On 2 December 2015 in the China Pavilion at COP21, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, along with the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC), the central planning agency in the People’s Republic of China and US-based Rocky Mountain Institute, cohosted a session on the use of low-carbon development strategies to achieve greenhouse gas emissions peaking goals in developing countries. The session opening covered national efforts in emissions peaking, technical considerations for low-carbon development as well as the role of national, subnational and local governments in realizing low-carbon development strategies.
JIANG Zhaoli, Deputy Director General of the Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China moderated opening remarks given by Monika Zimmermann, Secretary General, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, XIE Zhenhua, China Special Envoy on Climate Change, Jose Maria, Chairman of Rocky Mountain Institute and Former President of Costa Rica, and Professor Priyadarshi Shukla, Indian Institute of Management. This preceded a series of keynote speeches, moderated by DAI Yande, Deputy Director of Energy Research Institute at NDRC.
In the opening remarks, Deputy Director General JIANG Zhaoli emphasized the criticality of the climate change debate, noting its ability to draw international attention to an issue that is fundamentally tied to the daily subsistence of populations in developing countries. China has set a goal of peaking carbon emissions by 2030, drawing upon global knowledge and experience to pave a pathway toward this target. The NRDC has established a plan for early peaking to be incorporated into emissions plans in the first quarter of 2016.
Professor Priyadarshi Shukla discussed the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions across India, noting that although the country is strongly pushing solar, wind and hydro energy and implementing other sustainable development actions, emissions peaking in India is unlikely to occur before 2050. Substantial resources are needed – at least USD 2.5 trillion between now and 2030 – for India to achieve intended climate actions between now and 2030.
Monika Zimmerman, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI, connected the theme of ambitious national climate actions to the initiatives of cities across the world. ICLEI, as a global cities network, emphasizes the value of connecting cities to share low-carbon development strategies and to contribute to global climate action – a key part of the ICLEI mission. ICLEI has advocated strongly for recognition of local and subnational governments at the national and international scales, pushing for the Urban Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 and greater recognition in international climate debates.
Deputy Secretary General Zimmermann also highlighted that ICLEI has brought clear evidence of local and subnational potential to COP21. ICLEI is facilitating the Cities & Regions Pavilion, co-hosted by the City of Paris and European Green Capital 2015, Bristol, which features more than 100 sessions throughout the two weeks at COP. ICLEI and partners are also showcasing more than 120 climate projects from cities and regions across the world as part of the Transformative Actions Program (TAP). Importantly, ICLEI also manages a voluntary reporting platform – the carbonn Climate Registry – which has 608 reporting jurisdictions collectively committed to reducing 1 gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The report will be released on 3 December at the COP.
Full List of Speakers
Ahsan Habib Kamal, Mayor, Barisal City, Bangladesh
Bima Arya Sugiarto, Mayor, City of Bogor, Indonesia
DAI Yande, Deputy Director of Energy Research Institute, NDRC, P.R.China
HE Jiankun,Professor, Tsinghua University，China
Jeremy Oppenheim, Director of Sustainability, McKinsey
Jon Creyts, Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute
Jose Maria, Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute, Former President of Costa Rica
LV Xuedu, Advisor to Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank
Marcio Araujo de Lacerda, Mayor, City of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Monika Zimmerman, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI
Priyadarshi Shukla, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Sivan Kartha, Stockholm Environment Institute
XIE Zhenhua, China Special Envoy on Climate Change
ZOU Ji, Deputy Director General, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation