LEDS GP at the Regional Climate Weeks: building momentum for COP26

How can countries around the world sustainably recover from the global pandemic? What are the specific challenges that the regions face? What possible solutions are out there that should be scaled up? These and many other questions were discussed during the Regional Climate Weeks 2021 which are aiming to accelerate collaboration and integrate climate action into a just global pandemic recovery.

This is an opportunity for regional stakeholders to have their voice heard and contribute to COP 26“, the hosts at UNFCCC wrote ahead of the Climate Weeks 2021. It is a crucial year for global climate action – with COP26 in Glasgow, UK, coming up, recovery plans being drawn up around the world and the world entering into the first decade of implementing national climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Against this backdrop, the Regional Climate Weeks 2021 aimed at building momentum towards success at COP26. They were open to all stakeholders as a ‘go-to’ hub to build partnerships and to showcase ambitious climate action in the regions. They were also designed to encourage and facilitate the implementation and raise the ambition of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. Further key thematic topics included Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS), the implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Climate Week

The LEDS Global Partnership, through its Regional Platforms and Working Groups, actively engaged in a number of events at the Regional Climate Weeks. The first to take place was the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week (LAC CW) from 11-14 May 2021.

Partnerships to promote climate action in LAC
13 May 2021, 11:00-11:55 (GMT-4)

Many partnerships in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region work towards climate action. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized an event at the LAC CW to analyze best practices in managing these partnerships for climate action. At this opportunity, Ms. Aida Figari presented the LEDS LAC Regional Platform. As a best practice example, Ms. Figari highlighted the Joint Event, co-organized jointly by LEDS LAC, GIZ’s EUROCLIMA+, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and UNDP. This was a challenging but very successful effort of knowledge exchange during the pandemic. In the course of 3 months, about 5000 people participated in this event series on “Climate Action in Times of Crisis: Fostering Sustainable Recovery post-COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

Multi-level governance: Effectively integrating NDC implementation within sub-national planning and action
12 May 2021, 12:00-13:55 (GMT-4)

With around 80% of the population living in cities, the LAC region is highly urbanized. In order to bring together local, state-level and national actors, LEDS LAC together with the World Bank and the Chilean COP25 Presidency co-organized a session on multilevel governance, sharing experiences from the region’s Communities of Practice. Panelists included representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. They agreed that different countries in the LAC region have developed comprehensive climate change legislation. Furthermore, coordination mechanisms bring together sectors as well as local, regional and national stakeholders. Finally, local GHG emission inventories support information-based decision making. Some of the challenges mentioned during the panel include high-level buy-in, communication strategies that drive behavioral changes, as well as effective monitoring and reporting systems.

Transport and Mobility – Imagining 2050
12 May 2021, 10:00-11:25 (GMT-4)

One of the key sectors for transitioning to carbon neutrality is transport. The LEDS GP Steering Committee Member and Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina, Rodrigo Rodriguez Tornquist, made a powerful plea for more ambitious sustainable transport policies in an event on “Transport and Mobility – Imagining 2050”. In fact, many LAC countries are working towards vehicle electrification powered by low-carbon energy. These policies also disproportionally benefit poor people, as they rely most on affordable public or private transport.

What can these policies look like? Sanjini Nanayakkara from NREL and the LEDS Global Partnership provided inspiring examples from the LEDS GP network. For example, the LEDS GP Transport Working Group has supported the city of Bogotá with a strategy for shifting motorcycles from combustion to electric engines. This measure is extremely beneficial on many levels, not least of all because it is socially inclusive, benefitting workers and lower class families the most. Secondly, acknowledging that equity and inclusion are crucial, the LEDS Global Partnership recently launched a new initiative: a Global Community of Practice on Green and Socially Inclusive Economic Recovery. The “Transport and Mobility” event was moderated by Liz Castillo from SLOCAT, one of the implementing partners of the Transport Working Group. Other speakers represented the countries of Barbados, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, as well as GIZ and UNEP projects, among others.

LEDS LAC videos at the Action Hub

LEDS LAC also collaborated in two videos featured at the Action Hub. In the first video, LEDS LAC showcased the key findings from the beforementioned Joint Event. The video also presented testimonies of partners and messages from different stakeholders.

LEDS LAC was also featured at the Action Hub in a video by GIZ’s EUROCLIMA+ project regarding the NDC LAC tool. The NDC LAC tool by EUROCLIMA+ is the first platform in Spanish on the progress of climate action and ambition in the LAC region.

Asia-Pacific Climate Week

The Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2021, hosted by the Japanese Government, took place from 6-9 July 2021. The LEDS network’s three side-events at the APCW (see details below) anchored transformational and ambitious climate action at different governance levels and showcased different real-world solutions contributing to the global effort to tackle climate change.

Implementation of Transformative Climate Action in Cities
6 July 2021, 17:00-18:30 (GMT+9)

The Asia LEDS Partnership and ICLEI South Asia together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) organized a session on “Implementation of Transformative Climate Action in Cities”. Representatives from agencies at national, sub-national and local levels in South Asia presented their transformative climate initiatives. They also discussed the challenges, opportunities and key lessons with respect to climate action planning and implementation.

Find more information, including the summary report and the recording here.

Integrating Sustainable Energy and Transport in Island Territories
7 July 2021, 15:00-16:30 (GMT+9)

Another side event, hosted by the LEDS GP Transport Working Group, demonstrated how energy and transport systems can be integrated based on renewable energies and efficient electric mobility. The event showcased leading island communities from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The “Roadmap for the Integration of Sustainable Energy and Transport in Small Islands” was presented, a publication by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, LEDS Global Partnership, SLOCAT Partnership, and Reiner Lemoine Institute.

You can find a recording of the event here.

How to use climate transparency to achieve effective climate action and advance national development
12 May 2021, 14:00-14:50 (GMT-4), LAC CW
7 July 2021, 16:00-16:55 (GMT+9), APCW

At both the LAC CW and the APCW, the LEDS Global Partnership supported a side events by the #Data4BetterClimateAction campaign on climate transparency enhancement. The campaign embraces transparency as the backbone of the Paris Agreement. Sound data and information systems are a precondition for designing, implementing and tracking NDCs and long-term strategies (LTS) effectively. At the events, the #Data4BetterClimateAction campaign highlighted the multiple benefits of effective transparency frameworks: countries can advance effective climate action and fulfill the reporting requirements while at the same time meeting domestic development priorities. The events included remarks by the CEO and Chair Person of the Global Environment Facility, Carlos Manuel Rodrigo and by high-level representatives from Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, and Japan, as well as a recorded message from the Chair of GGGI, Ban Ki Moon that will be featured soon on the campaign’s website. Find out more about the #Data4BetterClimateAction campaign by visiting its website or following the hashtag on Twitter.

Africa Climate Week

The upcoming Africa Climate Week (ACW) is scheduled for 27-29 September 2021 and will be hosted by the Government of Uganda.

Further details on the participation of the Africa LEDS Partnership will follow soon.