IIED and partner events at COP24


This page summarises the activities of IIED, its researchers and partners during the UN climate change talks (COP24) in Katowice, Poland from 2-14 December 2018.

UN climate change conference (COP24)
A series of pages related to IIED's activities at the 2018 UNFCCC climate change summit in Katowice
COP24 will take place in Katowice's landmark congress centre and exhibition hall (Photo: Umkatowice, Creative Commons via Wikipedia)

Each year international negotiators gather for global talks on climate change at the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This page summarises IIED's activities during the two-week COP24 gathering. 

In addition to hosting and speaking at COP side events, our researchers provided support to negotiators from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Group and analysed progress at the main negotiations.

IIED worked to ensure that the battle against climate change focuses on the poorest countries, which are most at risk, and to ensure that the Paris Agreement, already behind schedule, was put into action with rules that are fair and transparent for all.

European Capacity Building Initiative training and support programme

Training workshop (invite only)
 Saturday, 1 December 

The European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) aims to support international climate change negotiations by building and sustaining capacity among developing country negotiators, and by fostering trust between both developed and developing country negotiators.

IIED is a lead partner in the initiative, together with Oxford Climate Policy. The training and support programme organises pre-COP workshops to support senior and junior negotiators from vulnerable developing countries to come together shortly before the UNFCCC sessions to identify key issues for their countries and groups that will be discussed. Key representatives from other important ministries who have participated in regional workshops were also invited to offer expertise and knowledge.

Related reading: Pocket guide to capacity building for climate change | Pocket Guide to NDCs Under the UNFCCC | Pocket guide to loss and damage under the UNFCCC | Pocket guide to gender equality under the UNFCCC | Pocket guide to transparency under the UNFCCC | Pocket guide to the Paris Agreement 

Contributions of the research community to climate action and implementation of the Paris Agreement

Date: Tuesday 4 December
Venue: Narew, Zone G
Partner organisations: Moravian College; Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB); Washington University
Speakers: Saleemul Huq, IIED among others

Researchers from academia, non-profits and think tanks are engaged in research, capacity building, and education. This session highlighted evidence-based case studies of such practices that advance climate action and promoted the effective and lasting implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Principles of effective capacity building: supporting implementation of the Paris Agreement

Date: Tuesday, 4 December
Venue: UK Pavilion, Zone E
Speakers: Gabrielle Swaby, IIED among others

IIED's Gabrielle Swaby joined a panel discussion on best practice principles for effective capacity building.

Related reading: Pocket guide to capacity building for climate change

Climate Resilient Rural Development

Date: Thursday, 6 December
Venue: India Pavilion
Partner organisations: UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), India Ministry of Rural Development      
Speakers: Clare Shakya/Marek Soanes, IIED, among others

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is one of the world’s largest social protection programmes, supporting 47 million rural households and communities to cope with poverty and marginalisation. Through the provision of 100 days of guaranteed wage employment, the programme enables rural households to meet consumption gaps during shocks.

Although MNGREGS' explicit focus is not climate change, there is emerging evidence that it contributes to climate resilience in the household and the local economy. But, through improved design MGNREGS could continue to contribute towards absorptive and adaptive resilience in the face of increasing climate threats, and even help some households to transform their livelihoods.

Related reading: Building resilience to climate change: MGNREGS and climate-induced droughts in SikkimBuilding resilience to climate change: MGNREGS and drought in JharkhandBuilding resilience to climate change: MGNREGS, drought and flooding in Odisha | Building resilience to climate change:MGNREGS and cyclones in Andhra Pradesh

Disability and climate resilience: a case of Kenya and Bangladesh

Date: Thursday, 6 December
Venue: Bieszczady, Zone G
Partner organisations: Led by African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
Speakers: Dr Joanes Atela, ACTS; Dr Maria Kett, Leonard Cheshire Disability; Dr Saleemul Huq, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD) and IIED; Mr Iftekhar Ahmed, Centre for Services and Information on Disability (CSID); Ms Shababa Haque, ICCAD; Winnie Khaemba, ACTS

This event discussed findings from research conducted in Kenya and Bangladesh to understand differential impacts of climatic shocks on persons with disabilities (PWDs), coping mechanisms by PWDs, and how policy and practice can enhance climate resilience for PWDs.

Climate Action Studio at COP24


Date: Friday, 7 December

IIED research associate Hannah Reid was interviewed at the COP24 Climate Action Studio.

Agriculture’s future, delivering net zero emissions - trade, consumption, smallholders, value chains

Date: Friday, 7 December
Venue: EU Pavilion, Vienna Room
Partner organisations: Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP); European Commission (International Cooperation and Development); SNV – Netherlands Development Organisation; Agricord; Global Feedback; Climate Change Centre Austria; FAO Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) – IIED representing as a partner, SACAU Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, and IFFA International Family Forestry Alliance.
Speakers: Xiaoting Hou Jones (moderator), IIED; Céline Charveriat (chair), IEEP; David Blandford, IEEP; Dr Ben Allen, IEEP; Tiina Huvio FFD/AgriCord/FFF; Ishmael Sunga, SACAU farmer; Peter de Marsh, IFFA; Franz Prettenthaler, Joanneum Research; Birgit Bednar-Friedl, University of Graz; Markus Groth, Climate Service Center Germany; Reinhard Mechler, IIASA; Dr. Ashish Chaturvedi, GIZ India; Carina Millstone, Feedback

What tools and policy developments are needed to promote change and maximise opportunities for climate action in the agricultural sector? What is the role of trade in delivering climate mitigation and adaptation in land-using sectors? How can biomass value chains be made more resource efficient and make best use of sustainable, renewable energy? What is the role of demand side measures focused on diet and behaviour? How can we engage the world’s farmers (including the 1.5 billion smallholders) in climate action? How can synergies between climate and development pathways be maximised?

This session explored the role of agriculture in reaching net-zero emissions globally. It debated the key levers for a low carbon, resilient farming sector and barriers to change including presentations on both supply and demand side measures. The session specifically addressed opportunities and challenges related to trade policy, engagement with producers, working with small holders and consumption.

Related reading: Reducing climate risk and poverty: why China needs ecosystem-based adaptation | Ecosystem-based adaptation: the key to addressing climate change in Nepal

Case Studies of UK-India Cooperation on Climate Mitigation and Resilience

Side event

Date: Friday, 7 December
Venue: UK Pavilion, Zone E
Partner organisations: UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Speakers: Andrew Prag, IEA; Gurpreet Chugh, ICF India; Ritu Bharadwaj, Institute for Industrial Productivity (India); Prashant Vaze, Climate Bonds Initiative; Dr Indu Murthy, Indian Institute of Science (IISc); Marek Soanes, IIED; Naman Gupta, ACT India 

The UK has built strong collaborations with India through delivering strategic support in policy, research, capacity building, and technological innovations on a range of energy and low-carbon challenges, especially in areas of renewables, green finance, industrial energy efficiency, and mainstreaming climate risks into government policy. The side event highlighted these success stories and lessons, and explored options for further collaboration in emerging priority areas.

Development and Climate Days (D&C Days) at COP24

Date: Saturday, 8 and Sunday, 9 December
Venue: Hotel Diament Arsenal Palace, Paderewskiego 35, 41-500 Chorzów, Katowice, Poland

This year’s D&C Days aimed to influence the ‘ambition mechanism’ processes under the UNFCCC – particularly the Talanoa Dialogue and global stocktake – and inform climate action on all levels, looking ahead to 2020.

D&C Days shares learning experiences by engaging, being productive and having fun. The dynamic format encourages dialogue on a range of issues that link policy, knowledge and practice. Innovative approaches encourage participants to interact, challenge existing thinking and to generate new ideas.

IIED at D&C Days

8 December:

Session 2A: How can governments use national systems to respond to UNFCCC transparency and accountability demands? 
Venue: Cesarksa Room
Led by: IIED

Session 3A: How can we develop new and support existing strategies for scaling up public and private sector financing for climate-smart development? 
Venue: Cesarksa Room

Session 4A: What do effective adaptation mechanisms look like, and how can we use them to create investment incentives for delivering long-term climate adaptation?
Venue: Cesarksa Room
Led by: IIED

9 December:

Session 6A: How can shared learning processes on local climate action effectively influence policy and decision-making? 
Venue: Cesarksa Room
Led by: IIED, RCCC, EFCWest

Session 6C: Linking science, practice and policy: how can we scale up ecosystem-based approaches to development and climate change adaptation?
Venue: Kirasjerow Room
Led by: IIED, IUCN, UNEP-WCMC, and NYDF Assessment Partners

Download the full agenda for D&C Days

Urban and peri-urban Ecosystems play crucial role in mitigation and adaptation processes specifically at sub-national scale towards urban climate change resilience

Date: Saturday, 8 December
Venue: Pieniny, Zone G

Partner organisations: Vasudha Foundation, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG)
Speakers: Included Hannah Reid, IIED

Municipal finance solutions for resilience in informal settlements

Date: Saturday, 8 December
Venue: African Development Bank Pavilion, Zone H
Partner organisations: Led by AfDB with UNCDF, IIED, SDI

This technical discussion was part of the Transport and Cities Day at COP24.

Innovative climate finance to escalate private sector investment in decentralised energy access

Date: Monday, 10 December
Venue: European Union Pavilion
Partner organisations: Hivos, the Government of Lithuania, IIED
Speakers: Rita Poppe, Hivos; Lina Ceicyte, Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania; David Lecoque, Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), Ben Garside, IIED, Federico Mazza, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), Reginald Mapfumo, Hivos Zimbabwe

Energy is central to the achievement of both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. The challenge is how to speed up the increase of access to energy, especially in rural areas. Off-grid and mini-grid renewable energy solutions are available, but are hampered by lack of adequate finance, investment instruments and productive use of energy.

New research by IIED on public climate finance and aggregation of finance will be discussed as well as experience of Lithuania on climate finance for renewable energy. Findings from the Energy Change Lab will brought into the debate on how to stimulate PUE, thus increasing viability of off grid investment. The outcome of the session was defined ways to better target available climate finance for market development and off-grid renewable energy solutions, and how to stimulate local productuire use of energy to increase viability of investments, thus bringing solutions to scale.

Scaling up investments in resilience to meet the needs of vulnerable people

High-level roundtable

Date: Monday, 10 December
Venue: Global Climate Action Roundtable room
Partner organisations: Organised by Global Resilience Partnership with IIED supporting
Speakers: 20-25 high-level participants representing public, private, community and civil society viewpoints sitting at roundtable and with 25 others

Action on climate resilience has gained momentum since the Paris Agreement established the global adaptation goal of “enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change”. It was reinforced during COP23 in four high-level events on resilience. Resilience is one of the themes of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2019, and the Global Commission on Adaptation has been launched to raise the ambition on climate adaptation and resilience action.

The urgency of action emerged throughout the Talanoa Dialogue and the Resilience Day held at the Global Climate Action Summit in California. This urgency was reinforced in the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees. Climate resilience will also be a core theme at the Development and Climate (D&C) Days held on the margins of COP24, and linkages are being fostered between the D&C Days and this roundtable. This event built on this momentum to advance action on climate resilience.

Capacity-Building Day 2018: strengthening national capacity to implement low emission and climate resilient development strategies

Date: Tuesday, 11 December
Venue: PCCB Capacity-Building Hub
Partner organisations: Led by International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD)

The Second Annual Capacity-Building Day 2018 during COP24 aims to respond to the need of scaling up global climate capacity-building by bringing together diverse communities of practice to have in-depth discussions on building national capacity to implement low emissions and climate resilient development strategies.

The event provides an opportunity for diverse communities of practice across regions to learn from successes, share knowledge and best practices and network with one another. The event was for COP24 attendees who are working on capacity-building or interested in capacity-building issues under the convention.

Maximising adaptation finance: building local adaptive capacity

Date: Tuesday, 11 December
Venue: African Development Bank Pavilion, Zone H
Partner organisations: IIED, UNCDF, WRI

Speakers: Yonas Gebru, Consortium for Climate Change, Ethiopia; Nicholas Abuye, Christian Aid or Ced Hesse, IIED; Zenebou Aw, Local Authorities National Investment Agency (ANICT) Mali; Clare Shakya, IIED

There is increasingly more attention on how funders and governments can deploy scarce adaptation funds effectively. Governments, development partners, and civil society recognise the need to move beyond funding business as usual investments to directly support local level efforts and to ensure that funds reach those that matter most.

Currently, small proportions of global climate finance go directly to local communities. Evolving climate risks and the associated uncertainties pose challenges for adaptation programmes. Strengthening national and sub-national capacities to access, manage, and channel these resources is critical to accelerating adaptation. At the same time, we have to do better at engaging national and sub-national stakeholders in the decision-making process. Dedicated climate funds can use their mandate to lead the way in such efforts and help countries change the way they approach development in response to climate change. This technical discussion was part of the Climate Finance Day at COP24.

Related reading: Building agile institutions and resilient communities

Inclusive finance for energy access

High-level panel

Date: Tuesday, 11 December
Venue: African Development Bank Pavilion, Zone H
Partner organisations: Hivos
Speaker: Minister Kaag, the Netherlands; Amadou Hott, AfDB; Tareq Emtairah, UNIDO; Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Germany; Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, LDC REEEI, Rachel Kyte, World Bank.

Panelists and discussants, including IIED principal researcher Ben Garside, discussed different approaches to channelling financing to where it is needed and in the form that is needed (such as financial instruments, terms of financing), as well as policy and institutional changes to scale-up finance and reach local (women) entrepreneurs. In order to scale-up deployment as well as to maximise the socio-economic benefits of off-grid renewable energy solutions.

2050 pathways for resilience: What mechanisms deliver adaptation and resilience at scale for LDCs?

Side event

Date: Wednesday, 12 December
Room: Bug, Zone G
Partner organisations: IIED; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); Near East Foundation (NEF)
Speakers: Gebru Jember Endalew, LDC Group chair; Stefanie Lux, Red Cross on Forecast Based Financing; Jennifer Abdella, Near East Foundation/DCF Consortium; Reginald Mapfumo, Hivos; Clare Shakya, IIED

This side event captured evidence of effective mechanisms that build adaptation and resilience. We discussed successful mechanisms that have built national and local institutions, collaboration and capabilities to deliver climate resilience at scale, including decentralised climate finance in Mali and Senegal. We gatherd evidence to inform ambitious leadership, and the Least Developed Countries Group launched an initiative on effective adaptation and resilience.

Related reading: Harnessing long-term strategies for low-carbon climate-resilient LDC development | From global ambition to country action: Low-carbon climate-resilient development in Bhutan

Ten years of ecosystem-based adaptation: recognising champion governments and effective approaches

Date: Thursday, 13 December
Venue: Japan Pavilion
Partner organisations: IUCN, Commission on Ecosystem Management, FEBA members including IIED

2018 marks ten years since the term “ecosystem-based adaptation” (EbA) was coined by IUCN, its members and partners at COP14 in Poznan, Poland. At COP24 in Katowice, IUCN and the global network known as the Friends of EbA (FEBA) convened a high-level session to reflect on the successes and setbacks in mainstreaming EbA into worldwide adaptation and development implementation.

Related reading: Ecosystem-based adaptation