COP 21 Initiatives

In addition to producing the Paris Agreement, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference generated an unprecedented showing of action and support from all levels of society. “Non-state actors” such as cities, states and companies offered pledges via the online NAZCA Portal set up under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda. At the time of the conference, the portal listed nearly 11,000 commitments from more than 2,250 cities, 150 regions, 2,025 companies, 424 investors, and 235 civil society organizations.

Here is a sampling of the many initiatives launched in Paris by governments and/or non-state actors.

Breakthrough Energy Coalition

Members: Twenty-six investors, including Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Bill Gates (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures), Jack Ma (Alibaba Group), Pan Shiyi (SOHO China), Ratan Tata (Tata Industries), Meg Whitman (Hewlett Packard), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).

Purpose: Form a network of private capital committed to building a structure that will allow informed decisions to help accelerate the change to the advanced energy future. Success requires a partnership of increased government research, with a transparent and workable structure to objectively evaluate those projects, and committed private-sector investors willing to support the innovative ideas that come out of the public research pipeline.

The focus is on early stage financing (e.g. seed, angel and Series A investments, rather than financing ideas at a more mature development stage. Investment sectors include: electricity generation and storage, transportation, industrial use, agriculture, and energy system efficiency.

Contact: info@breakthroughenergycoalition.com

Caring for Climate

Members: Endorsed by 448 organizations from 65 countries across 30 sectors.

Purpose: Caring for Climate is an initiative mobilizing business leaders to implement and recommend climate change solutions and policies by advancing practical solutions, sharing experiences, informing public policy and shaping public attitudes. Companies can join by endorsing the Caring for Climate Statement, offering signatories on-going engagement opportunities in five work streams:

  • Carbon Pricing
  • Climate Adaptation
  • Climate and Energy Action Hub
  • Climate Policy and Engagement
  • Transparency and Disclosure

Contact: caring4climate@un.org

Compact of Mayors

Members: Mayors of 484 cities, representing 413,076,762 people worldwide and 5.70% of the total global population have committed to the Compact of Mayors.

Purpose: The Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders to reduce GHG emissions, track progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The coalition aims to:

  • Share best practices;
  • Encourage increased capital flows into cities to support local action;
  • Demonstrate commitment to action by voluntarily agreeing to rigorous transparency standards; and
  • Establish a consistent, transparent accountability framework that can be used by national governments, private investors or the public.

To become a part of the compact, a city must first register a commitment to become compact compliant. A mayor then has up to three years to assess the current impacts of climate change in his or her city, update its GHG inventory, set a target to reduce emissions, conduct a vulnerability assessment consistent with compact guidance, and report in its chosen platform. The compact operates under the leadership of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues.

Contact: info@compactofmayors.org

Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC)

Members: Twenty countries: Armenia, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Dubai, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United States, and Vietnam; 8 major groups: Lafarge Holcim, Saint Gobain, Velux, Consolidated Contractors Company, Danfoss, Veolia, Sekisui House, Suez Environnement; more than 50 national and international organizations, professional networks and funders.

Purpose: This worldwide alliance aims to gather countries, cities and public and private organizations of the building sector value chain, in order to scale up the implementation of ambitious actions toward the "below 2°C" pathway in buildings and construction sector. The alliance’s first priority is to collectively address major challenges in three clusters:

  • Public strategies and policies: To support member cities, states, regions, and countries in developing, building capacity for, and implementing, comprehensive building efficiency strategies and policies.
  • Value chain transformation: To work together to develop comprehensive action plans across the entire buildings value chain, including focus on workforce development, skills and training, support for technology transfer, and capacity building.
  • Finance: To work to increase financing options adapted to accelerate investment and funding for building mitigation projects and programs.

Contact: buildings.day@unep.org

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

Members: The Alliance will cover 120 countries including many African and Asian nations, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, China and the United States. Companies involved in the project include Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France and Tata Steel.

Purpose: The ISA will expand solar power primarily in countries that are resource-rich but energy poor, by mobilizing public finance from richer states to deliver universal energy access. The ISA could support progress toward a clean energy pathway by lowering financing costs, developing common standards, encouraging knowledge sharing and facilitating R&D collaborations and co-development of technology.

Mission Innovation:

Members: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States.

Purpose: Each participating country will seek to double its governmental and/or state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years. New investments would be focused on transformational clean energy technology innovations that can be scalable to varying economic and energy market conditions that exist in participating countries and in the broader world.

Mission Innovation will work with the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to generate private sector interest in continuing investment in technologies with the greatest potential following the public investment stage. There is also a commitment of Mission Innovation participating countries to make available all relevant data, expertise and analysis so that they can be easily accessed by all.

A first implementation meeting of Mission Innovation will be held in early 2016.

Montreal Carbon Pledge

Members: More than 120 investors with more than $10 trillion in assets under management, based in Europe, US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Africa.

Purpose: The Montreal Carbon Pledge commits investors to measure and disclose the carbon footprint of our investments annually, with the aim of then developing a strategy or setting reduction targets. The Montreal pledge formalizes commitments to the goals of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition. The Montreal Carbon Pledge is organized by the Principles for Responsible Investors (PRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

Contact: montrealcarbonpledge@unpri.org

New York Declaration on Forests

Members: Thirty-six national governments, 20 subnational governments, 53 companies, 16 indigenous peoples’ groups, and 54 NGO/CSOs.

Purpose: Members will do their part to achieve a range of outcomes, including to halve the rate of natural forest loss by 2020, and end it by 2030. There are more specific goals to eliminate deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities by 2020, as well as broader goals to provide alternative incomes to local communities, provide incentives for governments which perform well and strengthening the rule of law in managing forests.

According to the declaration, the cumulative impact of these measures could be between 4.5-8.8 billion tons of greenhouse gases per year by 2030.

Contact: Charles.mcneill@undp.org

Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation

Members: Led by the International Network of Basins Organizations (INBO/RIOB), the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Adaptation consists of a wide geographic coalition of almost 290 national and cross-border river basin organizations and governments, funding agencies, local governments, companies and civil society.

Purpose: The initiative is designed to make countries mobilize their own basins organizations, in order to strengthen their resilience and their adaptation actions. The Pact encourages actions that:

  • Reinforce capacity development and knowledge;
  • Adapt basin management planning to climate change;
  • Reinforce governance; and
  • Ensure adequate financing.

These actions will contribute to reach Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Contact: veronique.massenet@cop21.gouv.fr

Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC)

Members: ABP, Allianz, AP4, Australian Ethical, Caisse des Dépôts, Church of Sweden, Environment Agency Pension Fund, Fonds de reserves pour les retraites (FRR), Humanis, KLP, Local Government Super, MN, Le Régime de Retraite additionelle de la Fonction publique (ERAFP), Storebrand, The University of Sydney, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, A Capital, Amundi Asset Management, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Hermes Investment Management, Inflection Point Capital Management, Mandatum Life, Mirova, RobecoSAM, Sonen Capital.

Purpose: The PDC is a multi-stakeholder initiative to reduce the GHG emissions in investment portfolios. The coalition focuses on two separate initiatives; generating information on a carbon footprint and disclosing this information, and taking action to reduce the exposure of investment portfolios to greenhouse gas intensive companies and projects. The coalition has committed to a decarbonization of $600 billion, of a total of $3.2 trillion in assets under management. This surpasses the original target of $100 billion.

Contact: pdc@unepfi.org

SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Members: FAO and Messe Düsseldorf are collaborating with donors, bi- and multi-lateral agencies and financial institutions and private sector partners (the food packaging industry and others) to develop and implement a program on food loss and waste reduction.

Purpose: The SAVE FOOD initiative aims at encouraging dialogue between industry, research, politics, and civil society on food losses. The initiative will regularly bring together stakeholders involved in the food supply chain for conferences and projects and will support them in developing effective measures. Another goal will be to raise public awareness of the impact of food waste. Four pillars of the SAVE FOOD initiative:

  1. Raising awareness, through a global communication and media campaign, the dissemination of Save Food program findings, and Regional SAVE FOOD Congresses, of the impact of and solutions for food loss and waste.
  2. Collaboration and coordination of world-wide initiatives and establishing a global partnership of public and private sector organizations and companies.
  3. Policy, strategy, and program development, including a series of field studies on a national-regional basis and studies on the socio-economic impacts of food loss and waste.
  4. Private and public sector support to investment programs and projects, including food supply chain actors and organizations either at the food subsector level or policy level.

Contact: save-food@fao.org

Under 2 MOU

Members: One-hundred-twenty-seven subnational jurisdictions, representing 729 million people and over $20 trillion in GDP

Purpose: Members are willing to commit to either reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, or achieving a per capita emissions target of less than two metric tons by 2050. This is in line with the scientifically established emissions level necessary to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Contact: laura.carr@opr.ca.gov

ZEV Alliance

Members: British Columbia, California, Connecticut, Germany, Maryland, Massachusetts, The Netherlands, New York, Norway, Oregon, Québec, Rhode Island, The United Kingdom, Vermont

Purpose: Members signed a common statement to work together on encouraging Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV)deployment. This includes creating and sharing targets for future ZEV deployment across members. In addition, sharing data and best practices to be more effective in their ZEV deployment strategies.

Contact:  nic@theicct.org