UN Climate Change News, 1 February – The UN Climate Change Secretariat today announced Regional Climate Weeks in 2021 and 2022, key meetings that will help build regional momentum for the annual UN Climate Change Conferences and drive forward regional implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The Regional Climate Weeks will provide a platform for representatives of national and subnational governments, cities, the private sector, financial institutions and civil society to jointly discuss opportunities to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic by identifying opportunities to deploy ambitious measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate change.
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life across the world. The recovery from this crisis has to be sustainable, cleaner, healthier and more resilient. For this deep transformation, we need the efforts of all stakeholders, at all levels of government and in all sectors of society. The Climate Weeks can galvanize crucial climate action at the regional level and therefore make a significant contribution to more ambition globally.”
Regional Climate Weeks are open to all stakeholders as a ‘go-to’ hub to build partnerships and to showcase groundbreaking action in the regions.
They are also designed to encourage and facilitate the implementation of ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, along with the implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), Long-Term Low greenhouse gas Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS), and Global Climate Action and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
In light of COVID-19, the Regional Climate Weeks in 2021 are planned in different segments and will mainly take place virtually, with the option of some physical meetings if the status of the pandemic allows, with different levels of in-person participation according to the region.
The Climate Weeks in 2021 are (in alphabetical order):
- Africa Climate Week 2021 (ACW2021), hosted by the Government of Uganda
- Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2021 (APCW2021), hosted by the Government of Japan
- Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week 2021 (LACCW2021), hosted by the Government of the Dominican Republic
The year is to kick off with virtual regional roundtables 3-4 March in all three regions to set the scene in terms of regional priorities, challenges and opportunities for climate action.
A series of virtual thematic sessions will take place focusing on partnering for the whole society engagement in implementation, managing climate risks, and seizing transformation opportunities. These events, which will include workshops, virtual exhibitions and side events, will take place from May to July (11-13 May for LACCW2021, 15-18 June for ACW2021 and 6-9 July for APCW2021).
Ministerial sessions, which are to include interactions with civil society, are to be convened in each host country (9 -10 August for ACW2021, 23-25 August for LACCW2021 and 6-7 September for APCW2021). These events are to take stock of discussions held during the Climate Weeks and prepare key inputs for the Regional Climate Weeks wrap-up event at COP26 in Glasgow in November.
A Regional Climate Week for the Middle East and North Africa (MENACW2022), hosted by the government of the United Arab Emirates, is planned to take place 2-3 March 2022.
For this event, there is to be a series of preparatory roundtables and related events during 2021 to build momentum towards MENACW2022, benefitting from collaboration during the other climate weeks taking place this year. It is expected that the Government of the United Arab Emirates will attend the virtual regional roundtable on 3-4 March 2021 with the other host Governments.
The core organizing partners are UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, UN Climate Change, and World Bank Group.
The Regional Climate Weeks in 2021 and 2022 will build on the success of the 2019 Regional Climate Weeks, held in Accra, Ghana; Salvador, Brazil; and Bangkok, Thailand.
Shinjirō Koizumi, Japan’s Environment Minister, said:
“Global collective actions are necessary to overcome the climate crisis. Among all the regional efforts to encourage and facilitate the implementation of ambitious NDCs, the Asia-Pacific region should play a particularly active role as a key driver of the world economic growth for the coming decades. Japan, as a country which pledged net-zero emissions by 2050, is pleased to host the Asia Pacific Climate Week 2021. I look forward to welcoming all actors in the region this year in the hope of enhancing collaboration for redesigning our socio-economic system through decarbonization.”
Sam Cheptoris, Uganda’s Minister of Water and Environment, said:
“Hosting the Africa Climate Week presents an excellent opportunity for Uganda to showcase the different in-country climate change initiatives we are undertaking, but most importantly to raise the country’s profile at regional and international level and strengthen partnerships to deliver on our commitments.”
Max Puig, Executive Vice President of the National Climate Change and CDM Council of the Dominican Republic, said:
“This year’s Regional Climate Weeks will come with added relevance. They will be a scenario where the proposals for post-COVID economic recovery and the strategies for increasing resilience to face the climate crisis, converge, taking into account the three axes of sustainability, social, economic and environmental. The Dominican Republic invites and supports the countries of the region to draw up these green recovery strategies together and thus guarantee the citizen security of our vulnerable peoples.”
Orlando Jorge Mera, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, said:
“Despite the fact that warnings about the climate crisis have circulated for more than 30 years, human activity, far from reducing the pollution by gases that cause it, has doubled its emissions worldwide in such a way that its long-term effects will affect all countries. Some more than others – but ours, undoubtedly, in greater proportion and intensity, due to our condition as an island.“
Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said:
“The UAE has welcomed 2021 with new hope and a resolve not only to defeat the deadly coronavirus, but to turn this challenge into an opportunity to come out of this crisis stronger than ever. With a positive outlook, we will continue to reinforce the role of the green economy as the cornerstone of COVID-19 recovery, and we hope that our experience can serve as a source of inspiration for the region. The UAE is proud to host the first Climate Week in the MENA region to boost collaboration on swift, bold actions to address the challenge of climate change. We look forward to welcoming climate leaders from the region in Dubai for this historical event in March 2022.”
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), said:
“While the unprecedented events in 2020 posed new challenges to our lives, economies, and societies, climate change continues to be the biggest threat to our efforts to advance sustainable development. The urgency of climate action remains a key priority, and the current crisis will not deter us from achieving our goals. Our path to recovery based on the green economy principles offers us an opportunity to relaunch our efforts. The Regional Climate Weeks have become an imperative international collaborative platform to consolidate national and regional climate action, bringing together diverse stakeholders from the public and private sectors. We look forward to meeting you all in Dubai, UAE.”
Gonzalo Muñoz, COP25 High-Level Champion of Chile, said:
“Against the odds, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented climate action. We have seen this especially from non-State actors, who have mobilized around the north star of net-zero by 2050 and now represent over 12% of the global economy with credible climate commitments. Now, as we race towards COP26, we must pick up the pace.”
Nigel Topping, COP26 High-Level Champion of the United Kingdom, said:
“Radical collaboration is how we will successfully tackle climate change, and it has been greatly encouraging to see it in action this year. The pace is accelerating in the #RacetoZero carbon emissions, but we need everyone, everywhere, to join us in building a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon future.”
Niklas Hagelberg, Climate Change Coordinator, UNEP, said:
“According to the latest UNEP emissions gap report, despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century. This is far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C. The 2021 Regional Climate Weeks will offer a chance to encourage and facilitate the implementation of ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement and help deliver on the much-needed mitigation and adaptation action to get to a climate-proof world.”
Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP, said:
“We must embark on a new pathway so that in ten years, we can look back on the 2020s as a Decade of Positive Transformation. We have the technology, the finance, and the ingenuity to deal with the climate crisis. And we have a plan — the Paris Agreement. We must go further: To tackle the climate emergency head-on, post-pandemic recovery plans need to trigger long-term systemic shifts that will change the trajectory of CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Indeed, we are starting to see the emergence of collective will — by governments, philanthropists, businesses, financial institutions, communities, and civil society — to realise this greener future.”
Dr. Venkata Putti, Program Manager, Climate Change Group, The World Bank, said:
“Regional Climate Weeks have become an indispensable platform to showcase climate action at the regional and national levels and are reflective of the best of multilateral partnerships. Even as the ongoing pandemic and its aftermath present enormous challenges for the countries in their recovery in the short and medium terms, the upcoming Regional Climate Weeks can be used to facilitate discussion and collective action on sustainable solutions and low carbon pathways.”
For more information about the Regional Climate Weeks, please see here.
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About the UNFCCC
With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.