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

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Mar 31, 2023, 10:31:09 AMMar 31
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UN Global Climate Action
29 March 2023
High-Level Champions'
Knowledge is power: New data tools track net zero progress
The Race to Zero has launched its Data Explorer. Developed by Climate Arc, and powered by CDP data, it shows the progress of the largest 500 Race to Zero member companies by revenue. It is a critical first step to enhancing transparency on net zero commitments. Read more about the Data Explorer here and support us in our goal to halve emissions by 2030 by promoting and sharing this tool with your networks.
Race to Zero partner, the SME Climate Hub has also launched a free reporting tool. Developed specifically for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) the tool helps summarize SMEs’ annual greenhouse gas emissions, actions taken to reduce emissions and provides an opportunity to report on climate solutions.
The SME Climate Hub is a non-profit global initiative that empowers small to medium sized companies to take climate action and build resilient businesses for the future. As part of its Climate Commitment, businesses are required to disclose their progress towards net zero on a yearly basis.
Likewise, the Race to Resilience has launched an improved tool to help support the campaign’s mission to increase the resilience of four billion people living in vulnerable communities. The Data Explorer provides information on the efforts made by the Campaign’s partner organizations to increase the resilience of individuals, businesses, territories and natural systems. The actions implemented by partners are organized as per the impact systems of the Sharm-el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda launched at COP27. The Data Explorer is primarily intended for non-State actors who are collaborating with the Race to Resilience partners to report their climate resilience actions and quantify and validate their impact under a common framework. However, the information provided on the platform can also be useful to anyone interested in understanding the progress of the campaign.

Water tight solutions: Outcomes from the UN 2023 Water Conference
More than 50 leading global companies united to make unprecedented collective commitment to SDG 6 at the recent UN 2023 Water Conference. During the opening day of the Conference held for the first time in 46 years, over 50 of the world’s largest corporations, operating in over 130 countries and employing 2 million people worldwide, launched the Business Leaders’ Open Call for Accelerating Water Action.
The Open Call for Water Action is an unprecedented appeal for private sector action to help solve the global water crisis and advance progress on SDG 6 to ensure access to water and sanitation for all. The Open Call provides a unified commitment by the corporate sector to the Water Action Agenda, the main outcome of the historic UN Water Conference.

By joining the Open Call for Water Action, companies commit to work to build water resilience across their own global operations and supply chains. They also pledge to work collaboratively across sectors to achieve collective positive water impact in at least 100 prioritized water-stressed basins by 2030. The strategy aims to contribute to water security for 3 billion people, and help enable safe drinking water and sanitation for more than 300 million people.

Water insecurity is one of the most pressing sustainability challenges of the 21st century, presenting humanitarian, environmental, and economic concerns. More than 2 billion people lack safe drinking water; a 40 percent water deficit is projected by 2030; and water-protecting ecosystems have experienced rapid destruction. Climate change continues to significantly intensify these risks, adding further urgency to act. CDP estimates that some USD 300 billion of business value is at risk due to water scarcity, pollution, and climate change.

Find out more about the Champions’ work on water here
All hands on deck ahead of crucial IMO meeting
The United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has concluded its latest round of talks ahead of July’s critical Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 80) which aim to decide the shipping industry’s strategy to mitigate the sector’s impact on climate change.

During the meeting this week of the IMO’s Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships delegates met to discuss and finalize the draft Revised IMO Strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships.

Dr Aly Shaw, Policy Lead at shipping consultancy UMAS said This meeting marked a growing clarity on likely ambition for 2050 and also 2040, which is a positive sign for an equitable transition that requires targets aligned with limiting temperature rise to 1.5 or below. However, despite the repeated support across meetings for a just and equitable transition that leaves none behind – there is little sign of this commitment being embedded throughout the revised strategy as of yet.” 
Clean Cooking Alliance: Cooking, but not on gas  
The Clean Cooking Alliance continues to transform markets, shape policies, and increase access to clean cooking for the billions of people around the world who still live without it according to its 2022 Annual Report. Clean cooking companies received a record US $200 million in investment, marking 2022 as a breakout year for the sector.

Read more on the work of the Champions’ Clean Cooking Breakthrough here.
“What’s Everyone Waiting For?”: The release of the IPCC’s Synthesis Report:
As the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) details, humans are responsible for virtually all global heating over the last 200 years, the rate of temperature rise in the last half century is the highest in 2,000 years and concentrations of carbon dioxide are at their highest in at least 2 million years. However, the report also concludes that remaining within the 1.5°C limit is achievable if we’re ALL prepared to take a quantum leap in climate action. In response to the IPCC report, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell has laid out 3 steps to course correct on climate change.

Read our interview with Paulina Aldunce, lead author of the IPCC’s Working Group II in which she says, “ Sadly, the evidence scientists provide, and the urgency we communicate, isn’t always reflected in action. And this is frustrating. What is everyone waiting for?”

The High-Level Champions also responded to the report by saying:

Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion of the COP 27 Presidency:

“ The IPCC’s latest report once again serves as a powerful reminder that if we race at speed towards a 1.5°C resilient world, while also ensuring a just transition and implementing SDGs, we will be welcomed at the finish line by a fairer and more sustainable future. We have every reason to believe that this is possible.

Initiatives, including the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda are well on the way to making millions of vulnerable people more resilient by 2030. We must move forward today with urgency in order to make the transition more affordable by unleashing just climate finance at scale while ensuring access to it by developing countries. The Regional Finance Forums on Climate Initiatives to Finance Climate Action and the SDGs “ contribute to this goal through catalyzing investment in climate projects.

Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion of the COP 28 Presidency:

"All of us alive today have the privilege of being responsible for the protection of future life on Earth. If we choose to ignore this fact, our world of beautiful abundance could soon become a danger zone.

Nature is our ally in this battle, a non-negotiable part of the solution to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and help protect us from even graver impacts of a warming world.

The world’s oceans, plants, animals and soils have absorbed over half of humanity’s emissions in the past decade alone and will continue to do so if they are protected and restored. The IPCC has made it clear: the power is in our hands.”
Join the final meeting of the Global Stocktake technical dialogue!
The Global Stocktake (GST) is a top priority for COP 28 in order to align efforts on climate action and ramp up ambition and put us on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. It has been highlighted by the UNFCCC Executive Secretary as a moment of course correction towards 2030 and the COP 28 Presidency has emphasised how they will work to ensure that the world responds to the GST with a clear plan of action. For the stocktake to be a success, it needs robust input from everyone.

In the lead up to COP 28 and as part of the final stage of technical assessment component of the GST, the UN Climate Change secretariat has launched an Expression of Interest process in collaboration with the High-Level Champions to assist the co-facilitators in inviting cities, subnational regions, businesses, investors and civil society to the third and final meeting of the technical dialogue (TD1.3) taking place during the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2023.

Further information and the detailed design of TD1.3 will be shared in due course in an information note from the co-facilitators taking into account the guidance received from Parties, summary of the second meeting (TD1.2) discussions and inputs submitted to the GST information portal. While the design and exact numbers are still to be confirmed, approximately 60 seats will be made available for non-Party stakeholders to bring their expertise to the discussions and engage with technical experts from Party delegations.

At COP 26, Parties welcomed the improved Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action for enhancing ambition 2021-2025 from the High-Level Champions, where supporting the GST is one of the main priorities and uses the timelines of the GST process to build and plan around, and also encouraged the High-Level Champions to support the effective participation of non-Party stakeholders in the GST.

As such, the High-Level Champions strongly encourage the active participation of cities, subnational regions, businesses, investors, and civil society from all regions to highlight the opportunities for transformational climate action and support Parties in this process. To be considered for participation, please submit your expression of interest available on this webpage before Tuesday, 11 April 23:59 CEST.
Accelerating to net zero
Chile’s Water Utilities Association - Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Servicios Sanitarios A.G., (ANDESS) has joined the Race to Zero as an Accelerator. In this capacity,
the Association commits to aligning with Race to Zero’s criteria; accelerating membership; sharing knowledge and hosting events; engaging with the Race to Zero team and enhancing diversity, across regions and sectors.

ANDESS' mission is to highlight the key role the sanitation industry must play in the development goals and environmental protection of Chile. The news was welcomed by Maisa Rojas,Chile’s Environment Minister.

Similarly, sustainability consultancy Giki has also joined the Race to Zero as an Accelerator. Giki works with everyone from small businesses through to global companies to help educate and engage staff to build sustainable behaviours which cut carbon at home and at work.
In Case You Missed It
     After the historic decision that was taken last year at COP 27 to create a Loss and Damage fund, the committee tasked with operationalizing the fund is meeting for the first time. Remarks were shared by UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell to open the first meeting of the Transitional Committee on the operationalization of the loss and damage fund. The meetings can be viewed online here.

     European Union countries have given final approval to a landmark law to end sales of new CO2-emitting cars in 2035. The EU law will require all new cars sold to have zero CO2 emissions from 2035, and 55% lower CO2 emissions from 2030, versus 2021 levels. The targets are designed to drive the rapid decarbonisation of new car fleets in Europe.
     A new report jointly released by UN Climate Change and CDP finds companies in the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action are making promising strides when it comes to climate action, with more than 80% of them publicly reporting on their progress in line with their commitments. According to the report, some companies are making good on their climate commitments, demonstrating ample opportunities to reduce emissions across their supply chains, but others are falling short in their efforts to drive down emissions.
     New research published by Climate Group shows that funding for climate action and policies at subnational level is essential to keep the world on track for 1.5 degrees of warming, especially as state and regional governments represent over 50% of all environment and climate spending. The research looks at the mechanisms states and regions can use to raise funds to accelerate to net zero and adapt to climate change: particularly carbon pricing, green bonds, national government funding and taxes and fees. The report also examines ways in which subnational governments can effectively spend climate finance and how they can also help other groups access that finance.
     More than 500 common species of fish, seaweed, coral and invertebrates that live on reefs around Australia have declined in the past decade according to a study published in the Nature journal. The study monitored 1,057 species and found 57% of them had declined, and almost 300 were declining at a rate that could qualify them as threatened species. It concludes global heating was likely the main driver of hte falls, with marine heatwaves and a rise in ocean temperatures hitting species that live on rocky and coral reefs.

     Launched ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference, the new edition of the UN World Water Development Report focuses on twin themes of partnerships and cooperation. Published by the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the report highlights collaborative ways actors can work together to overcome common challenges. Globally, two billion people do not have safe drinking water and 3.6 billion lack access to safely managed sanitation, the report found.
     The world is facing an imminent water crisis, with demand expected to outstrip the supply of fresh water by 40% by the end of this decade according to a new report from the Global Commission on the Economics of Water. Johan Rockstrom, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, co-chair of the Commission and a lead author of the report said the world’s neglect of water resources was leading to disaster. “The scientific evidence is that we have a water crisis. We are misusing water, polluting water, and changing the whole global hydrological cycle, through what we are doing to the climate. It’s a triple crisis.” The report’s authors say nations must start to manage water as a global common good, because most countries are highly dependent on their neighbours for water supplies, and overuse, pollution and the climate crisis threaten water supplies globally, the report’s authors say.
     UN Climate Change and COP 28 Presidency have launched a bid to put marginalised youth at the centre of climate talks. The International Youth Climate Delegate Program will sponsor 100 young people to attend COP28 in November. Delegates from countries on the list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Indigenous Peoples and other minority groups around the world will be prioritised. Anyone interested and eligible can apply here. Deadline: Wednesday, 7 April 2023.
     The Scottish Government in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has released the Practical Action for Addressing Loss and Damage” report. It follows on from the conference Addressing Loss and Damage: Practical Action hosted by the Scottish Government in October 2022 in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and the Global Resilience Partnership. The conference brought together international representatives and practitioners to articulate best practice and explore innovative opportunities to address and finance loss and damage and contributors presented more than 30 case studies of action already being taken. The report draws together the evidence presented in those case studies to explore some of the key issues faced by communities, governments, donors, the private sector and others working to address inescapable climate impacts in their regions, countries and systems.
     The Race to Resilience (RtR) is looking for new members of its technical advisory body, the Methodological Advisory Group (MAG) through an Open Call for Nominations. The MAG advises the development and refinement of the Race to Resilience’s Metrics Framework and the methodological processes associated with its application, aiming to esquire the credibility, transparency and robustness of the Race to Resilience. More application information and selection criteria can be found in the application here. Deadline: 29 March 2023
     IRENA's World Energy Transitions Outlook Preview highlighted that although progress is being made with the global investment across all energy transition technologies reaching a record high of USD 1.3 trillion in 2022, yearly investments must more than quadruple to over USD 5 trillion to stay on the 1.5°C pathway, and cumulative investments between now and 2030 need to total USD 44 trillion, with energy transition technologies representing 80% of the investment, or USD 35 trillion.
     IIGCC has released net zero guidance for infrastructure, to help investors align and manage infrastructure portfolios with the goal of achieving global net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner
     UN Climate Change is boosting the capacity of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change, which include ever more severe and more frequent floods, storms, and droughts. One key activity is to train experts to formulate national adaptation plans which are crucial to access funding for specific adaptation projects, which can range from measures to make food systems more resilient to improving water services. In addition, the Technology Executive Committee and the children and youth constituency of UNFCCC have identified the latest trends in technologies such as remote sensing and artificial intelligence can help people adapt to the impacts of climate change, allowing them to better prepare for storms, floods, and fires.
     São Tomé & Príncipe, Singapore, and Suriname have reported their efforts and progress on their climate actions to the UN Climate Change secretariat. The reports demonstrate solid climate action progress and varying needs for financial, technological and capacity-building support to . increase climate action.
     Watch the Climate Pledge's Future Forward series on the Climate Champions’ website from 4 April. Future Forward is a character-driven documentary series featuring people and businesses pioneering industry innovation on the front lines of climate change. Each film profiles visionaries fighting for their dream of a better world, the complex hurdles to igniting corporate change on a global scale, and a contagious hope—and inspiration—for the future.
     Join B-Lab and the Race to Zero for a webinar to learn about how you can be part of the Race to Zero. If you don’t currently have a net zero commitment with one of the Race to Zero Partners, come along to find out more about how you can join.

     Four Regional Climate Weeks, Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific, will be held this year to build momentum ahead of COP28 and the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake.

For more news from across the Race to Resilience and Race to Zero Communities, check out climatechampions.unfccc.int and Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action/UNFCCC.
Keeping up with the Champions
     Mahmoud Mohieldin spoke to the Economist at its 8th annual Sustainability Week. During the conversation on “Driving the flywheel faster on the journey to a net-zero future”, Mohieldin discussed how momentum from COP 27 can be maintained into COP 28.

     Razan Al Mubarak participated in the Road to COP 28 launch event during which she discussed the importance of her role as High-Level Champion in strengthening the engagement of non-State actors in supporting Parties in global climate action.

     Mahmoud Mohieldin was named the Most Influential Personality of the Year Award by Daily News Egypt.

     Mahmoud Mohieldin attended the 35th Board meeting of the Green Climate Fund in Incheon, South Korea, where he addressed the Board Members about the need and urgency to meet the global climate finance needs, especially under the dire global socio-economic conditions the world is currently experiencing . The meeting closed with the approval of $ 587.7 million for seven new projects in developing nations, four of which already got their contractual agreements signed.

     Razan Al Mubarak attended the Monaco Blue Initiative where she highlighted the importance of accelerating efforts to protect and conserve marine ecosystems for their climate mitigation, coastal communities resilience and biodiversity benefits.

     Mahmoud Mohieldin participated in a public lecture organised by the Economic Research Forum and Nile University on how businesses and governments can work together to tackle climatic stresses and achieve the SDGs.

     In a session hosted by UN ESCWA on "Planning and Financing Sustainable Development in Times of Recovery and Crisis", Mahmoud Mohieldin highlighted how the current economic conditions necessitate the activation of innovative financing tools and blended finance. Specifically, he urged the need to assess financing development priorities in a holistic manner in order to determine the size of the financing gap.

     On the sidelines of Indonesia's presidency of the ASEAN Group 2023, Mahmoud Mohieldin participated in a side-event discussing the interlinkage between ESG standards and Islamic finance. Mohieldin shared that total Islamic financial assets currently exceed USD 2 trillion as per latest estimates, including annual zakat contributions amounting to about USD 300 billion across the Muslim world. However, Zakat - as well as other forms of Islamic Solidarity Fund - remains underutilised when it comes to bridging the SDG financing gap.
Mark Your Calendar
     Chile’s Global Adaptation Week, 27 March – 4 April
     Economist Sustainability Week, 29-31 March
     World Health Day 2023, 7 April
     World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings, 10-16 April
     Fourth UN World Data Forum 2023, 24-27 April
     Green Climate Fund, Board Consultation Meeting, 24-28 April
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