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 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.