COP19: Businesses and sub-national governments are making the real progress

21 November 2013

COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, runs from November 11-22, 2013. As part of our involvement we are providing news and analysis as well as live tweeting. Below is a summary of our activities at COP19, where it has become clear that sub-national governments and businesses are leading the way on action to reduce emissions and accelerate a low carbon economy. Read our guide to COP19.

On November 19, The Climate Group was a strategic partner of the UN Global Compacts Caring for Climate Business Forum, which shone a light on the broad range of initiatives that should and are be taken by companies worldwide to solve climate issues from the 'bottom up'.

During a session led by The Climate Group on Unlocking the Value of Low-carbon Innovation, Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, moderated a discussion between the Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, Secretary of State Dr. Josep Enric Llebot, Catalonia, Daniel Mueller, Siemens, Dr. Michael Mazor, Dow and Harry Verhaar, Philips Lighting, on the elements needed to scale low-carbon innovations to transformational levels.

During this session, The Climate Group and Philips also announced the launch of a stakeholder consultation process on the procurement of LED street lighting, aiming to help local and regional governments more rapidly scale the solutions already available for energy efficient street lighting today. The process will be officially launched next month. 

Another session of the Forum saw the presentation of a new Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy jointly developed by UNEP, UNGC, WRI, WWF, CDP, Ceres and The Climate Group, which sets out the minimum requirements that credible corporate engagement must follow in the three core areas of legitimacy and opportunity, consistency and accountability, and transparency.

Mark Kenber, CEO The Climate Group, also moderated a UNFCCC led session called Building Momentum: Promoting Energy Efficiency, Renewables and Technology Solutions, which brought together participants from the World Energy Council, the UN SE4All campaign, BMW, Philips and Siemens to discuss the transformational elements needed for a new global energy system.

November 20 saw an internal Ministerial breakfast meeting and States and Regions Alliance working session, where sub-national government members set out the high levels of ambition and actions that are already reducing emissions and supporting low carbon development in their respective regions. Discussion focused on leveraging the leadership of states and regions to encourage and support greater ambition by national governments.

Part of this meeting was also an exchange with Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who presented the most recent US climate policy initiatives and discussed with members how national and sub-national governments can cooperate to raise ambition

On November 21, The Climate Group also co-organized a joint side-event with nrg4SD on Implementing Climate Action on the Basis of Territorial Cooperation, where Bruno Covas, Secretary of State for Environment, Sao Paulo Government; Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Government of Wales; Josep Enric Llebot, Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainability, Government of Catalonia; Yves-François Blanchet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Government of Quebec; and Matt Rodriquez, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, shared experiences and best practices of how governments at different levels can collaborate to address climate challenges in the most impactful way. 

Related COP19 news:

President Obama’s environment advisor stresses importance of 'joined up' government

Days before COP19 in Warsaw begins, read our overview

LED lighting will save 30% energy and 515 million tons of emissions a year by 2020, Philips reveals

Sub-national governments are the rising stars of climate action

Role of business at Warsaw in the spotlight, as new guide launched

Image by UNFCCC

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