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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Program of Events


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Welcome to the U.S. Center

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Department of State is organizing and hosting a U.S. Center at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties. This public diplomacy initiative, made possible by input and support from multiple U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, and other stakeholders, will highlight key climate programs and scientific research, underscoring the strong actions the U. S. is taking at home and the robust strategy the U. S. is pursuing abroad to combat this global challenge. This year, several side events will focus on U.S. engagement in Africa.

The U.S. Center will be located in the North Plaza of the Durban International Convention Center.

The U.S. Center, open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., is where visitors can learn more about U.S. climate actions, participate in detailed discussions on key issues, and view stunning and powerful hyperwall data visualizations on a 5-meter-wide (16 feet) video panel. U. S. and international leaders in the fight against climate change will headline a varied series of panels during the two weeks of COP-17. Full details for scheduled events begin on page 6.

We look forward to your visit to the U.S. Center, and we hope you will join us during COP-17.

Webcasting

All U.S. Center side events will be streamed to the CO.NX Channel, a U.S. Department of State initiative that deploys connective technologies such as social networking platforms, live and on-demand video streaming, and multimedia webchats to reach a global audience. CO.NX programs provide a virtual space for the interactive exchange of ideas, in which participants from anywhere in the world can congregate and discuss issues of concern. The CO.NX Portal page at http://conx.state.gov/ will serve as your one-stop destination for all information about live streamed and on-demand programming from the U.S. Center. Check the site daily for updates on upcoming events and recordings from previous sessions with leading climate change experts.

You can also stay up to date with CO.NX COP-17 programs by visiting our Facebook page at http://co-nx.state.gov or by signing up for our weekly e-newsletter: http://eepurl.com/kmBn. The CO.NX Channel for the U.S. Center at COP-17: opening a global window to U.S. thinking on climate change.

NASA’s Hyperwall

You are invited to experience cutting-edge, multimedia science visualizations four times a day (in between sessions) on NASA’s hyperwall. Learn about the changes and trends taking place on Earth that NASA has been able to observe from space.

The hyperwall will be comprised of fifteen 46” flat-screen monitors arranged in a 3x5 array. Driven by specialized software designed by NASA, the hyperwall is capable of displaying multiple datasets simultaneously that allow easy comparison between time-series data; it can also display a single scene across the entire arrangement of screens. Proven to be a powerful way to display global as well as regional datasets, the hyperwall will allow you to experience storytelling like never before.

A variety of topics including drought and fire in Africa, polar science, evidence of humans on Earth, dust and aerosols, oceans and climate, and the water cycle will be presented to you by scientists from the U.S. with expertise in the Earth system science.

Program Schedule

Monday, November 28

10:30-NOON

Event: Fires in Africa

Primary Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Event Summary:

Every year, extensive biomass burning takes place throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as observed from satellites. Representatives from NASA will showcase their ongoing collaborative research activities related to these fires, as well as the relevant applications of this research that have provided societal benefits in Africa. The aspects to be featured in this side event will include: (i) the fire spatial and temporal distributions and characteristics, (ii) fire detections and application to near real-time alerts, (iii) fire emissions and their impacts on atmospheric composition and air quality, and (iv) analysis of potential climate interactions with African fires.

1:00-2:30 PM

Event: SERVIR: Bringing Climate Data to East Africa

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Event Summary:

Speakers will discuss the SERVIR Earth observation system and the critical role SERVIR plays in providing climate and land data in a usable format for developing country decision makers. The SERVIR program, a Spanish acronym for “Regional Visualization and Monitoring System,” integrates satellite observations, ground-based data, mapping information, and forecast models to monitor environmental changes and to improve response to natural disasters. SERVIR makes available previously inaccessible information and builds the capacity of developing country partners to use this information to make better informed decisions about a range of issues including disaster response, biodiversity conservation and climate change. A representative from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi, Kenya where SERVIR-Africa is based, will describe how the U.S.-supported system is helping the countries of East Africa.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: The Annual State of the Climate Report: Capturing the State of the Climate System through International Collaboration

Primary Sponsor: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Event Summary:

Every year, more than 300 scientists from across the United States and around the world collaborate in producing an intensive “physical check-up” of the state of Earth’s climate system. Published through the prestigious Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the Annual State of the Climate Report documents worldwide weather and climate patterns that played out over the previous calendar year and places them in an accurate historical context. 2010 was notable for being one of the two warmest years on record, and for the far-reaching impacts of major climate variability patterns that brought extreme weather to many parts of the globe. This presentation will explain the international collaboration that produces the State of the Climate reports, how the report has evolved into a useful tool for helping scientists and non-scientists understand cause-and-effect relationships in the climate system, and how this understanding benefits society.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Global Drought Monitoring: Improving Regional Cooperation for Mitigation and Adaptation to Drought

Primary Sponsor: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Event Summary:

Internationally, both in terms of lives lost and economic impact, drought is one of the costliest of all climate-related natural disasters. To provide near-real-time maps and information to help growers, decision makers, and scientists understand where and why drought conditions are happening, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and NOAA have collaborated in developing the Global Drought Monitor. A key objective of this new tool is to provide a global early warning system that can be used to better plan and prepare for drought’s impacts. The Global Drought Monitor is designed to provide high-level assessments of drought conditions, and then allow users to easily access maps and information at increasingly finer scales—from continental to regional, to national. This presentation will focus on the currently ongoing drought in East Africa, and will highlight information that was produced particularly for Africa by Princeton University and NOAA.

Tuesday, November 29

10:30 AM-NOON

Event: OpenEI: Sharing Data, Information and Knowledge to

Catalyze Clean Energy Development Globally

Primary Sponsor: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Department of Energy (DOE)

Event Summary:

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and international partners will present on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supported Open Energy Information (OpenEI) web portal, an open platform developed to share and link data, information, tools, training materials and other resources to support clean energy development globally. The presentation will highlight the West Africa Clean Energy Gateway, the Latin America Clean Energy Gateway, the Energy Access Gateway and the International Clean Energy Analysis Gateway. A live demo on the use of linked open data to seamlessly share datasets and information among web portals will also be provided. The presentations will be followed by discussion on how these gateways can be improved to better capture and present clean energy information and data to the global community.

1:00-2:30 PM

Event: The International Conference on Climate Services

Primary Sponsor: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Event Summary:

Climate services involve the timely provision of tailored scientific information in a way that allows individuals and societies to manage the risks, limit the costs, and take advantage of the opportunities associated with climate-related impacts. Developing and delivering climate services is not easy; it requires a clear understanding of users’ needs and providers’ capabilities, a systematic approach to knowledge sharing and the development of strong partnerships.

Establishing effective climate services will also require the development of innovative funding mechanisms, international cooperation, and the sustained and dedicated effort of a cross-disciplinary community. The first International Conference on Climate Services, held in October 2011, brought together climate and sectoral specialists from around the world to discuss challenges and opportunities. Participants drafted a roadmap for the development of an international climate services pilot program, which will be presented in this event.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: Climate Risk Management Tools for Rural Resilience

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development

(USAID)

Event Summary:

USAID-supported programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Senegal are incorporating drought micro-insurance as an innovative tool for climate change adaptation, complementing other adaptive measures such as capacity building, savings, and credit. In this event, the World Food Program will introduce the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, launched in partnership with Oxfam America and supported by USAID. The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) will then describe efforts to design, implement and evaluate index-based livestock insurance to help poor pastoralists in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia manage drought-related livestock losses.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: LEDS Global Partnership: Collaboration across Low Emissions Development Programs Around the World

Primary Sponsor: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Department of State

Event Summary:

This event will focus on the Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) Global Partnership, a collaborative effort of over 27 organizations from government, NGO, and multilateral organizations dedicated to advancing collaboration, information sharing and cooperation on low emissions development around the globe. The event will include a panel discussion to highlight the activities of the partnership in fostering coordinated LEDS collaboration with developing countries, creating integrated capacity building and peer-learning programs, and sharing LEDS best practices. The presentations will be followed by discussion to seek feedback on these activities and increase engagement of other key institutions (especially developing country government agencies and other donor programs) in the LEDS Global Partnership.

Wednesday, November 30

10:30-NOON

Event: Building Capacity to Develop and Sustain Robust National GHG Emissions Inventories

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Event Summary:

This event will highlight how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are helping countries develop the technical and institutional capacity to prepare national greenhouse gas inventories through application of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodologies. The presentation will provide an overview of the program and highlight tools from the EPA/USAID’s project with the UNFCCC to support regional capacity building for sustainable and robust National Inventory Management Systems in both Eastern and Southern Africa. The event will describe and demonstrate EPA inventory development templates that assist countries in developing sustainable GHG inventory systems, and the Agriculture and Land Use (ALU) software tool that EPA has developed to support improved inventories in the Agriculture and Forestry sector.

1:00-2:30 PM

Event: FEWS - Drought and Famine Early Warning in the Horn of Africa

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Event Summary:

Climate change is expected to alter crop growing conditions in some of the most food-insecure countries of the world. Livelihoods of subsistence agriculture and herding are especially climate sensitive. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) identifies critical situations requiring food aid, helping target over 1.5 billion dollars of assistance to more than 40 countries each year. FEWS NET has developed its own “climate service” for early identification of agricultural drought that might trigger food insecurity. In East Africa, for example, FEWS NET studies of recent climate and future scenarios by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveal trends toward increased frequency of drought, threatening food security. This understanding helped provide early warning months before the crisis, enabling pre-positioning of food and supplies in the region. Ongoing monitoring provided further basis for the July 20, 2011, United Nations declaration of southern Somalia as a region in famine. FEWS NET is an activity of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Food for Peace. USGS has been an implementing partner since 1985. For more information, visit www.fews.net.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: Building Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture through the U.S. Feed the Future Initiative

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Event Summary:

Climate change is a cornerstone of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future (FTF) initiative. Climate change impacts on agriculture threaten both food production and the most important source of income for the poor. Fortunately, science is opening channels for tackling some of the most challenging problems facing farmers and livestock producers, and the United States is uniquely positioned to work with countries around the world in facing climate change threats to agriculture. This seminar will highlight U.S. government actions to integrate climate change considerations into the Feed the Future Initiative, strengthening developing country community initiatives, and increasing agricultural and pastoral communities’ resilience to climate change. The panel will include U.S. food security experts and Feed the Future program partners in Africa. It will also feature an up-close look at a U.S.-supported program in Ethiopia that works to improve the resilience of pastoralists to climate change impacts.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Public-Private Partnerships to Build Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture in Africa

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Event Summary:

As the world’s population grows, finding ways to produce food and resources from land in environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable ways is increasingly becoming a priority. These challenges are confounded by climate change. Governments cannot tackle this alone: the innovation of the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and foundations will be the key to bringing sustainable technologies to people around the globe. This session will focus on the contributions of the private sector and NGOs to improve sustainable agricultural production and global food security in Africa and their efforts to integrate climate change into these programs and actions.

Thursday, December 1

1:00-2:30 PM

Event: Fast Start Finance and Beyond

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of State

Event Summary:

This side event will highlight the U.S. commitment to the full implementation of the Copenhagen Accord through “fast start” appropriations. COP-17 will mark the two-year anniversary of our commitments made in Copenhagen to provide approaching $30 billion, during the period 2010-2012, to help meet the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries.

Panelists will discuss U.S. contributions from the 2011 fiscal year, but will also speak about transitioning towards mobilizing additional funding in the long term, through private sector leveraging, and integrating global climate change issues into our overall development portfolio.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: Global Methane Initiative: Achieving Cost-Effective GHG Emission Reductions

Primary Sponsor: Global Methane Initiative (GMI)

Event Summary:

The event will be an exposition of the work and impact of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) worldwide. GMI is a voluntary multilateral partnership that aims to reduce global methane emissions and to advance the abatement, recovery and use of methane as a valuable clean energy source. GMI achieves this by creating an international network of partner governments, private sector members, development banks, universities, and NGOs in order to build capacity, develop strategies and markets, and remove barriers to project development for methane reduction in partner countries. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with large near-term cost-effective mitigation potential and GMI provides the technology transfer opportunities and capacity building necessary to accelerate the development of emissions reduction projects worldwide. This session will feature innovations in current methane policy and technologies by partner countries as well as highlight GMI’s relationship to the UNFCCC and other international climate efforts.

The United States is a founding partner of GMI. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the lead agency; the U.S. Department of State has strongly supported and funded GMI.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Develop Strategies Program

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Event Summary:

Low Emission Development Strategies are paving the way for the low-carbon future and the United States is at the forefront of working with partner countries to mobilize resources to this end. This event will include brief introductory remarks by a senior U.S. government representative highlighting key aspects of the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) program. A panel of EC-LEDS partner country representatives will discuss collaborative activities to date with the United States and the value of bilateral cooperation on climate and development priorities. Emphasis will be placed on communicating practical examples of cooperation (or planned cooperation) and how technical collaboration is helping to advance integrated LEDS planning and implementation in their countries.

Friday, December 2

10:30 AM-NOON

Event: Clean Energy Technologies for the Developing World

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of Commerce

Event Summary:

This panel discussion will feature U.S. businesses and government agencies who are partnering with other entities in developing countries, including those in Africa, to deploy commercially-available clean energy technologies. These technologies—renewable energy and energy efficiency— are essential to a low-carbon development pathway. Increasing the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies not only helps to mitigate GHG emissions, but more importantly can help to improve access to energy and quality of life to populations that are the most in need.

1:00-2:30 PM

Event: A Public-Private Model for Climate Change Finance

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Event Summary:

This event will showcase the recent activities of the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) to leverage private financing for climate change projects through targeted private sector capacity building interventions. This event will be a panel presentation, introduced by USAID Global Climate Change Coordinator Kit Batten. Panelists will discuss how private sector investment can be harnessed by supporting developers in their entrepreneurial pursuits. A Climate Technology Initiative representative will describe the network and discuss the impact PFAN has made to leverage financing for clean energy technology and scale-up opportunities for adaptation projects in developing countries. Vivienne Apopo from the East African Development Bank and Kemal Vaz, PFAN Country Coordinator in Mozambique will discuss the program’s impacts in Africa. Finally, the outcomes of the successful organization of two Africa Forums for Clean Energy Financing will be presented.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: Seeing the People with the Trees: Social Dimensions in REDD+

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Event Summary:

This event will share perspectives on the following questions, as discussed at an October, 2011 USAID-supported REDD+ experts’ workshop and public forum: How and why do people matter in efforts to promote REDD+? Why should we consider gender issues in REDD+ planning and programming? Does paying attention to social dimensions improve the effectiveness and efficiency of reducing emissions through REDD+? Do REDD+ initiatives offer opportunities to improve equity, human rights, democracy, and governance? Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities around social issues and REDD+, based on practical experience from the field in Africa and present workshop outcomes and plans for action on key priorities.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Advances in Climate Modeling for Improved Decision Support Systems

Primary Sponsor: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Event Summary:

U.S. science agencies develop and use high-resolution climate models to advance climate research, to improve our ability to predict future climate, and to inform decision-support systems for a wide range of applications. Climate models are essential tools for estimating variability and changes in the frequency and intensity of extremes such as heat waves, precipitation, coastal storms, and sea-level rise. These models are used routinely in the United States (e.g., the National Climate Assessment) and internationally (e.g., the IPCC’s Climate Assessments). Today, there is an acute need to build capacity and to extend the application of climate models to scientists, businesses, and decision makers in Africa, where climate extremes have caused or contributed to economic hardships. This session will describe NOAA’s support to the Department of State’s capacity-building program for Africa. The latest advances in the use of global climate models to predict rainfall will be discussed. This presentation will also address the needs and requirements for tangible technology transfer to African institutions in the area of climate monitoring and prediction.

Saturday, December 3

The U.S. Center will not be open

Sunday, December 4

The U.S. Center will not be open

Monday, December 5

10:30 AM-NOON

Event: Thinking Globally Acting Locally: Global State and City Governments Build on Success

Primary Sponsor: Special Representative for Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Event Summary:

Cities and local authorities are confronting the issues surrounding sustainability on a practical level every day, making decisions that have a real impact on the environment and their citizens. Around the world, from the mega-city to the smallest of hamlets, cities are confronting similar problems and in an ever globalizing world searching for solutions. State and local elected officials are on the front lines of the sustainability debate and many have developed innovative approaches to address an ever complex set of challenging problems. In this context, a group of governors, mayors and provincial leaders will come together at the U.S. Center to talk about sustainability and share best practices for promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, economic diversity, education and employment in their cities. These state and local leaders will discuss what they have specifically implemented in their localities and how they have succeeded in finding new and innovative solutions to state and local problems. This event is co-hosted with the Center for Climate Strategies and ICLEI USA.

1:00-3:00 PM

Event: REDD+ in the Green Heart of Africa: A Participatory, Science-based Approach to Conservation

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Event Summary:

USAID Assistant Administrator Eric Postel will open the event with a brief overview of USAID policies related to climate. This event will highlight activities implemented by partners of USAID’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) that are laying the ground work across the Congo Basin for meaningful REDD+ participation from the local to the national level. CARPE’s landscape-level approach convenes diverse stakeholders to develop land use plans that reflect the importance of biodiversity conservation, the needs and rights of local people and the necessity for sustainable natural resource management. Through CARPE, community-based land management plans have been developed that can serve as a basis for implementing REDD+. Simultaneously, CARPE engages civil society to assist the development of legal frameworks for forest management and supports regional institutions such as the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) in their work to harmonize regulatory and monitoring structures. The event includes the premier of a short video “Voices from the Forest” produced by the International Conservation and Education Fund (INCEF) in which villagers from the Leconi-Bateke-Lefini landscape in the Republic of Congo discuss the challenges that local climate change and forest degradation have presented them and their views on how to address these challenges.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: DOD Climate Science & Technology Initiatives

Primary Sponsor: Department of Defense

Event Summary:

This event will provide an overview of how Department of Defense (DOD) science and technology initiatives contribute to understanding climate challenges and developing solutions. The event will begin with a discussion of how the DOD’s Operational Energy Office is pursuing new, innovative, sustainable technology solutions to reduce the department’s energy vulnerabilities. The discussion will then shift to department’s support to social sciences and a discussion of the Minerva Research Initiative funded work by the University of Texas on Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS). This event will also discuss how the Strategic Environmental Research Development Program is preparing domestic military installations to withstand the impacts of climate change. Lastly, the event will include a summary of U.S. Navy’s interaction with the international scientific community and African partner nations.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Pathways to Clean Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Event Summary:

Access to clean energy is one of the major challenges facing African countries, and 2012 is the United Nations-designated Year of Energy for All. This event will showcase USAID’s support for key clean energy investment in Africa, as part of U.S. government Fast Start climate change financing, with a focus on the work of the Africa Infrastructure Program. USAID’s clean energy programs in Africa are providing capacity building, regulatory framework development, and transactional advisory services on clean and conventional energy projects to host country governments and private project developers. Speakers will include a U.S. government representative, a program partner from Nexant Corporation, and representatives from electricity corporations and regulatory agencies in Africa.

Tuesday, December 6

10:30 AM-NOON

Event: Climate-Friendly Agriculture Policy and Research for African Food Security

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Event Summary:

A panel of agricultural experts will discuss innovative partnerships between the U.S. government and regional research and policy institutions to promote climate-friendly food security in Southern Africa. Dr. Pius Chilonda, Head of the International Water Institute will discuss the links between water supply and productive agriculture in water-scarce Southern Africa, and offer insights into what is needed to ensure equitable and sustainable water for food production given potential climate impacts. Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda, CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Network (FANRPAN), will discuss priorities for agricultural research and policy to ensure food security under changing climate scenarios, highlighting U.S.-supported efforts already underway. The session will be moderated by Cecilia Khupe, USAID Agricultural Specialist, and Doreen Robinson, USAID/Southern Africa Regional Climate Change Advisor.

1:00-2:30 PM

Event: Historic Progress in U.S. Fuel Efficiency for Cars and Trucks

Primary Sponsor: Council on Environmental Quality

Event Summary:

The United States made bold advances in 2011 in vehicle fuel efficiency standards. President Obama announced new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light trucks, which will roughly double fuel efficiency by 2025. The Obama Administration also finalized the first-ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty trucks in the United States. Both standards were broadly supported by vehicle manufacturers, unions, and environmental organizations. This side event will showcase how these new standards, critical for achieving climate change goals, are saving money for consumers and small businesses, and enabling advanced technology innovation. Senior U.S. officials will discuss the development of the standards, their impact on U.S. emissions, and their potential to promote economic growth and job creation. The panel will also highlight how these standards complement other federal efforts in areas such as creating more efficient infrastructure and transportation networks.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: DOD Support to International Climate Change Adaptation

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense

Event Summary:

This event will explore how the Department of Defense (DOD) will respond to the strategic and operational challenges posed by climate change and how the DOD can support international climate change adaptation efforts. Initially, the event will discuss how international climate change adaptation efforts fall within the department’s mission to prevent and deter conflict. Focus will then shift to how climate change impacts U.S. Navy operations in the Arctic and the Navy’s environmental cooperation efforts, specifically the Africa Partnership Station. Discussion will turn to the Defense Environmental International Cooperation Program and its worldwide mission to collaborate with foreign defense forces to address environmental issues that have implications for infrastructure, training, and operations.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Clean Energy Solutions Center: Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy Technologies

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy

Event Summary:

UN Energy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Australian Department of Resources, Energy, and Tourism, and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory will introduce and explain its work on the Clean Energy Solutions Center. This resource shares policy best practices, data, and analysis tools across countries, and serves as a first-stop clearinghouse of clean energy resources. It offers training, “live” expert assistance, and peer-to-peer learning to help countries tailor solutions to their needs and foster international collaboration on policy innovations. The Clean Energy Solutions Center was designed and is supported by a unique partnership between the Clean Energy Ministerial and the United Nations inter-agency energy mechanism (UN Energy).

The Solutions Center provides information on emerging policy trends and identifies opportunities for international policy coordination, supplemented by dynamic policy and technology deployment services. It hosts high-quality policy materials and assists users in finding and implementing the policy levers that will drive clean energy progress in their countries. Additionally, it distills key messages for decision makers, helping to underpin future high-level dialogues on clean energy solutions through multilateral forums, such as the Clean Energy Ministerial, to drive transformational change.

Wednesday, December 7

10:30 AM-NOON

Event: The Adaptation Partnership and Apps4Africa: Supporting African Solutions for Adaptation Challenges

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Event Summary:

This side event will demonstrate how, through the global Adaptation Partnership and the Apps4Africa program, the United States is working with partners to bring together practitioners, policy-makers, and African technology innovators in West, East and Southern Africa to strengthen food security and protect marine resources in the face of climate change as well as to ensure the delivery and uptake of user-driven climate information services. The side event will showcase lessons learned and good practices from West Africa as well as winners of the Apps4Africa technology innovation competition, in particular. It will also briefly highlight efforts in East and Southern Africa.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: U.S. Federal Actions for a Climate Resilient Nation

Primary Sponsor: Council on Environmental Quality

Event Summary:

Climate change is already impacting communities, livelihoods and natural places, with extreme events and other impacts creating significant social, economic, and environmental risks globally. Even as they work to reduce emissions, developed and developing nations alike must adapt to these new conditions. In the United States, federal agencies are helping to build a climate-resilient nation by evaluating climate-related risks to their missions and programs and creating adaptation plans to manage these risks and ensure resources are invested wisely. Recognizing that most adaptation is local, federal agencies are also working with communities to prepare for a range of climate impacts that put people, property, local economies, and ecosystems at risk. In this session, senior U.S. officials from local and federal government and the private sector will present case studies of climate change adaptation initiatives and best practices from the United States at the federal and local levels.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Action on Energy Efficiency in the U.S. and on the Global Stage

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Commerce

Event Summary:

This event will highlight Executive Branch and private sector actions on climate change with a particular focus on efficient buildings. Government officials will provide an overview of domestic initiatives such as the President’s Better Building Initiative, Executive Order 13423 and other agency programs in the context of global leadership on energy efficiency. The Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, along with Dr. Ajay Mathur from the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency, will update the audience on international cooperation on energy efficiency and efforts under the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Thursday, December 8

10:30 AM-NOON

Event: Viewing the Earth’s Climate from Space

Primary Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Event Summary:

This will be an overview of the space-based view of the Earth’s climate system – including atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, cryosphere, and surface. The presentation will document earth system variability on multiple scales in time and space, and demonstrate the interconnectedness of the components of the Earth system. While the global perspective will be emphasized, a space-based view of Africa will be provided, and the way satellites help demonstrate the connection between Africa and the global environment will be shown.

1:00-2:30 PM

Event: Unlocking the Potential of Women to Combat Climate Change: Moving from Words to Action

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Department of State

Event Summary:

We cannot fully achieve solutions to complex global issues without empowering women socially, politically, and economically. Climate change is no exception. This high-level conversation will focus on concrete ways to leverage women’s leadership and economic potential to drive the development of a more sustainable future for all. The discussion will focus on women’s role in issues like climate finance, adaptation, and decision-making at the international, national, regional, and local levels. Leaders will discuss how we can promote more concrete action to foster and support women climate leaders, in order to leverage the positive multiplier effects generated by empowering women.

3:00-4:30 PM

Event: Taking a Sensible Approach to Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Event Summary:

The federal government and state and regional agencies and organizations are continuing to move forward on a sensible path to address greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. This U.S. domestic climate change side event will highlight domestic regulatory, programmatic, and voluntary activities (in-place and planned) that are occurring at the federal, regional and state level and by NGOs. We will showcase a set of key actions and activities, including the light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas rule, the medium and heavy greenhouse gas rule, the greenhouse gas mandatory reporting rule, GHG permitting, and the renewable fuel standard. We will also highlight activities coming out of California (the California Air Resources Board and the Climate Action Reserve) and by the Climate Registry.

5:00-6:30 PM

Event: Saving Lives- Advances in Health Adaptation for Climate Change

Primary Sponsor: U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Interagency Group on Climate Change and Human Health

Event Summary:

Climate change is affecting health and well-being in the United States and around the world in numerous ways. In the United States, communities on the Northwest coast of Alaska are being relocated due to rapid coastal erosion associated with loss of Arctic sea ice, and those communities are facing changes in their food supply and food storage systems because of loss of permafrost and other ecosystem changes. In other parts of the world, sea level rise is reducing food and water supplies on low-lying islands, and warmer soil and surface water temperatures are increasing transmission of infectious diseases. Health consequences of extremes of weather and climate variability, which are anticipated to become more severe with ongoing climate change, have been severe over the past several years.

This panel will focus on efforts in the United States and Africa to understand and ameliorate the health consequences of climate change. Speakers representing the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Agency for International Development, and the World Health Organization will describe the current status of health adaptation initiatives in the United States and Africa. The development of early warning systems and frameworks for vulnerability and adaptation assessments will be highlighted.


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