*[Enwl-eng] here is the latest news from the High-Level Champions!

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Jun 3, 2022, 11:06:23 AMJun 3
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UN Global Climate Action
24 May 2022
High Level Climate Champions
Newsletter
Africa's Race to Sustainable Development
Achieving a just, equitable transition to a healthy, resilient, zero-emission future across Africa requires multilateral collaboration across the public and private sector – with African policymakers, financiers, business leaders and civil society involved throughout. Major international events in Spain, Rwanda and Kenya in May brought many of those stakeholders together to foster that collaboration in the run-up to Africa’s COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. 

At the heart of Africa’s race to sustainable development is energy. More than 600 million people in Africa still lack basic access to affordable, reliable, clean energy. Additionally,
1.2 billion people – one in seven – lack access to cooling, which is crucial to food security, medical supplies, livelihoods and the prevention of heat-related deaths, according to Sustainable Energy for All.

Delivering clean energy to the communities can drive wider sustainable development, supporting health care, food security, education, and jobs, livelihoods and resilience to climate change impacts. 

The SEforAll Forum in Kigali brought together ministers from Africa and Asia Pacific, development financiers and the High-Level Champions, to talk about how to achieve a just and equitable energy transition and a modern energy minimum of 1 kWh per year per capita. This marked an important step turning the financial commitments made at COP26 into action in Africa and Asia, starting in 2022. That calls for de-risking project pipelines, addressing bankability, crowding-in private sector finance and supporting enabling policies and regulations. 

The summit closed with around US$347 million in commitments, including US$242 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies to accelerate the energy transition in 10 developing countries and US$50 million from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet in support for SEforAll.  

In Barcelona, the Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance was formally launched at the Green Hydrogen Global Assembly, aiming to foster collaboration on creating a sustainable enabling environment for green hydrogen development in the continent. The founding countries, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Egypt, Morocco and Mauritania are inviting other countries to join and help make Africa a frontrunner in the global market. 

Green hydrogen can rapidly decarbonize industrial sectors such as steel, chemicals, fertilizers, shipping and trucking. Many African countries are well-suited to develop green hydrogen, with strong solar and wind energy potential and large tranches of non-arable land. This could provide Africans with access to clean energy, jobs, public health benefits, domestic wealth creation and export revenues. 

COP27 High-Level Champion Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin spoke at the assembly about the need to address climate change holistically, shift from pledges to implementation, regionalize and localize the climate agenda and get finance flowing. 
Stop Burning Money
The unchecked open burning of waste in Africa is fuelling illness, premature death and climate change. The challenges of reining it in are big – but so are the opportunities for Africa, according to a report released by Engineering X and the High-Level Champions during this month’s Africities conference in Kisumu. 

Sub-Saharan Africa generated around 9% of global waste as of 2016, of which two-thirds is dropped in landfills and open dump sites. This spreads pollution into the air, water and food. 

But it doesn’t have to continue. 70-80% of the municipal solid waste generated in African cities is recyclable and could be worth US$8 billion per year in a circular economy. Addressing the structural deficiencies in waste management and promoting a circular economy will strengthen local manufacturing, create jobs, reduce unemployment, support inclusive and sustainable local and regional economies, and reduce air pollution and emissions. 

The African Union aims for African cities to recycle at least half of their waste by 2023. This requires a systemic transformation, and the report sets out recommendations for achieving it. Among them, it recommends expanding the High-Level Champions’ partnership with Engineering X by welcoming other international and regional partners into the work. 

The Champions will prioritize this work in the run-up to COP27, with an opportunity to launch a multi-partnership commitment to reduce and phase out open waste burning. 
Build with Nature
African cities are among the fastest-growing in the world - and some of the most at-risk from droughts, floods, sea level rise, cyclones, landslides, extreme heat and pollution. Water demand in African cities is projected to triple by 2030. 

This makes the shift to zero-emission, resilient and circular development crucial to Africa’s growth. Cities can adapt to the impacts of climate change, recycle much of the waste that is being burned, and reduce emissions – as long as their development is planned holistically, according to discussions at the Africities conference.

The protection, restoration and management of water and forest resources is particularly important in making cities resilient to climate change impacts and mitigating disaster risk. Smaller intermediary cities have a strong opportunity to test new development models. But this is constrained by limited access to finance, poor land management, a lack of integrated development plans and other factors. 

Africa-led initiatives are working to change that. Among those is the Catalytic Fund for Urban Water Resilience, which will launch in full at COP27 with pilot programmes in two African cities. The fund, supported by WRI and other Marrakech Partnership partners, will help jumpstart projects by providing necessary finance for technical assistance and project implementation. 

There’s also the Global Evergreening Alliance’s Restore Africa programme, which on Monday drew US$150 million of investment from Climate Asset Management. The programme aims to deliver the world’s largest-ever farmer-led carbon sequestration project, supporting 1.5 million small-scale farming households and restoring 1.9 million hectares of degraded land. The programme was jointly launched with the African Union’s African Restoration Initiative (AFR100).

The High-Level Champions are working closely with the Marrakech Partnership to ensure that summits such as the recent May Ministerial in Copenhagen result in project-ready solutions that are matched by needed financial flows. They will focus on mobilizing finance and investment, reducing reliance on debt instruments, expanding insurance coverage, and projectizing everything. 
Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week 2022: Get Involved!
The Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week 2022 (LACCW 2022) is scheduled for 19 to 22 July in Santo Domingo, hosted by the Dominican Republic. The Glasgow Climate Pact from COP26 recognizes the Regional Climate Weeks as a platform for national governments and stakeholders to strengthen the credible and durable response to climate change. LACCW 2022 will be a collaboration space for national and subnational governments, indigenous communities, the private sector and civil society to explore the resilience against climate risks, the transition to a low-emission economy and partnerships to solve pressing challenges.

Join LACCW 2022 as a side event host or show your success stories in the Action Hub by submitting your Expression of Interest before the 31 May deadline.
Spotlight on our Youth Fellows
The High-Level Champions have appointed five youth fellows to work with the team over 2022, and will spotlight one in each of the following newsletters. 

Shravani Sharma grew up watching her Indian city of Guwahati expand from a simple, quiet town to a bustling metropolis. Without realizing it, as a teen she gained first-hand understanding of inadequate urban planning, infrastructure shortfalls and transport challenges. As more Indians achieved their aspiration of owning a car, they inadvertently contributed to growing congestion, air pollution, road accidents and health problems. 

As an urban and transport planner pursuing a PhD in transport and human factors, Shravani now works to understand what drives or impedes positive behavioural change. Factors such as passions, disabilities and mental health can influence decisions to, for instance, commute by bus, foot or bike. This helps understand if transport choices have any impact on the wellbeing of citizens and capture a country’s progress beyond economic parameters.

The key, Shravani says, is to make targets inclusive and holistic, taking into account the consumer’s perspective. “After all, it is for the people and by the people that these initiatives need to be accepted and adopted to be able to tackle this common goal.”

Shravani Sharma is Transport Youth Fellow on the Champions’ team. She is earning her PhD in transport and human factors at Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick.
Keeping Up With the Champions

  • Dr. Mohieldin last week took part in the GFANZ CEO Principals Group meeting, and along with Mr. Topping in meetings with the Marrakech Partnership members and the Global Stocktake technical dialogue co-facilitators.

  • Egypt’s COP27 presidency announced it will organize a series of regional forums with the five UN Regional Commissions on the “Projectalization Climate Finance”. This will bring together public and private sector stakeholders to facilitate engagement with other partners and stakeholders to accelerate public and private investment mobilization and concrete initiatives through projects. These will correspond to the needs of each region in addressing climate change holistically and narrowing the gap in finance. The forums will be held in coordination and collaboration with the High-Level Champions. 

  • Dr. Mohieldin attended Africities and gave a press conference, which you can watch here.

  • Mr. Topping and Dr. Mohieldin convened stakeholders in the Marrakech Partnership to share updates on the current work programme and talk about COP27 priorities. 

  • The Champions’ priorities for COP27 include adopting a holistic approach to climate action, focusing on implementation, mobilizing finance at scale, setting up regional roundtables, and boosting last-mile, local delivery, they said in a statement six months before Sharm El-Sheikh.

In Case You Missed It
  • The Global Stocktake Technical Dialogue begins with meetings in June, November and June 2023, according to an information note by the co-facilitators. 45 seats will be made available for non-Party participants across three roundtables, with the High-Level Champions collaborating with the UNFCCC secretariat on the expression of interest process.

  • Renewables are the world’s ‘lifeline’ in the race against the worst impacts of climate change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, setting out five actions needed to jumpstart the energy transition. They include treating renewables as an essential public good, shifting subsidies away from fossil fuels and tripling public and private investments in renewables.

  • The world set new records on four key climate change indicators in 2021 – greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Climate report. Extreme weather led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses, wreaked a heavy toll on human lives and wellbeing, and triggered shocks for food and water security and displacement that have accentuated in 2022. 

  • Companies committed to cutting emissions in line with climate science now represent US$38 trillion of global economy, according to the Science Based Targets initiative. Almost 80% of targets approved in 2021 were aligned with 1.5°C.

For more news from across the Race to Resilience and Race to Zero community, check out climatechampions.unfccc.int.
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Jun 6, 2022, 1:11:13 PMJun 6
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UN Global Climate Action
6 June 2022
High Level Climate Champions
Newsletter
Non-State Action Heads to Bonn
The Bonn Climate Change Conference, from 6-16 June, is an opportunity to set the scene for the first real implementation COP in Sharm El-Sheikh this November. 

Achieving this – and setting the world on course to halve emissions within the 2020s, strengthening the resilience of frontline communities and scale up climate finance and support for developing countries – requires collaboration across the public and private sectors and developed and developing worlds.

The UN Climate Change High-Level Champions are working with businesses, investors, cities and regions and civil society to strengthen and accelerate action – both to build resilience and cut emissions within the 2020s, in line with the latest science.

The private sector and local governments are already taking action to address the climate losses and damages faced by at-risk communities; improve best practices for emission reductions and accountability; mobilize finance to emerging markets and developing economies; and contribute to the Global Stocktake process culminating in 2023. 

But it’s still not enough. This is why multilateral collaboration across national governments, businesses, investors, cities and regions is necessary to drive increasing ambition and action. 

To further enhance this collaboration in the run-up to COP27, the Champions are hosting a series of events at the Bonn Intersessional (full programme here). It includes stakeholder engagement workshops with the Marrakech Partnership and the Camda community of analysts and the following lunch sessions reporting back to Parties and participants of the conference on the Champions’ main activities:

  • High-Level Champions Update: Resilience and Action After Impacts, under the Race to Resilience campaign – on Tue, 7 June, 1:15-2:45pm. The High-Level Champions, frontline communities and other non-State actors will report on how they are responding to the Glasgow Climate Pact’s call for NGOs and the private sector to help address loss and damage.

  • High-Level Champions Update: Taking Stock of Non-State Action Progress, including an update on the annual revision of the Race to Zero campaign’s criteria and accountability mechanism – on Wed, 8 June, 1:15-2:45pm. The High-Level Champions and collaborators, will demonstrate how they will contribute to areas of Global Stocktake's Technical Dialogue, to help inform the enhancement of climate action and international cooperation, including the update of Nationally Determined Contributions. 
Technical Dialogue on the First Global Stocktake
The first meeting of the Global Stocktake's technical dialogue is going to take place from 9-14 June 2022 where there will be an unprecedented proportion of non-Party stakeholders engaging directly with Parties to develop a shared understanding of the latest information on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and progress towards the purpose and its long-term goals, based on the best available scientific information. 45 seats have been made available for non-Party participants across three roundtables, with the High-Level Champions collaborating with the UNFCCC secretariat on the expression of interest process on helping to identify the most appropriate and impactful stakeholders to contribute. 

The co-facilitators will conduct the first meeting of the technical dialogue in multiple formats, including two plenary sessions, three roundtables, and a World Cafe. The plenary sessions and roundtables will be open for all accredited participants to attend and listen to the discussions and will also be broadcasted online to ensure all interested audience will be able to follow the discussions via live streaming.
Ocean and Climate Dialogue in Bonn
The Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue 2022, taking place during the intersessional, charts ways to strengthen ocean-based action on climate change informed by the best available science and knowledge. 
The annual dialogues build on the activities of other workstreams under the UNFCCC, providing a space for coordination and collective efforts to embed the ocean further into national and global climate action. The dialogue spotlights the ocean as a space with huge untapped potential for adaptation and mitigation action, emphasises the need to protect the ocean and marine ecosystems, and discusses pathways to increase the adaptive capacity and resilience of communities dependent on the ocean.

The dialogue, on 15 June at 15:00 CEST in the Chamber Hall of the World Conference Centre Bonn, will explore two topics: "strengthening and integrating national ocean climate action under the Paris Agreement" and "enabling ocean climate solutions and optimising institutional connections”.

Non-Party stakeholders are warmly invited to attend the dialogue and contribute to efforts to link ocean and climate action. The event will be publicly webcast and engagement with panellists and attendees will be possible using Mentimeter. If you are a registered attendee of the SBs, you can come in person. More information on the ocean workstream under the UNFCCC can be found here, and the latest research needs and directions on the ocean and cryosphere will be discussed in the Research Dialogue.

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UN Global Climate Action
15 June 2022
High Level Climate Champions
Newsletter
Non-State Actors Prepare for
the Global Stocktake
Plenary Bonn SB56
Climate action from businesses, investors, cities and regions can dramatically scale up government ambition ahead of COP27 – as demonstrated by the High-Level Champions’ programme of events at the Bonn Climate Conference this month.
 
The Champions convened their first public dialogue with businesses, investors, cities, regions and national governments to talk about the breadth of work underway in the real economy. It set the stage for the Global Stocktake’s first technical dialogue in Bonn from 9-14 June. Data and analytical experts spoke to governments about the metrics and information they would like to see from non-State actors to help inform the Stocktake, as well as the enhancement of Nationally Determined Contributions.

The Champions will work with the Marrakech Partnership and broader community to feed into the Stocktake, offering solutions to challenges faced by governments in particular by highlighting sectoral progress towards the Glasgow Breakthroughs.

“We welcome ideas on how we can best exercise our mandate to help ensure that non-State actors meaningfully contribute to the Global Stocktake and so support governments in implementing the Paris Agreement,” said COP26 High-Level Champion Nigel Topping.

COP27 High-Level Champion Mahmoud Mohieldin added, “We are hearing repeated requests from non-State actors to ensure that the Global Stocktake must be forward-looking and solutions-oriented, generating clear signals for domestic policymakers to help close the 2030 ambition gap and driven by reliable data essential for effective climate action.”

The Global Stocktake is a two-year assessment of progress towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals, concluding at COP28 in 2023. It’s crucial in ensuring the accountability of climate commitments from businesses, investors, cities and regions. The first technical dialogue was designed by the co-facilitators using innovative formats, working with the UNFCCC secretariat and High-Level Champions to bring in an unprecedented proportion of non-State actors engaging with technical experts from national governments.

However, many still seek to effectively engage with the process, how their progress can be taken into account, or how their actions can help achieve NDCs, according to CDP’s new brief on the Global Stocktake. Some 14,000 companies are now disclosing their carbon impact through CDP, and 10,000 companies, investors, cities and regions have joined the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign.
 
This shows both the progress afoot and the importance of ensuring that non-State actors take part to make it a truly global and cross-economy stocktake.
Action on Losses and Damages
The Champions also initiated a dialogue on addressing losses and damages from climate change impacts during the Bonn Climate Conference, with an event in which people from the frontlines explored how businesses, investors, cities and regions can boost action.

“As the climate crisis escalates people are losing their lives, people are losing their livelihoods, people are losing their cultures – so there is really a need to put the people on the agenda,” Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate said.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced at the sessions that Scotland will host a global conference on climate losses and damages later this year, and unveiled new initiatives including to address post-disaster relief in Malawi and research to further understand how to address losses and damages. This comes after Scotland pledged £2 million to address losses and damages during COP26.

“At [COP27], we still need to see developed countries stepping up – and showing a much greater commitment to address loss and damage,” Nicola Sturgeon said. “However, action from devolved, state and regional governments – as well as civil society – will also be vital, in driving progress.”

This followed two workshops held by the Champions in May to facilitate an open discussion on scaling up concrete action by businesses, investors, cities and regions to address climate losses and damages.

The workshops had three objectives: 1) share best practices and challenges on how non-Party stakeholders can advance and scale-up action on climate losses and damages; 2) discover how to elevate and amplify what non-Party stakeholders are already doing on climate losses and damages; 3) identify how the Champions and Marrakech Partnership can meaningfully advance this issue.

The workshops had around 110 participants from 25 countries, including Marrakech Partnership stakeholders. Voices from communities on the frontline from developing countries demonstrated the urgency for action. These workshops have started a critical part of the Champions’ work this year to identify action after impacts by businesses, investors, cities and regions. It will continue during the UNFCCC Regional Climate Weeks, New York Climate Week and COP 27.
Spotlight on our Youth Fellows
The High-Level Champions have appointed eight youth fellows to work with the team over 2022, and will spotlight one in each of the following newsletters.

Working on the Champions’ resilience team, Lamia Mohsin often thinks back to the words of a 33-year-old Bangladeshi housewife, Maloti, she recently met who had just lost her home to a cyclone.
“We have made our peace with the fact that the forces of nature may turn against us anytime, and yet we want to survive; live our lives to the fullest. To Maloti, the word ‘development’ referred to the certainty of food and basic needs.

In Lamia’s home country of Bangladesh, the climate impacts reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been a daily reality for at least a decade – rising sea levels, increased salinity, droughts, floods, stronger cyclones. Adaptation and resilience is a lifeline.

The Race to Resilience therefore needs to call on businesses, investors, cities and regions to do more and deliver on their promises, Lamia says.

Meanwhile, the Race to Zero must deliver on climate mitigation where the Glasgow Pact fell short – pushing all actors to decarbonize and promote green jobs and sustainable economies, she says. And the COP27 must show concrete action on adaptation, mitigation and finance – including boosting the finance for adaptation to equal mitigation.
Keeping Up With The Champions
  • Both Champions took part in the Marrakech Partnership workshop in Bonn, talking about how to supercharge the implementation of Climate Action Pathways. Nigel Topping asked stakeholders what they can bring to the table between now and COP27 and how they can step up to deliver on the Champions’ 2030 Breakthroughs.



  • Mahmoud Mohieldin took part in a roundtable discussion with the Federation of Banks and Industries in Egypt and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin attended the introductory meeting of the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition, launched by UNIDO and SDSN last September. This Council will constitute a global, high level body of engineers and energy systems experts to contribute to the UN Secretary-General's call to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin participated in the Islamic Development Bank Annual Meetings in Sharm El-Sheikh and delivered a keynote speech at a session titled “The Road to COP27: Transitioning to a Green Economy” alongside COP27 President Sameh Shokry and Dr. Hala El Said of Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin took part in the launch of the African Business Leaders Coalition on 31 May.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin met with German and Egyptian private sector leaders in Egypt to tell them about their role in the global climate action over a dinner hosted by the German Chamber of Commerce on 29 May.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin took part in a roundtable on the sidelines of the Bonn conference with climate finance policymakers and the private sector to discuss the engagement of the private sector to accelerate climate action through UNFCCC finance activities. 
In Case You Missed It
  • Queen Elizabeth awarded Nigel Topping and Chile’s COP25 Champion Gonzalo Muñoz the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for services to tackling climate change.


  • The 2021 UN Climate Change Annual Report is out, highlighting the work undertaken by the secretariat during the difficult circumstances of the pandemic and explaining the outcomes of COP26 in Glasgow, which set the scene for full Paris Agreement implementation.

  • The number of national net zero targets set in legislation or policies has surged to 65% of total greenhouse gas emission coverage, from just 10% in December 2020, according to the Net Zero Stocktake 2022. The increase and strengthening of national commitments adds pressure on the companies, regions and cities that have yet to pledge to reach net zero.

  • Net-zero targets by 25 major global companies aim to reduce aggregate emissions by 40% at most, not 100% as suggested by the term “net-zero”, according to the NewClimate Institute. Only three companies – Maersk, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom – clearly commit to cut over 90% of emissions from their full value chains.

  • More than one-third, or 702, of the world’s largest publicly traded companies have net-zero targets, up from 417 in December 2020. However, 65% of those corporate targets do not yet meet minimum procedural reporting standards, according to the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit’s latest Net Zero Tracker.

  • Accelerated action on energy efficiency can help avoid around 95 EJ of final energy demand in 2030 compared to existing policies and measures, according to the International Energy Agency.

  • WBCSD sets out three practical action priorities that businesses and other stakeholders can take to quickly improve sustainability across the value chains in sectors such as mobility, buildings, fashion and textiles, food and agriculture, and travel and tourism.

  • G7 climate and environment ministers confirmed their commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and align international financing with Paris Agreement goals. 

  • Project developers, communities and governments can generate 90 million tonnes of verified emission reductions per year, and over 800 million tonnes by 2030, by following Everland’s new Forest Plan. It aims to facilitate the development of up to 75 forest conservation projects.

  • Climate change exacerbates social, environmental and economic risks for mental health and psychological wellbeing, but there is still a gap in the availability of mental health systems in many countries, according to the World Health Organization’s new policy brief.

  • The Global Center on Adaptation is accepting applications for its Local Adaptation Champions Awards by 11 July. The awards spotlight innovative, exemplary, inspiring, and scalable locally-led efforts.

For more news from across the Race to Resilience and Race to Zero community, check out climatechampions.unfccc.int.
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UN Global Climate Action
22 June 2022
High Level Climate Champions
Newsletter
Version française disponible plus bas
Africa Climate Week 2022
Expression of Interest Opens
The Africa Climate Week 2022 (ACW 2022) is scheduled for 29 August to 1 September in Libreville, hosted by the Government of Gabon.

The organizing partners of Africa Climate Week 2022 are now accepting applications from organizations interested in hosting side events and sharing climate action experiences and success stories in the Action Hub. Applications are due by 30 June.

Visit the ACW 2022 Expression of Interest (EOI) site to learn more about engagement opportunities and how to join.

The Regional Climate Weeks are a collaboration platform for national and subnational governments, regions, cities, indigenous communities, the private sector and civil society. Climate Weeks open an opportunity to carry the Glasgow Pact forward and accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Semaine africaine du climat 2022:
Manifestez votre intérêt
La Semaine africaine du climat 2022 (ACW 2022) se déroulera du 29 août au 1er septembre à Libreville, accueillie par le gouvernement du Gabon.

Les partenaires organisateurs de la Semaine africaine du climat 2022 acceptent désormais les candidatures d'agences qui souhaitent convier un événement parallèle et partager leurs expériences d'action climatique dans le programme de l'Action Hub. Les candidatures doivent être déposées au plus tard le 30 juin.

Visitez la page dédiée aux manifestations d'intérêt pour ACW 2022 pour plus d'informations sur les possibilités d'engagement et comment s'y inscrire.

Les Semaines régionales sur le climat sont des plateformes de collaboration pour les gouvernements nationaux et infranationaux, les régions, les villes, les communautés autochtones, le secteur privé et la société civile. Les semaines du climat sont l'occasion de faire avancer le Pacte de Glasgow et d'accélérer la mise en œuvre de l'Accord de Paris. 
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Jun 29, 2022, 10:20:30 AMJun 29
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UN Global Climate Action
29 June 2022
High Level Climate Champions
Newsletter
The Nature-Positive Race To Zero
Our relationship with nature will make or break the race to a resilient zero-emission future.
 
The faster we degrade and lose biodiversity, the worst climate change, and the food crisis, will grow. The sooner we act to protect, conserve, sustainably use and regenerate nature within the 2020s, the stronger our chances of reaching net zero emissions before 2050 and becoming resilient to impacts we can’t hold back.

Yet, the majority of businesses and investors have yet to adequately tackle their impact on deforestation and nature.

Even in the food, land and agriculture sector, which relies heavily on nature for its business, most big businesses are lagging behind, according to an analysis commissioned by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and partners and released today.
 
It finds that out of 148 major food, land and agriculture companies committed to net zero emissions by 2050, only nine – or 6% – are making strong progress to end deforestation. Over 90% risk missing their net-zero commitments because of a lack of action on deforestation. Those making strong progress include Race to Zero members Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars and Colgate-Palmolive and Suzano.
 
Leadership in finance is similarly slim, although we expect it to grow before COP27. Only 33 financial institutions, out of 500-plus members of the UN-backed Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, have committed to tackle the deforestation driven by agricultural commodities in their portfolios by 2025. This will significantly boost their commitment to halve emissions between 2020 and 2030 en route to net zero before 2050, and more should be joining soon.
 
The Climate Champions and partners are hosting a high-level London Climate Action Week event – Nature Positive for a Net Zero Future, today, 29 June, from 9:00-11:30 BST. The event features business and investment leaders including Peter Harrison, CEO of Schroders, indigenous advocate Txai Suruí, and Jose Pugas, partner and head of ESG at Brazil’s JGP. You can register to watch it online here
 
The challenge of driving a nature-positive economy may be significant, but so are the economic opportunities: worth around US$10.1 trillion per year and 395 million jobs by 2030, according to the World Economic Forum.

We will therefore be working with partners across the private sector, civil society and governments to raise understanding of the benefits of nature-positive and kick-start action this year.
RaceTo Zero Raises The Bar
Nature takes centre stage in the Race to Zero campaign’s updated criteria, following an international consultation with over 200 experts and civil society groups. The annual review is designed to ensure that commitments made under the Race to Zero by businesses, investors, cities and regions are robust and credible, and based on the latest science.
 
The campaign requires, firstly, that members pledge to reach (net) zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest – recognizing that this requires a phase down and out of all unabated fossil fuels as part of a just transition.
 
The targets must include all direct and indirect emissions, all territorial emissions for cities and regions, all portfolio/ financed/ facilitated/ insured emissions for financial entities, and all land-based emissions.
 
Starting pledges must include a goal to halt deforestation and protect biodiversity, making activities and finance consistent with climate-resilient development. They must also include sectoral targets in line with, or more ambitious than, the Race to Zero’s 2030 Breakthroughs; set twin targets for the reduction and removal of emissions; and set targets to reduce methane by at least 34% by 2030 and cut other short-lived greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Members have a year from when they join to publicly disclose a plan for meeting all the Race to Zero criteria, including work undertaken within the first one to three years and by 2030. These should include the conservation and sustainable use of nature; support a just transition for communities affected by climate impacts and the shift to zero emissions; and empower stakeholders to achieve their own targets. Members should report their progress publicly at least every year through the UNFCCC Global Climate Action Portal.
 
A new criterion also calls on members to, within a year of joining, align their lobbying and advocacy work, including through membership associations, with the Race to Zero goals. 
The Finance Blue Print for Net Zero
The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero this month released guidance to help financial firms set actional transition plans to halve emissions within the 2020s and reach net zero emissions before 2050 – recognizing the links between climate change and nature loss.

It sets out four approaches that financial institutions should take to support the shift to net-zero: 1) Finance the development and scaling of net-zero technologies and services to replace high-emitting sources; 2) Increase support for companies aligned with a 1.5C temperature limit; 3) Enable high- and low-emitting companies to align their business with a 1.5C pathway; 4) Accelerate the managed phaseout of high-emitting assets through early retirement.

The guidance also provides good practices for deforestation policies in the finance sector. Steps include setting a clear, overarching goal on deforestation; a description of the type of company asset, project and/or activity the policy applies to; criteria or conditions for products and services covered by the policy; and a science-based timeline.

GFANZ now includes over 500 financial firms with more than US$135 trillion in assets committed to net zero by 2050, covering 45 countries and 40% of global private financial assets.
A direct and compelling headline
The Bonn Climate Change Conference closed after two weeks of intensive work on issues and preparation for the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. This was the first opportunity for all Parties to the UNFCCC to meet since COP26 at Glasgow.
 
One major topic during the meeting was the first technical dialogue of the Global Stocktake, where Parties and non-Party stakeholders discussed collective progress on the Paris Agreement's goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C through various roundtables. The co-facilitators organized a “World Café”, where Parties and non-Party stakeholders gathered to explore topics across the scope of the Global Stocktake at small tables.
 
Ahead of the second dialogue to be held at COP27, Parties and non-Party stakeholders are encouraged to hold events at the local, national, regional and international level in support of the Global Stocktake.
 
The High-Level Champions actively engaged with the conference, including convening events on the Global Stocktake and on resilience and action after impacts. They met with Party groups such as the G77 and China, the African Group, the Least Developed Countries, the Alliance of Small Island States, the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European Union to listen and gather feedback on their plans ahead of COP27, as well as Marrakech Partnership stakeholders and other non-Party stakeholders.
 
The UNFCCC also held the first annual Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue during the conference, highlighting the importance of oceans to livelihoods and biodiversity and the need for more ocean-related climate action. UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined four recommendations to protect and preserve oceans: invest in sustainable ocean economies, replicate ocean success, protect the people, and provide more science and innovation.
Keeping Up With The Champions


  • At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda, Nigel Topping and the Champions’ Africa Director Bogolo Joy Kenewendo discussed financing the 2030 Breakthroughs.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin made clear that food, energy, finance and the climate crisis must be tackled together, not as trade-offs, and that 70% of the population relies on food that is jeopardized by climate change, during a UNESCO meeting.

  • Nigel Topping attended the UN Save Our Oceans conference – barefoot on the beach – and judged the Youth and Innovation ‘innovathon’ competition.


  • Watch Mahmoud Mohieldin talk about financing sustainable peace and development in the face of cascading risks at the Aswan Forum.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin spoke at the Voice of Africa conference, noting that reducing emissions through green buildings comes with a US$24.7 trillion investment opportunity for emerging markets, and that renewables are already the main source of power in 22 African countries.

  • Mahmoud Mohieldin discussed the “Roadmap to Africa’s COP27: A Pragmatic Path to #NetZeroNow” at the Africa CEO Forum, saying COP27 is an opportunity for Africa to balance the need to combat climate change with the urgency to economically prosper in order to alleviate food insecurity and poverty, as well as achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In Case You Missed It
  • The Africa Climate Week 2022 organizing partners are now accepting applications to host side events and action hub sessions, due by 30 June. Africa Climate Week takes place in Gabon from 29 August to 1 September, where side events and action hub sessions will provide platforms from which to share climate action experiences and success stories.  


  • Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, has been appointed Acting Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, until Patricia Espinosa’s successor is named.

  • COP27 will showcase a number of models of innovation projects implemented by Egyptian universities, Egypt’s environment ministry has said, pointing to the importance of science in reducing the impacts of climate change.

  • The Egyptian government is supporting work to more than halve the plastic content and carbon emissions in packing and single-use items using calcium carbonate, after signing a memorandum of understanding with sustainable innovation company Okeanos Egypt.

  • A coalition led by WRI and the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund will leverage US$5 billion to implement projects that invest in water resilience projects in 100 African cities by 2032.

  • The share of renewables in the global final energy consumption has stagnated, despite a record increase in global installed renewable power capacity, record investment in renewables, and solar and wind power providing more than 10% of the world's electricity for the first time, according to REN21’s Renewables 2022 Global Status Report. The share of renewables only rose from 8.7% in 2009 to 11.7% in 2019.

  • Global stock markets are financing companies sitting on three times more coal, oil and gas reserves than can be burned without breaking the 1.5°C Paris climate target, according to Carbon Tracker.

  • The World Health Organization and UK launched a health and climate change platform to bring together government institutions that signed on to the COP26 Health Programme.

For the latest news and insight from around our community, visit climatechampions.unfccc.int.

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