COP24: High-Level Forum on South-South Cooperation on Climate Change 2018

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

China Pavilion, COP24 Katowice, Poland

Hosted by Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, in cooperation with Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development of Tsinghua University, UNFCCC, UNDP, and WWF

 

Background and objectives

Developing countries face multiple challenges to achieve sustainable development including poverty eradication, modern energy access and environment protection. Those challenges are exacerbated by the increasing impacts of climate change. Efforts to combat climate change are not only a necessity to achieve sustainable development, but also present many co-benefits to all other Sustainable Development Goals. It is crucial for developing countries to harness such co-benefits through enhanced climate actions.

In this context, the Chinese delegation to the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSS) jointly convened the High-level Forum on South-South Cooperation on Climate Change. The forum was held on Wednesday 12 December 2018 in the China Pavilion during the Conference.

The theme of the High-level Forum was “Promoting Pragmatic Climate Partnerships: Harnessing the Co-benefits of Climate Actions in Southern Countries.” The forum convened ministerial and senior level officials from governments and international organizations, as well as senior academic experts and private sector leaders. Building on the solid achievements of the High-Level Forum during COP23, the forum this year aimed to sustain and mobilize enhanced support and actions for pragmatic South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation on climate change challenges, so as to strengthen the momentum on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

 

Opening Remarks and Keynote Speeches

Venue: China Pavilion at COP24 Katowice

The High-Level Forum’s opening session convened distinguished speakers to deliver their welcome remarks and keynote speeches.

Moderator: Mr. LI Gao, Director General of Climate Change Department, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China

Representatives:

  1. E. Mr. XIE Zhenhua, Special Representative on Climate Change Affairs, China
  2. E. Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, COP23 President
  3. Martin Frick, Senior Director, UNFCCC Secretariat
  4. Jorge Chediek, Secretary-General’s Envoy for South-South Cooperation, and Director, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation

 

Ministerial Session

Venue: China Pavilion at COP24 Katowice

The Ministerial Session focused on promoting pragmatic climate partnerships by harnessing the co-benefits of climate action in Southern countries. Climate actions have the ability to benefit sustainable development and poverty reduction by means of improving health, biodiversity, soil quality, local food security etc. However, if climate actions are not designed well, it also presents significant tradeoffs that could increase greenhouse gas emissions and water use, increase gender and social inequality, undermine health and food security, livelihoods, ecosystem functions and services and other aspects of sustainable development.

This moderated high-level ministerial session of the forum convened ministers from developing countries and other high-level representatives. The representatives discussed the key challenges and opportunities of their countries and the Global South towards implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They shared their efforts to advance climate actions through strengthened South-South climate cooperation and how it has benefitted and affected the people, planet, and eco-systems in the context of sustainable development, climate action, and poverty eradication. Good practices and scalable solutions to address climate change through Southern climate cooperation were highlighted in the discussion.

Moderator: Mr. Jorge Chediek, Secretary-General’s Envoy for South-South Cooperation, and Director, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation

Representatives:

  1. E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Egypt
  2. E. Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Maldives
  3. E. Mr. Wallace Cosgrow, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Seychelles
  4. E. Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Former Minister of Environment, Peru, and COP20 President; Leader of Climate & Energy Practice, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
  5. Negus Lemma, Director General for Climate Change and Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ethiopia
  6. Mamadou Bailo Sidibé, Director General, Office of Strategy and Development (BSD), Ministry of the Environment, Waters and Forests, Guinea
  7. Maheshwar Dhakal, Joint Secretary, Chief, Climate Change Management Division, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal
  8. Albert Altarejos Magalang, Head, Climate Change Office, Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, The Philippines
  9. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Bangladesh
  10. Jiankun He, Vice Chairperson, China National Expert Committee on Climate Change; Chairperson, Academic Committee of Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Tsinghua University
  11. Wenbiao Wang, Chairman and President, Elion Group

 

Thematic Session I

Venue: China Pavilion at COP24 Katowice

Thematic Session I focused on strengthening South-South climate cooperation for low-carbon energy transition. The moderated thematic session convened senior representatives and experts from Member States, international organizations, financial institutions, and academia. The participants discussed the key challenges and opportunities of the Global South towards meeting energy demand with lower and cleaner energy use, including through enhanced energy efficiency. They discussed the challenges and differences between the options and national circumstances, the political, economic, social, and technical feasibility of such transitions. Best practices on transitioning to sustainable energy-systems in the context of strengthened South-South cooperation were shared.

Moderator: Mr. SUN Zhen, Deputy Director General of Climate Change Department, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China

Keynote Speech: Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

Panelists:

  1. Preety Bhandari, Director, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Division, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  2. LI Zheng, Executive Director, Global Climate Change and Sustainable Development Institute, Tsinghua University
  3. Li Junfeng, former Director General of National Center for Climate Strategy and International Cooperation
  4. Lo Sze Ping, CEO, WWF China
  5. Ugan Manandhar, the Kayin State Government’s Technical Adviser, Myanmar
  6. Red Constantino, Advisor to the CVF Troika and the Philippine Delegation

 

Thematic Session II

Venue: China Pavilion at COP24 Katowice 

Thematic Session II focused on climate action and poverty eradication. The thematic session convened senior representatives and experts from international organizations, academia, and the civil society groups. The participants discussed the key challenges and opportunities of the Global South towards climate-friendly and sustainable development in efforts to eradicate poverty and promote social justice and equity. They discussed climate change investments, policy instruments, technological innovations and behavioral changes needed to bring people out of poverty. They discussed policies that promote diversification of the economies to limit the trade-offs of climate action. Best practices on harnessing the co-benefits and limiting the trade-offs of climate actions through South-South cooperation were shared in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for poverty eradication.

Panelists:

  1. Hans Friederich, Director General, International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR)
  2. Sixi QU, Representative/Country Director of United Nations World Food Programme China Office
  3. Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development Independent University, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  4. Yan Wang, President, Elion Eco-College, Elion Resources Group
  5. Peidan Yang, Director, C-Team

 

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Media contact

Ms. Ajita Singh (ajita.singh@undp.org), Analyst, Climate and Sustainability Programme, UNOSSC

Mr. Mithre Sandrasagra (mithre.sandrasagra@undp.org), Strategic Communications Advisor, UNOSSC