December 4, 2015
The Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) at the University of Delaware co-hosted a side event with Climate Alliance, the Global Covenant of Mayors, and others at the Paris climate change conference. The event raised the importance of cities in making meaningful contributions towards more aggressive national targets to reduce emissions. The event took place on Monday 7th December, 2015.
The CEEP delegation presented the Center’s perspective on subnational climate change innovation, leadership, and governance. Other speakers at the event included: Camille Gira, Secretary of State, Luxembourg European Union Council Presidency; Magda Aelvoet, Minister of State, President, Federal Council for Sustainable Development, Belgium; Tine Heyse, Deputy Mayor of Ghent, Belgium; Josefa Errazuriz, Mayor of Providencia, Chile; Julie Laernoes, Vice-President of Nantes Metropole, France; Marie-Christine Marghem, Belgian Federal Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development; and Ellý Katrin Gudmundsdottir, Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland.
The main objective of the first event was to bring perspectives from local actors to the international context and take a detailed look at cities’ leadership in tackling climate change. The event builds on the success of the Covenant of Mayors in gathering more than 6,500 cities across 57 countries to a common and ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. The panel explored how local climate action in the frame of a Global Covenant of Mayors could be up scaled, with a focus on climate finance and stakeholders’ involvement.
Additionally, CEEP helped to organize and promote a second side event with the Climate Change Center (Republic of Korea) titled “Preparing Action Plans for a Post-2020 Climate Change Regime in Asia.” Other event organizers included Center for Climate and Sustainable Development Law and Policy (CSDLAP) of Seoul International Law Academy and the SUSTAIN EU-ASEAN project. The event took place on Friday 11th December, 2015. Speakers at the event included: Dr. John Byrne, CEEP director; Dr. Duck-Soo Han, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Climate Change Center and Former Prime Minister of Republic of Korea; Richie Ahuja, Regional Director for Asia of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); Professor Haibin Zhang of Peking University and a Member of the Global Advisory Board of the Center for Climate and Sustainable Development Law and Policy (CSDLAP); and Dr. Oliver Lah of Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) (Germany).
The main objective of the second event was to examine preparations needed in the form of action plans on post-2020 climate change regime in Asia. The event examined transformative innovation strategies for encouraging low carbon growth while reducing climate risk in the Asian region. It also explored compact and connected urban development strategies (e.g. financing options for large urban solar plants) for climate resilient cities and climate action based on advanced partnership between Europe and Asia to seize the global opportunities. Other issues discussed included building inter-ministerial capacities in the implementation of low-carbon development, and the importance of including Asian business leaders, governments and civil society in discussions on low-carbon growth.
The CEEP delegation at the COP 21 was led by its director, Dr. Byrne, and Dr. Job Taminiau (a Postdoctoral Research Fellow). The Paris Climate Change Conference was held from 30 November to 11 December 2015, in Paris, France. The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) included a plenary session, spin-off groups, and side events on adaptation, finance, mitigation, transparency, capacity building, final clauses, technology development and transfer, and implementation and compliance.
About the Climate Change Center
The Climate Change Center was launched in February 2008 to help unite government, corporations, scholars and civil socially to save our shared future and the planet from climate change. It is based in Seoul, South Korea. Its vision is to become a partner with global citizens in building a harmonious low-carbon society to combat climate change. The main activities of the Center are organized in the areas of education, knowledge networking, policy research and proposal and public aware campaign.
About the Climate Alliance
For more than 25 years, Climate Alliance member municipalities have been acting in partnership with indigenous rainforest peoples for the benefit of the global climate. With over 1,700 members spread across 26 European countries, Climate Alliance is the world’s largest city network dedicated to climate action and the only one to set tangible targets: each member city, town and district has committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent every 5 years. Recognising the impact our lifestyles can have on the world’s most vulnerable people and places, Climate Alliance pairs local action with global responsibility.
About the Covenant of Mayors
The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020. Out of the 6,000+ cities that have signed the Covenant of Mayors, almost 70% have adopted their Sustainable Energy Action Plan, representing about one fourth of the entire EU population.
About the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP)
Established in 1980 at the University of Delaware, the Center is a leading institution for interdisciplinary education, research, and advocacy in energy and environmental policy. In 1993, CEEP was asked to develop a University-wide program for graduate study and research in energy and environmental policy and to expand its mission to formally include the topics of environmental justice and sustainable development. In 1997, CEEP created the first graduate Energy and Environmental Policy (ENEP) degrees in the U.S. The University of Delaware granted permanent status to the ENEP degrees in 2003. From its inception, CEEP has operated a research and advocacy program that is undertaken at international, regional, national, state, and local scales. Typically, CEEP faculty and graduate students accept 15-20 projects each year. Often conducted with partners, the yearly program varies by topic (ranging from climate change to urban environmental justice to water equity and sustainable energy development) and includes several sponsors (e.g., foundations, governments and UN organizations). In certain cases, CEEP chooses to internally support projects of interest to its members. Today, graduate education is offered by the Center in doctoral (PhD-ENEP) and master (MEEP) programs. CEEP is the principal academic and research unit for graduate study in the areas of energy and environmental policy, environmental justice and sustainable development at the University of Delaware. Annually, over 75 students from more than 20 countries study and pursue research at the Center, together with its eight core faculty, seven adjunct faculty and visiting researchers, faculty and activists from around the world.
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