ZESC at COP26: Key Climate Solutions for the Decade of Action

November 1-5, 2021
Virtual COP26 Exhibition Space

The 2021 Zero Emissions Solutions Conference will bring together leaders and scientists from businesses, governments, and academia from around the world. Happening on the sidelines of COP26, the ZESC will host up to fifteen sessions across the first week of COP featuring distinguished speakers who will showcase solutions relevant to the high-level champions thematic days including policy technology solutions for: finance, energy, youth, and nature.

Agenda

All session times are in GMT. Session details and speakers are pending and subject to change.

01 Nov 9:00AM
Aligning Global Policy Frameworks: Biodiversity and Climate Change

This session explores the opportunities and challenges of integrating the biodiversity and climate agendas at both the global and national level. Climate and biodiversity are innately interconnected and limiting biodiversity loss is crucial to decarbonization efforts, however implementation challenges remain. Important elements of the conversation will include the mechanisms that exist to effectively integrate nature and climate in national policy and how to increase transparency and accountability. SDSN’s policy brief titled “The integration of biodiversity and climate objectives in land-based policy” launches today and provides support for integrating biodiversity and climate agendas and outlines integration steps for policymakers that stemmed from case studies in China and Costa Rica.

Moderator(s):

Akanksha Khatri, World Economic Forum (WEF)

Speaker(s):

Guido Schmidt-Traub, Systemiq

01 Nov 2:00PM
Delivering Climate Neutral Districts - Implementing a New vision at City and Region Scale

This panel discussion will be framed around a whole systems approach to develop the Climate Neutral Districts Vision that crosses city and region and the collaborative effort that frames the approach. The panel would focus on the development of long-term pathways, investment plans, investment strategies, the range of solutions being studied and integrated, how these are supported by city and regional policies and planning, and how they integrate with other projects and developments. Examples will be showcased from both the Glasgow City Region in Scotland and San Diego County in California.

Moderator(s):

Roddy Yarr, University of Strathclyde

Speaker(s):

Gordon McCord, University of California, San Diego
Kit England, Glasgow City Region
Tara Lawson-Remer, San Diego County Board of Supervisors

01 Nov 4:00PM
Learning from Crisis: COVID to Climate

This session has been developed in collaboration with Springer Nature and SDSN. During two Roundtable sessions held in October 2021, experts across natural, applied, and social science disciplines were brought together to discuss similarities and differences between the COVID-19 and climate crisis under the following two themes: 1. Structural Inequalities- Gender, Race, and Poverty and 2. Motivating Behavior Change and Addressing Misinformation. The co-chairs from these roundtables will share their findings and a Q&A will follow.

Moderator(s):

Tamsine O’Riordan, Palgrave Macmillan
Arend Küster, Director Funder Relations at Springer Nature

Speaker(s):

Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief, Nature and Jeffrey Sachs, SDSN
Jiaying Zhao, The University of British Columbia
Gerald Torres, Yale Law School
Wolfgang Blau, Reuters Institute Helen Bond, Howard University

02 Nov 9:00AM
Economic Response Toward Covid-19 Resilience

During the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, governments are urged to focus on green recovery. A green economy would significantly enhance the resilience of both economies and societies in the face of future economic recessions and environmental challenges. But many governments are unsure about what green economic recovery means for their countries, how can they demonstrate the benefit of it. This session discusses what developing countries’ governments can do to start a green recovery using experience from other countries. This session will also talk about aligning green recovery with countries’s climate ambition, how to share understanding that Covid recovery presents opportunities for alignment with climate targets, and manage political and complex policy coordination. And finally this session presents experience on doing circular economy to facilitate a Covid recovery.

Moderator(s):

Guntur Sutiyono, ClimateWorks Australia

Speaker(s):

Phoebe Koundouri, SDSN Europe
Berly Martawardaya, INDEF
Olga Mikheeva, IIPP

02 Nov 2:00PM
Pathfinder Initiative - Finding Pathways to a Healthy, Zero-Carbon Future

The Pathfinder Initiative is working to synthesise, and collaborate with key stakeholders to disseminate evidence on the development and implementation of multi-sectoral actions to sustain and improve health, while accelerating progress towards a post-carbon economy. This session will highlight the opportunities to improve health and well-being that are available by transitioning to a net zero society and some of the challenges faced in achieving these benefits. The session will provide a broad overview of some of the major pathways and opportunities to improve health and then take a detailed look at a number of specific sectoral actions and discuss how these can be scaled for impact.

Moderator(s):

Johan Rockström, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Speaker(s):

Sir Andy Haines, co-chair of the Lancet Pathfinder Commission on Health in the Zero-carbon Economy
Kristine Belesova, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Syreen Hassan, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Peninah Murage, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

02 Nov 4:00PM
Climate Finance: Making Good on the Rhetoric?

As nations are ramping up their commitments to transformative action, the question of efficient financing looms over ambitious promises. Our panelists will discuss suggestions for stakeholder collaboration and concrete solutions to help achieve our shared ambitions within the framework of the Paris Agreement. These speakers are drawn from the SDG Action initiative. SDG Action is a new initiative launched by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to support the UN’s Decade of Action – the global effort to mobilize governments, businesses, and civil society to deliver the SDGs by 2030. SDG Action is a resource for sustainability practitioners in all sectors and will bring timely analysis of the most pressing challenges. Its emphasis will be on identifying opportunities and providing tangible ways to accelerate progress. This website features articles from world-leading experts on all aspects of the SDGs and climate action and this month’s edition is focused on climate action.

Moderator(s):

Daniel Esty, Yale University

Speaker(s):

Pankaj Bhatia, World Resources Institute
Rajat Panwar, Oregon State University
Martha McPherson, Design Portfolio

03 Nov 9:00AM
ASEAN’s Green Future: Farther, Faster, Together

The world is at a tipping point where the national decarbonisation commitments to be made at COP26 will largely determine whether the world stays within the 1.5° limit of the Paris Agreement. ASEAN and ASEAN Member States have an opportunity to raise climate ambition. This session will feature speakers from across ASEAN to present the opportunities and challenges for each country and the region in the transition to net-zero emissions by mid-century. The session will provide national and regional recommendations for policy and financing solutions to accelerating the just transition across ASEAN. Speakers from Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, and Malaysia will come together to discuss their national opportunities for net-zero.

Moderator(s):

Wing Woo, SDSN

Speaker(s):

Toby Melissa Monsod, University of the Philippines School of Economics
Piseth Keo, Asian Vision Institute (AVI)
Phouphet Kyophilavong, National University of Laos
Leong Yuen Yoong, Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development, Sunway University
Meg Argyrio, Climateworks Australia

03 Nov 2:00PM
Planning and operating an electricity system without fossil fuels

Use of electricity is an increasingly important feature of modern life, for heat, light, cooling, communication, mobility and manufacturing. Crucially, it also offers ways of producing energy without greenhouse gas emissions. This session will explore the challenges we face in planning and operating an electric power system without burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2. It will also describe the solutions to these challenges that are being developed and used in different parts of the world. We will have short presentations from each of the 4 speakers followed by a panel discussion in which we will welcome questions from the audience.

Moderator(s):

Keith Bell, University of Strathclyde

Speaker(s):

Dipali Raniga, National Grid ESO
Juan Carlos Araneda Tapia, Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional
Ronald Marais, Eskom
Britta Buchholz, Hitachi-ABB

03 Nov 4:00PM
How the Demand for Energy is Underpinning Economic Development

This session examines the challenges for electrification in low and middle income countries, how this can be delivered by low carbon renewable energy technologies, and how this can support further gains in multiple SDGs such as clean cooking, communication, economic development, resilience and social welfare.

Moderator(s):

Stuart Galloway, University of Strathclyde

Speaker(s):

Edgar Bayani, Director of Community Energy Malawi, Malawi
Damien Frame, University of Strathclyde, UK
Long Seng To, Loughborough University, UK
Anne Wacera Wambugu, Strathmore University, Kenya

04 Nov 9:00AM
Net Zero Cities of the Future

To achieve Net Zero emissions, we need to transform our cities. This session will explore the existing and emerging technological solutions and the policy and governance considerations to get us there.Looking into both the built environment and the energy systems from which our cities operate, this session will capture solutions and case studies to inform cities who are seeking pathways to net-zero emissions. This session will also be a special opportunity to hear from both Monash University (Winner of the 2018 UN Momentum for Change Award) and ENGIE, a global energy company, and their plans for accelerating Monash’s NetZero Initiative to achieve Monash University’s net-zero by 2030 goal.

Moderator(s):

Kendra Wasiluk, Monash University

Speaker(s):

Scott Ferraro, Monash University
Ryan Bellinson, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)
Anna Quillinan, Engie Australia
Rajan Rawal, Senior Advisor and CRDF Professor, CARBSE

04 Nov 2:00PM
The Local Pathways Fellowship: Young Solutions to Our Cities

This session will showcase young leaders within the Local Pathways Fellowship Youth Initiative and their youth-led projects for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. These projects provide examples of solutions for sustainable development in urban environments that span 180 cities. This session highlights the potential of the youth by showcasing what can be done when they are given the tools and knowledge needed to implement solutions to the most pressing challenges in their cities.

Moderator(s):

Ana Ynestrillas, Local Pathways Fellowship SDSN Youth

Speaker(s):

Regina Paredes, Muevetex
Fatimah Mahmood, The green Box
Vasilis Rafail, Connect your City
Boniface Abudho, Eco-Build Africa

04 Nov 4:00PM
Emory Climate Talks with Youth Climate Activists

This session will showcase youth activists from indigenous community and both from the Global South and North to discuss the climate movement that youth activists are pushing for. There will be an active Q&A to encourage discussion.

Moderator(s):

Eri Saikawa, Emory University

Speaker(s):

Zanagee Artis, Zero Hour
Damilola Hamid Balogun, Youth Sustainable Development Network

05 Nov 9:00AM
Building on the Blue COP - Priorities in Oceans-Climate Inclusion

COP25 was heralded as the Blue COP with the first ever inclusion of oceans in the output document. Beyond this however there has been very little consideration of the ocean-climate nexus, even though without the oceans the 1.5 degree goal is unlikely to be achievable. This session contemplates a way forward to achieving improved integration between ocean and climate governance. It includes considerations such as the risks, needs and opportunities for SIDS, the potential of nature based solutions, and the role of blue carbon and market based mechanisms. It seeks to unpack ways to overcome impediments to oceans being a core consideration in the climate regime’s operation, goals and action.

Moderator(s):

Sali Bache, ClimateWorks/Monash University

Speaker(s):

Mubariq Ahmad, Indonesian Director Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF)
Russell Reichelt, High Level Panel for the Sustainable Ocean Economy
Peni Suveinakama, Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner
Janine Felson, AOSIS and University of Melbourne

05 Nov 2:00PM
The Land-Water-Energy Nexus of Biofuels

Experts of land-use, energy, water, and biofuel technologies, scientists, engineers and professionals from around the world were convened in 2020 to make up a world class consortium to discuss, debate, and refine the potential for biofuels to be incorporated into national and sectoral decarbonization strategies. In a recently released report, Roadmap to 2050: The Land-Water-Energy Nexus of Biofuels, these researchers attempt to better understand the intricacies of the global biofuel market, the evolution of key technologies, and the intersection of biofuel production on the land, water, and the local economies from which they are derived. This session will share the results of this effort in trying to better understand the feasibility of scaling biofuels to replace liquid fossil fuels in emissions reduction efforts, with a focus on the impacts to land, water and local economies. Download the report at: https://roadmap2050.report/

Moderator(s):

To be announced

Speaker(s):

Keynote by Jeffrey Sachs, SDSN and Prof. Marzio Galeotti, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)
Maria Cristina Rulli, Politecnico di Milano
Joaquim E. A. Seabra, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
Maurizio Masi, Politecnico di Milano

05 Nov 4:00PM
Emory Climate Talks on Food Waste and Anaerobic Digestion

One third of the food production in the world is estimated to end up being wasted. By wasting food, we waste energy and water to grow food and produce methane. Reducing food waste and turning them into energy is one mitigation option that we need to seriously consider. In this panel, we will discuss this issue of how to tackle food waste and also do so with an “equity by design” mindset. We hope to bring in people from academia, business, NGOs from both Global South and North to consider solutions and opportunities related to energy and food. Instead of creating another landfill in an environmental justice community, we seek an alternative solution and propose to mitigate climate change and demand climate justice.

Moderator(s):

Eri Saikawa, Emory University

Speaker(s):

John Hanselman, Vanguard Renewables
David Hertz, Gastromotiva
Emily Broad Leib, Harvard Law School

Speakers