Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative

Outreach Update – First Quarter 2020

The C2G team began the quarter with activities around the world, to raise awareness and build capacity among key stakeholders. Notably, we were invited to brief country delegations to the United Nations in New York in an event led by the Government of Belgium to explore the geopolitical and security implications of solar radiation modification (SRM). Belgium was planning for follow-up briefings to include C2G; these efforts came to a rapid halt, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic. In  March, we recalibrated our activities for the coming months.

New York and Washington DC, USA

30 January-13 February

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

24-27 February 2020

Ottawa, Canada

9-10 February 2020

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

29 February-6 March 2020

Santiago, Chile

12 March 2020

Geneva, Switzerland

27 February 2020

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

3-5 March 2020

New York and Washington DC, USA

Belgium made public its intention to organise a major information event on SRM – and in particular its geopolitical and security implications – at the UN in New York in March. C2G was invited to co-host. C2G participated in a first briefing on these issues to country delegation representatives to the UN, hosted by Belgium. This was attended by over 20 governments, and marked a significant step forward for C2G’s efforts.

Following introductions from the Belgian hosts and a presentation by C2G’s Executive Director, a lively and insightful Q&A session took place, indicating a high degree of interest to understand and engage further. Subsequently, C2G held bilateral meetings with an additional two dozen missions to the UN in New York, mostly at ambassadorial level, including representatives of the Group of 77 and China (G77), and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Most representatives were well briefed, and had prepared lists of points and questions for us to respond to. They indicated they were keen to learn more, and to share what they learned in follow up with their respective capitals.

In Washington DC, C2G met with civil society organisations and think thanks to brief them on our work, and why their engagement with policy conversations about SRM and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) research, in the US and in the UNFCCC, is important.

Ottawa, Canada

C2G visited Ottawa to meet with Patricia Fuller, Climate Change Ambassador at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and to brief ECCC staff on CDR and SRM. The conversation with Ms. Fuller was very helpful, and we agreed to keep her informed – including on the March meeting in New York to be hosted by Belgium and other countries (see above).

Thanks to excellent facilitation of C2G’s visit by the Government, the briefings on CDR and SRM were attended by some 30 plus senior policy and science experts. The discussions and questions showed that the science and governance challenges of these technologies has been and remains on the radar screen of the participants.

Geneva, Switzerland

C2G’s Executive Director met with Olga Algayerova the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and briefed her on our work. Ms. Algayerova is very supportive, and provided a few suggestions to take forward the issues in the region, for which C2G could provide substantive support. C2G’s Executive Director was invited to speak at a side event of the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (which was subsequently cancelled due to COVID-19).

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

From 24 to 27 February, C2G participated in the 6th African Regional Sustainable Development Forum in Zimbabwe. C2G met with relevant officials and actors from African states, development organizations, and development banks, to brief on CDR and discuss potential pathways for African actor engagement in governance development.

C2G also met with numerous civil society organisations with whom it has developed trusted relationships to strengthen ties and map out a plan for handing over information sharing functions to catalytic African partners.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

C2G met with officials from the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa, and country missions to the African Union from 29 February to 6 March.

C2G reached out UNECA to follow up on earlier discussions about how it can assist its efforts to coordinate and inform African Union agencies, specific African countries, and African development banks about the need for near-term governance of large scale CDR, and to be aware and engage in international research efforts on stratospheric aerosol injection and marine cloud brightening.

C2G also provided updates and enhanced the awareness of African Union officials on the current state of physical science research of CDR and SRM approaches. At its request, C2G will support further briefings to African Union offices and member country offices.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

From 3 to 5 March, C2G’s Executive Director spoke at two G20 preparatory meetings: the Climate Stewardship Working Group, and the Energy Sustainability Working Group. His presentations focused on the governance and policy enablers of nature-based solutions and the governance of large-scale CDR respectively. In both cases, the participants were engaged and asked several follow-up questions which led to interesting discussions.

The Executive Director also held bilateral meetings with Saudi Arabia in the context of both its G20 presidency and Saudi priorities, as well as with representatives of other delegations attending the meetings.

Santiago, Chile

On March 12, C2G co-organized a side event with the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, during the “Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean: 1st Conference on Scientific Evidence and Public Policy”.

The side event explored the role of climate-altering technologies in managing climate risk, and the incremental capacities required to further understand and strengthen the governance of these approaches in the region.

It included presentations from Mario Cimoli (Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC), Thelma Krug (IPCC Vice Chair), Kai-Uwe Schmidt (Senior Program Director, C2G), Julio Cordano (Head of the Climate Change Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile) and Inés Camilloni (Associate professor at the University of Buenos Aires at the Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences).

Dr. Camilloni leads the only SRM investigation being carried out in Latin America, focusing on the hydrological impacts of solar radiation management in the La Plata Basin in South America. Her presence helped raise awareness that SRM challenges are relevant to the region, and important to address now. Her work is one of the projects supported by the Decimals Fund of SRMGI that supports a range of activities in the global south.

Dr. Camilloni noted that Argentina (her native country) may not have the capacity to deploy stratospheric aerosol injection on its own, but does have a role to play in governance discussions – leading participants to ask about mechanisms to include civil society, the consequences for agriculture and health, and whether SRM can/should be considered a solution to the climate crisis.

 

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