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.

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. 

     

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Visits Vienna

On September 7 – 9, 2021 – Vienna, Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC), Ban Ki-moon and his wife Madam Yoo Soon-taek along with Former South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Sook arrived in Vienna, Austria. During the two-day visit former UN Secretary-General Ban attended many bilateral meetings, visited the UN Headquarters in Vienna as well as the BKMC office. BKMC board member H.E. Ambassador Sadiq Marafi of Kuwait hosted an amazing welcome dinner inviting several high-level guests including H.E. Marzouq Al Ghanim, Speaker of Kuwait’s Parliament, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi. The dinner provided the Co-chairs and H.E. Ambassador Marafi an opportunity to discuss the collaboration between the Embassy of Kuwait and the BKMC.

The second day started with the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon revisiting the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna. At the Vienna International Centre, he met with UNODC Director General Ghada Fathi Waly, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, UNIDO Director General Li Yong as well as Martin Nesirky Director of the United Nations Information Service. The discussions focused on the current and future collaborations between the agencies and the BKMC regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Rule of Law, climate change and empowering young people.

 
BK Kurz trifft Ban Ki Moon im BKA. 08.09.2021, Foto: Dragan Tatic

In the afternoon, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had bilateral meetings with the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and the Mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig taking the opportunity to talk about, the situation in Afghanistan, the pandemic, and climate change. BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon also presented the government leaders with signed copies of his new memoir “Resolved” underlining the importance of multilateralism in a divided world.

On his final day Co-chair Ban visited the offices of the BKMC in Vienna and took the chance to catch up with the team and the BKMC’s activities. Following the visit, Co-chair Ban’s final stop was a farewell lunch hosted by H.E. Ambassador Shin of Korea to discuss the UN’s history and anti-corruption efforts with IACA Dean Thomas Stelzer.

   

Access the photo album below:

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Visit Vienna 2021  

Ban Ki-moon Centre 2020 Annual Report is Out!

We are thrilled to share the 2020 Annual Report of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens with you. We hope to inspire you with what we have accomplished together in 2020  and with what we will build on it in 2021 and beyond with your place in our valuable global network.

“We want to thank our co-chairs, our board, and all our partners and supporters for an unprecendented yet impactful year that gave us hope that with dedication, hope, and team spirit we can continue to contribute to a better future for all – leaving no one behind. “

Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler

Read our report below, share it and join us in supporting global citizens around the world.

 

Launch of Mission 4.7 at the Vatican Youth Symposium

On December 16th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre, along with UNESCO, the SDSN, and the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) at Columbia University, launched a new initiative – Mission 4.7 – at the Vatican Youth Symposium.

The Vatican Youth Symposium is an intergenerational gathering Co-hosted by SDSN Youth and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), bringing together leaders in global development to catalyze solutions and partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The first day of the symposium was dedicated to the Launch of Mission 4.7. This new initiative brings together leaders from around the world to highlight the critical importance of quality education for all and of education for sustainable development and global citizenship.

Mission 4.7 will build on and draw upon UNESCO’s expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED), as well as of its responsibility for monitoring SDG 4 on Quality Education and its target SDG 4.7.

The launch event consisted of 3 sessions. The opening session featured a special video message from His Holiness Pope Francis, stating his support for the new initiative:

Mission 4.7 is part of a, “New wave of educational opportunities based on social justice and mutual love, an act of hope amidst the globalization of indifference.”

“The Global Compact on Education and Mission 4.7 will work together for the civilization of love, beauty and unity.”

Following the statement by His Holiness Pope Francis, the Patrons of Mission 4.7, Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay and Co-chair of the BKMC Ban Ki-moon, shared remarks. Ban Ki-moon shared a call to action:

 

“It is a critical time to share a call to action and to launch this initiative (Mission 4.7) aimed to advocate for, inspire and mobilize governmental and non-governmental actors to prioritize education for sustainable development.”

 

Following the remarks by the Patrons, Jeffrey Sachs (President of the SDSN and BKMC Board Member) along with the other Co-chairs of the initiative – Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, Founder and Chairman, Sunway Group, and Monsignor Marcel Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) – were introduced and offered remarks.

After the opening session, CEO of the BKMC Monika Froehler moderated a session focused on ‘Education for Sustainable Development in Primary and Secondary Schools.’

The speakers for the session included Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, Amanda Abrom and Sam Loni, Global Schools, SDSN, Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills, OECD, Siva Kumari, Director-General, International Baccalaureate Organization, Mustafa Ozturk, Professor, Hacettepe University, and Professor Abdulkerim Marzouk, Director, Executive Education Center, Al Akhawayn University.

The session focused on how education can be reimagined and transformed to embed the concepts of ESD and GCED. It also reflected on the impacts of Covid-19 on education and what will be necessary moving forward as well as the role of youth in sustainable development.

 

“If you give young people the tools, the platform, they will drive change.” – Sam Loni, Program Director, SDSN and Director, Global Schools

 

Finally, to close the launch event, Chandrika Bahadur, Director of the SDG Academy, moderated a session on ‘Education for Sustainable Development in Tertiary and Professional Settings.’

During the session, former Director-General of UNESCO and BKMC Board Member Irina Bokova offered her insights:

“When we speak about higher education, it is very important to mention that the complexity of our world needs a different approach to University education. An intersectional approach.”

 

The BKMC looks forward to continuing work on this important mission in the coming year! Thank you to all partners involved and champions for the mission who have committed their time and energy to this important initiative.

 

To watch the recording of the launch event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH9JYp8NFm8&feature=youtu.be

To learn more about the mission: https://www.mission4point7.org/

The Earth is Running a Fever

Today, on December 12th, 2020, we are commemorating the 5th year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement and the leaders who worked vigorously to bring it to life. In 2007, when Ban Ki-moon first assumed his position as the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, he positioned global action on climate change as a guiding priority of his mandate. He remembers how many people were surprised by this, “but immediately raising this issue of critical significance was necessary to set the tone for my leadership and policy priorities from the outset.”

During his tenure as Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon hosted five major climate change summits and worked tirelessly to place climate action as a priority for national governments. Being the first Secretary-General to attend all the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) sessions, he reflects on COP15 (the 15th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC) “…even though there was no binding agreement, a “political accord” drafted by US, China, India, South Africa, and Brazil was issued. This document would serve as the basis for continuing the COPs until the 2015 Paris Agreement.”

Working up to COP21 in Paris, Ban Ki-moon went on several on-the-ground visits around the world to see the immense impact caused by climate change on communities, countries, and the planet’s entirety. He recalls, “…these travels reinforced my belief that climate change represented humankind’s biggest challenge.”

   

The UNFCCC’s COP21 in 2015 signified a milestone for global climate action. This was the conference where the Paris Climate Agreement was adopted by world leaders representing 195 nations. This was a remarkable moment in history when all countries unanimously came to a consensus on committing to slow down the rise in temperatures, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and elevate climate-resilient development and adaptation. Ban Ki-moon to this day is still “incredibly proud of the fact that we unanimously achieved this landmark goal, and the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus in Paris on December 12th, 2015. This was a resounding triumph not only for our earth but for multilateralism as well.”

As we are in the final stretch of a truly unprecedented year 2020, on this anniversary of the landmark agreement, we are reminded of the commitments made five years ago by global leaders on behalf of humanity. The Paris Agreement was the starting point, a valuable blueprint to mitigate the serious threats to our planet.

We need to prepare for our future.

Now, more than ever we need to invest in our collective efforts to break the earth’s fever.

Participation is everything!

On 21 October 2020, Chief Operating Officer of the BKMC, Katrin Harvey participated in the 15th Austrian CSR-Day, organized by respACT, the Austrian business council for sustainable development, as a panelist for the online afternoon session “Participation is everything”.

The CSR-Day is a business conference in Austria that invites businesses to exchange best practices, network, and cooperate on sustainability topics. This year, the event’s focus was put on entrepreneurial climate protection. Together with Prof. Dr. Pablo Collazzo, Managing Partner at Sequoia Management LLC and Dorothea Wiplinger, Sustainability & Project STOP Manager at Borealis Strategy & Group Development, COO Harvey discussed how international partnerships can lead through global crises.

During her presentation, COO Harvey highlighted the holistic nature of the SDGs, focusing on the significance of Sustainable Development Goal 17, Partnership for the Goals. Cooperation and multi-stakeholder partnerships are a combining component of all SDGs and can bring a better future for all.

She explained that to create a healthy environment, a thriving society, and a prosperous economy, we need a global game-changing plan. We need an unstoppable movement of cooperation on all levels, including an SDG based economic development to achieve Agenda 2030 in the next decade.

To make the SDGs a reality we need everyone on board. It requires global leadership and strong multilateralism, local stakeholder engagement with relevant and practical policies and budgets. It needs individuals from all ages and all parts of the world. A multi-stakeholder approach can be the ideal solution, a mix of government, academia, civil society, and businesses, a best-case scenario of cooperation and international relationships.

“The SDGs can become a success story, if all actors push in the same direction, are interconnected, and think systemically to design a better and more sustainable future.”

COO, Katrin Harvey

She also highlighted some concrete partnership opportunities in striving for the 2030 Agenda.

  • Education and workforce development
  • Strengthens the supply chain
  • Affordable products and services
  • Government capacity building

THE SDG PARTNERSHIP GUIDEBOOK: A practical guide to building high-impact multi-stakeholder partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals, Darian Stibbe and Dave Prescott, The Partnering Initiative and UNDESA 2020.

Businesses are already starting to adopt a socially and environmentally responsible mindset and learning to understand their significance and their crucial role in implementing agenda 2030 in their own operations. Yet, there is a need for acceleration and amplification on all fronts.

Combining the efforts of academia, civil society, government, and the private sector, all stakeholders can find a win-win-win situation for all within the framework of the SDGs, as they offer a blueprint for sustainable economic development in the long-run. We are the last generation possible able to mitigate the effects that are exhausting our natural resources.

She ended her intervention with a call for action “Participation is everything, let us implement the 17 SDGs together in the next decade.”

To learn more about CSR-Day click here.

Co-chair Ban Ki-moon Celebrates United Nations Day

Message from Co-chair and 8th Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon

Today, on October 24th, 2020, we are commemorating the anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter in 1945. Over the past 75 years, the world and humankind have seen great strides forward but also have been tested by arduous setbacks. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and intensified existing structural inequalities – leading to relentless social and economic struggles on a global scale. However, we must not forget that while millions of people are affected by and suffering from it; poverty, terrorism, discrimination, and climate change remain a threat to humankind especially to the most vulnerable.

In 1945, the UN was founded to bring an end to human rights violations and lead the path to a sustainable future. Today, we recognize its ceaseless dedication. As we are reflecting on the past, celebrating our achievements, and looking forward to change, the global pandemic should be the push to strengthen multilateralism and international cooperation. 2020 has also been a year of opportunity for unity and positive change. That is why the UN is needed now more than ever and I have continued to support the UN system and partners in these unprecedented times. The values of the UN Charter must remain our guide as we continue to promote three pillars of the UN; international peace and security, human rights as well as development.

We must continue building on the foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015. We have a clear and universally agreed roadmap to lead us to a path of fundamental transformation for a just society by 2030. I thank you – for your dedication in striving for a better world.

Let us, on October 24, reaffirm our commitment to a brighter future for all – leaving no one behind.

 

Ban Ki-moon and Vanessa Nakate discuss how to save the world at Forum Alpbach

On August 26, 2020, Ban Ki-moon Centre Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and young climate activist Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, took the stage at the first-ever digital European Forum Alpbach to discuss the role of youth activism in building a better future. 

“How to Save the World?”

The session had more than 900 live viewers and was moderated by the Editor in Chief of Politico Europe, Stephen G.Brown. Keynote speeches by Ban Ki-moon and Vanessa Nakate were followed by a moderated discussion, answering questions shared by the diverse and global audience.

In his speech, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon underlined that tackling climate change is an urgent international problem that needs an international solution; the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world and the most vulnerable populations are facing the brunt of the consequences. He stated, “Our Earth itself is running a fever.”

Vanessa Nakate, a youth climate justice activist and founder of the Rise up Movement, called for action to address the climate crisis, highlighting the importance of youth activism, smart agriculture and better infrastructure in fighting #climatechange, protecting the only planet we have.  She emphasized, “We cannot achieve the SDGs without #climateaction.”

Ban Ki-moon gave credit to civil society actors, particularly youth and women, who are speaking out and galvanizing others to address climate change and to develop innovative and sustainable solutions. He said, “I applaud all these young leaders for their wisdom, their passion, and their hard work in combating climate change.”

The discussion also addressed the concept of global citizenship and the role of education for youth and girls in providing necessary tools to achieve the SDGs and tackle climate change.

It was also pointed out that gender inequality and the climate crises go hand in hand. Women are disproportionately effected by the negative repercussion of climate change with loss of livelihoods and more. However, they are also an essential part of the solution. Climate action that neglects half of the population, is not sustainable and it is only with the engagement of women and girls that we will overcome this obstacle.

Quoting Secretary-General Ban: “It is essential that we push for gender-responsive policies when addressing climate change – policy-making that includes the voices of women and recognizes their powerful role as stakeholders who can also act to combat climate change.”

Vanessa also drew attention to the need for inclusive action, mentioning that we have to ensure the protection of the planet and its people. She said, “Climate change affects almost every other sustainable development goal. We cannot have gender equality without climate action.”

The highly awaited discussion ended with a question from the audience asking about the importance of inter-generational action.

Ban Ki-moon answered: “We are abusing the privileges given to us by mother nature. If we don’t act now, we will regret it for the next generations.”

Vanessa called for collaboration stating that, “Young people have to work together with the older generation. If we want to fight the climate crisis, we have a lot to learn from them and they have a lot to learn from us.” 

Learn more about Forum Alpbach here.