, Agenda 2030 and National Development Priorities— Future Directions for Small Island Developing States (SIDS),’ explored interactions between Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs, focusing on the extent to which NDCs are country-driven in a SIDS context. Adis Dzebo, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), outlined the benefits of connecting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including: the necessity of climate action for human development; putting a human face to climate action; integrating synergies and mediating tradeoffs in implementation; and increasing financial efficiency by preventing duplication of efforts. He presented an analysis of the overlap between SIDS and their NDCs, as well as the SDGs, highlighting that global partnerships are crucial for SIDS to achieve both agendas, that NDCs emphasize the interlinked nature of the SDGs, and the need to actively incorporate trade-offs in policymaking processes.

Speakers also presented research on overlap between NDCs and countries’ national development plans, and stressed the importance of consultation with civil society organizations and the private sector to achieve NDCs. While one speaker described the need to better connect the silos of the SDG and NDC processes, noting that they are both elements of countries’ development strategies, another pointed to the value of silos in terms of sector expertise and enforcing accountability, but stressed that advantages are lost if no room exists for cross-linkages. This event was organized by SEI and the German Development Institute (DIE).

Finally, a side event titled, ‘South-South Climate Cooperation to Drive Paris Agreement Implementation at National and Regional Levels,’ explored the governance, financial and technological demands that countries face in implementing the Paris Agreement. The event included examples from Central, Southeast and South Asia. Speakers highlighted: that many countries have included South-South cooperation in their NDCs; challenges, including under-developed institutions within developing countries, which restricts the ability to bring together resources and demand; the indispensable role of NGOs in global climate governance; and obstacles to energy efficiency and renewable energy, including enterprises opting out for low-investment choices, investors’ concern with operational risks and difficulty in obtaining licenses. The event was presented by Greenovation Hub, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Rock Environment and Energy Institute, and Friends of Nature.

21 November 2017, Author: Leila Mead


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