Beyond COP26 – Moving Towards a Green Economy

First Virtual Climate Symposium hosted by the Ban Ki-moon Centre & the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the International Organizations in Vienna

“Beyond COP26 – Moving Towards a Green Economy” hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the International Organizations in Vienna and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens took place on November 30, 10 AM CET. We showcased achievements and challenges on climate action in the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Austria. 

The Virtual Climate Symposium featured leaders and experts across sectors to discuss key outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), best practice examples and opportunities to increase efforts in transitioning to a greener and hydrogen-based economy in the Republic of Korea and Republic of Austria, and how to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

H.E. Shin Chae-hyun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Vienna, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, 8th United Nations Secretary-General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (Video Statement), and Dr. Heinz Fischer,11th Federal President of Austria and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens gave opening remarks.

Katrin Harvey, COO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens delivered a COP26 recap, highlighting main results in Glasgow, such as countries committing to ending deforestation by 2030, phasing out fossil fuels, doubling climate finance for mitigation and adaptation, first steps of recognizing loss and damage vulnerable countries, and a rising commitment by the private sector to net-zero. 

Our distinguished panelists Dr. Renate Christ, Former Director of the IPCC Secretariat, Dr. Jonghee Han, Director of Institute of Hydrogen Energy of Korea Institute of Energy Technology, Marie-Theres Thöni, Director for Renewable Energy and Electricity, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology in Austria discussed the results of COP26, the importance of scientific facts to fight the climate crisis, the technological pathways Austria is currently envisioning to tackle the climate emergency, and the role of hydrogen economy in Korea to achieve carbon neutrality and green economy. The panel was moderated by Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens.

“We see some progress. The NDCs submitted after Paris would have led to a global temperature increase of 3.2 degrees. The revised ones in July 2021 estimated an increase of 2.7 degreees. We can have the best agreement, the best pledges but they have to be put in action.” – Dr. Renate Christ

 

“It’s important to put the emphasis on RENEWABLE Hydrogen. We need to elevate the current renewable electricity production by 50 percent within the next ten years. Thus, there is not only a technological pathway, but we must also raise acceptance for the renewables in the population, especially for the instalation of solar and wind power by establishing an energy community.”  – Marie Theres-Thöni

 

Hydrogen could be one of the primary items to  decarbonize import and transportation. We need to collaborate internationallyto build the hydrogen transport structure and we have to share the technology to build the international connection/ transportation.”  Dr. Han Jong-Hee

 

We thank our speakers and the Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Vienna for their insights on transitioning to a greener and hydrogen-based economy in South Korea and Austria.

26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) – There is No Time to Waste

First Pledge for Smallholder Farmers, Agricultural Innovation and Research reaches $575M!

Between October 31st and November 12th, the United Kingdom (UK) hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. After one year of delay, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 25.000 delegates from all over the world gathered to exchange, partner, negotiate, and significantly accelerate climate action towards achieving the Paris Climate Agreement.

In Glasgow, the BKMC was present throughout the conference and met with with high-level stakeholders and decision-makers of countries and institutions including the European Commission, Germany, NetherlandsUKQatar, and Zambia to advocate for higher attention to climate change adaptation in agriculture, especially towards the most vulnerable group – smallholder farmers. 

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered several calls for action during COP26. At the Agri-Food Transition Summit Climate Spotlight, he reinforced the key role of Agricultural Adaptation for building resilient food systems.

Monika Froehler, CEO of the BKMC, and Katrin Harvey, COO of the BKMC spoke at the COP26 side events: Sustainable Innovation Forum  “Climate Action Dialogue – Future Foods: Creating a Sustainable Food System for All” and the Agri-Food Transition Summit Panel Discussion “Meeting the Net Zero: Promoting Technological Innovation to Adapt Supply Chains Towards Efficiency, Resilience and Sustainabilty”, organized by Climate Action.

   

At COP26, a coalition of funders pledged $575 million to deliver climate-smart solutions to farmers in low-income countries via CGIAR. Several launches of initiatives and partnerships to draw further financing and commitment towards agricultural adaption were made.

In contrast to previous UN Climate Change Conferences, conversations and pledges at COP26 had a greater focus on adaptation measures, with agriculture playing a vital role. As of today, only roughly one-quarter of global climate change finance is directed towards adaptation measures. With the Elevating Agricultural Adaptation Program, the BKMC calls on leaders to increase commitments towards climate-smart agriculture, channeling resources to the CGIAR.

“It was encouraging to see the dynamics on many layers that increase the attention towards adaptation efforts in the agricultural sector,” says Angela Reithuber, Program Manager of Elevating Agricultural Adaptation at the BKMC. “However, it became very clear that there are still huge gaps in quantitative and qualitative commitments of countries to accelerate action in climate-smart agriculture. We need farmer-centred solutions with a high level of transparency to accelerate innovation and knowledge-sharing.”

There were loud calls that next year’s COP27 in Egypt, Africa must focus even more on adaptation measures, as agriculture is both a driver and a solution to solving the climate crisis.  

Read the COP26 Op-Ed by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon here.

Watch the Sustainable Innovation Forum recording here.

Watch the Agri-Food Transition Summit recording here.

New Report: Europe and North America Regional GCED Network

We are very excited to share our new research report titled “Mapping the GCED sector in Europe and North America” together with our partner APCEIU. 

The report is based on a research project led by Lynette Shultz (Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research, University of Alberta) and Massimiliano Tarozzi (International Research Centre on Global Citizenship Education, University of Bologna) as Principal Investigators.

This study addresses an important gap in GCED research by exploring how GCED is constructed and moves across networks of actors, including governments, NGOs, researchers, and educational institutions, among others.

While in recent years some research has explored the role of both offline and digital networks (Twitter in particular) in shaping educational policy, this is the first study to apply social network analysis to GCED educational policy and practice.

If you are interested in how offline and digital networks shape educational policy read the report below:

Stage at Global Citizen Live Paris Copyright - Katre Olmez

World Leaders Pledge to Save the Planet at Global Citizen

$100B Climate Pledge, $6B for Famine Relief, and Vaccine Justice at Global Citizen Live!

Official partner of Global Citizen through a joint program Elevating Agricultural Adaptation the BKMC attended Global Citizen Live in Paris. The 24-hour broadcasted festival spanning seven continents and bringing together over 70 artists, activists, and leaders raised more than US$1.1B, 157M trees, and over 60M COVID-19 vaccines.

While calling for leaders to make financial and political commitments to agricultural adaptation, the BKMC calls to direct such resources to CGIAR. At Global Citizen Live, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a €140 million pledge while Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, announced a €75 million pledge, and Meryame Kitir, Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities Policy, announced a €6 million pledge to CGIAR.

The BKMC is strongly advocating for more attention to the most vulnerable in the world, supporting smallholder farmers and climate change adaptation. Thanks to all joint efforts, several world leaders made pledges to commit to vaccine distribution, fighting hunger, education for all as well as battling the impacts of climate change.

Under the leadership of Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, the BKMC thanks Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of Netherlands, Minister of International Development Dag Inge Ulstein of Norway and Meryame Kitir Minister of Development Cooperation of Belgium and so many more for their commitments to the most vulnerable in our world.

Check out Global Citizen’s impact report here to find out about the details. 

     

Joining forces with CARE Nederland

In the second half of 2021, the Ban Ki-moon Centre and CARE Nederland – CARE Climate Change and Resilience Platform signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This new and exciting collaboration aims to strengthen women leadership to combat the effects of climate change. Stay tuned to find out how we will join our forces to advance climate adaptation.

ABOUT CARE

Founded in 1945, CARE International works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We put women and girls in the centre because we know that we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities. CARE International works in 100 countries to assist more than 68 million people to improve basic health and education, fight hunger, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, confront climate change and recover from disasters. More than 70% of those helped are women.

SDG Dialogueforum Austria “Building forward better with Agenda 2030”

SDG Dialogueforum Austria “Building forward better with Agenda 2030″ on the theme ‘Together for sustainable development after Covid-19’ is an event co-hosted by the Ban Ki-moon Centre, SDG Watch Austria and the Austrian inter-ministerial Working Party on Agenda 2030. It will discuss the implementation of the Agenda 2030 in Austria, as well as putting emphasis on four focus areas with Innovation pools on “Digitalization”, “Women, youth and ‘leaving no one behind’”, climate action and adaptation to climate change, and Austria in the global context. 

The public livestream will start on September 28 at 14.30 PM. 

Date: 28 September 2021, Closed Session 12.30 – 14.30 PM CET, Public Livestream 14.30 -17.30 PM CET 

Location: Hybrid – Virtual/Museum of Natural History Vienna

Please note that this event will be held in GERMAN.


Das SDG Dialogforum Österreich “Building forward better mit der Agenda 2030” wird unter dem Thema ‘Gemeinsam für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung nach Covid-19’ von der Bundesverwaltung sowie Vertreterinnen und Vertretern der Zivilgesellschaft gemeinsam veranstaltet. Es geht darum, die konkrete Umsetzung der Agenda 2030 und der 17 Ziele für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs) in Österreich zu diskutieren – mit einem besonderen Schwerpunkt auf entsprechende Innovationen.

Wie im SDG 17 „Partnerschaften zur Erreichung der Ziele” vorgesehen, wollen wir mit jährlichen SDG-Dialogforen Multi-Stakeholder-Partnerschaften fördern. Diese sollen dazu beitragen, Wissen und Expertise zu mobilisieren und so die politische Kohärenz für nachhaltige Entwicklung zu steigern.

In neuartigen Innovationspools werden relevante Fragen für die SDG-Zielerreichung behandelt, um die Ergebnisse anschließend in die weitere Arbeit zur Umsetzung in Österreich einfließen zu lassen. Beim ersten Dialogforum konzentrieren wir uns auf die Herausforderungen und Möglichkeiten beim Weg aus der COVID-19-Pandemie. Die Innovationspools sind zugänglich für geladene Gäste aus dem öffentlicher und privater Sektor, Zivilgesellschaft und Wissenschaft, und werden zeitgerecht ausgesendet. 

Wir danken Ihnen schon jetzt, dass Sie sich diese Veranstaltung vormerken und freuen uns, Sie im September beim SDG Dialogforum Österreich begrüßen zu dürfen!

Bitte beachten Sie, dass am 28. September von 12.30 – 14.30 Uhr eine geschlossene Sitzung stattfinden wird, welche nur für TeilnehmerInnen der Innovationspools gedacht ist.

Der öffentliche Livestream wird am 28. September um 14.30 Uhr beginnen. 

Datum: 28 September 2021, Geschlossene Sitzung 12.30 – 14.30 Uhr, öffentlicher Livestream 14.30 -17.30 Uhr

Ort:  Hybrides Event: teils physisch auf Einladung/Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

Zur Registrierung 

Weitere Informationen zum Dialogforum

The BKMC becomes Knowledge Partner for the Climate Walkers

BKMC RAUN research mentee Eva-Maria Holzinger got inspired by her academic work on sustainability and together with other young changemakers initiated the project called “Wanderers of Changing Worlds: Walk and Talk through Europe’s Climates”.  

As part of the Knowledge Association Board, the BKMC is actively supporting the project and serving as an expert on the SDGs. The project is touching on SDG 3, SDG 4, SDG 13, and SDG 17. 

The combined research, education, and media project aim to understand the regional experience of climate change by walking through different climate zones in Europe as of 5 June 2022. This summer, the climate activists are undertaking instead a tour across Austria, walking through all 9 counties and entering into dialogue with its citizens to know more about how climate change is impacting their everyday lives. If you would like to join the group on their walk check out their route here

As a preparation for the walk, the group organized a lecture series at the University of Vienna in the first quarter of 2021, to teach students about the multiple perspectives of climate change. The BKMC CEO Monika Fröhler gave a presentation on “The interconnectedness of the SDGs, Global Citizenship and Climate Action” during Lecture Series #4 – “We Talk”. She highlighted the importance and challenges of the Paris Climate Agreement and gave an introduction to the SDGs as a tool to tackle the climate emergency. 

The BKMC is happy to support this important initiative and is looking forward to joining these changemakers on their last stop in Vienna.   

The Climate Walk is a project established by the Wanderers of Changing Worlds in 2019. Through the pillars of research, education and media, the group wants to raise awareness about the changing climate and its impacts on people across Europe by walking 12.000 km from Norway to Portugal, crossing 16 countries in 8 months.  

BAN KI-MOON STAGE at the RELX INSPIRATION DAY

On June 22nd, RELX hosted the seventh SDG Inspiration Day in collaboration with several organizations including the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Global Citizen, UN Global Compact India, UN Global Compact UK. The virtual event explored the topic Mobilising Business for a Better World: Accelerating Business Action on the #SDGs. Watch all the sessions right here. 

This year the event hosted a Ban Ki-moon stage with opening remarks from the former United Nations Secretary-General himself. “We need everyone’s engagement. If we want this global roadmap to succeed by 2030, the contribution of businesses is essential. I am proud to have expanded and mainstreamed the UN Global Compact, which ensures that business is done both sustainably and responsibly.”…watch his full message below:

The same stage also hosted an interactive session moderated by BKMC CEO Monika Froehler joined by Youth Council Member of the World Humanitarian Forum and SDG Ambition Leader of UN Global Compact, Kenneth Kwok, Operations Consultant and Global Citizen Scholar Akosua Pepra, and Executive Director, UNGC India, Shabnam Siddiqui.

 

The session titled Mobilising future business leaders on the SDGs focused on the role of youth entrepreneurship and activism when it comes to achieving the 2030 Agenda. A key takeaway is to make the process of SDG implementation much general conclusion was that youth are seen as agents of implementation, but not seen as strategic partners who can join the decision table. Akosua demanded, “I think it is time to see youth as really important stakeholders in strategy and planning.”

Get more information about Relx Inspiration Day here. 

BKMC teams up with Global Citizen to Promote Climate-Resilient Agriculture

Climate change is already transforming humanity’s relationship with nature, and nowhere is this shift more apparent than in the field of agriculture. Farmers worldwide are contending with rising temperatures, proliferating pests, and increasing droughts and floods that require new approaches to crops that have been grown for generations.

It’s a dynamic that leaves farmers exposed to financial ruin and diminishing yields, a prospect that threatens global food security at a time when the global population and its demand for calories continues to grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted farmers, often cutting them off from laborers, markets, and government assistance. Building back better” from the pandemic requires bold climate action that prioritizes smallholder farmers who are struggling to overcome structural and environmental forces outside of their control. That’s why the BKMC is entering a two-year partnership with Global Citizen — to advocate for climate-resilient agriculture by championing smallholder farmers especially in Africa and calling on world leaders to strengthen global food security and increase development aid to agricultural adaptation.

“2021 is the year we recover back better and call for increased political commitments,” said Ban Ki-moon, founder of the organization and 8th secretary-general of the United Nations.

“Partnering with Global Citizen on adaptation, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will join the collective effort to address climate change, focusing on building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers around the world.”

 

The partnership will involve behind-the-scenes advocacy and public awareness efforts that work hand-in-hand. By identifying governments that have shown broad sympathy for the cause of climate adaptation, the partnership will seek to increase development aid for agricultural adaptation in low-income countries.

 In support of these outreach efforts, Global Citizen and the BKMC will also seek to improve understanding of the challenges facing smallholder farmers, the complex dynamics of climate change, and how demand-driven research, such as those championed by CGIAR, accelerates climate adaptation on the ground.

In particular, the Program will bring forward the stories of smallholder farmers and how they’re confronting the climate crisis, incorporating agricultural adaptation tools and techniques, and building a better future.

While countries have shifted toward a form of industrial agriculture in recent decades that features massive plots of land and heavy use of chemicals, there are still roughly 570 million smallholder farms worldwide that manage land less than two acres in size. These farms support communities through food production, jobs, and the maintenance of traditional practices. But climate change primarily threatens smallholder farmers who do not always have the resources to adapt to emerging disruptions. Farmers often have to sell or leave their land when faced with rising temperatures, droughts, and other environmental changes. The absorption of small farms into industrial farms, meanwhile, often further contributes to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Today you can start by taking our joint short quiz powered by Global Citizen to understand why the situation facing farmers is so urgent. 

The partnership will highlight the lived experiences of female farmers on the front lines of food production; break down how adequately funded research can transform agriculture; explore how young people are reshaping agriculture and unlocking new opportunities; explain how agricultural adaptation practices can actually mitigate climate change, and look at how farming communities can improve rural development more broadly.

Through written content, video, and social media, the partners will put a light on the people who are crucial to the future survival of humanity: farmers.

Whether or not countries can navigate the disruptions of the worsening climate crisis depends in part on how well smallholder farmers can adapt. Farmers require stable weather conditions and steady supplies of water, both of which are becoming increasingly precarious as temperatures rise. Looked at another way, focusing on the plight of farmers can foster society-wide climate resilience. If the people who tilled the land were prioritized in global decision-making processes, then fossil fuels would be phased out more rapidly and inequality eradicated sooner. After all, fewer greenhouse emissions mean less climate change and more favorable conditions for growing food.

„Only the Beginning“– Closing of the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series

Throughout a two-month period, 33 young leaders from the Southeast Asian Region took part in the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series, organized by the BKMC in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). After participating in two webinars and one side event at the margins of the 14th UN Crime Congress, the ASEAN youth representatives were put in charge of planning their own SDG Micro-Projects during a one-month SDG Micro-Project Incubator phase. 

At the end of the Incubator, 33 SDG Micro-Project plans were submitted, accompanied by video pitches putting forth 33 innovative solutions to tackle local challenges and, thus, contribute to the SDGs.

On April 29th we celebrated the closing of the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series. As a special highlight, each of the participants received their Certificate of Participation and a unique illustration of their SDG Micro-Project, designed by the artist Kat J. Weiss. The three most compelling video pitches were streamed during the event, demonstrating the immense potential that lies within to act as global citizens. Check out the illustrations at our online exhibition below:

     

Co-chair Heinz Fischer and UNODC Programme Officers Lulua Assad and Gilberto Duarte provided congratulatory remarks and the event provided the opportunity to reminisce about their learnings and experiences throughout the webinar series.

The cohort agreed that this was only the beginning and that the webinar series motivated them to actively contribute to the SDGs and turn their ideas into action. Congratulations to all! 

Looking for some inspiration to turn your ideas into action? Have a look at our album of action here and check out the video about the ASEAN Youth for SDGs Webinar Series below: