Location: Conference Centre - Blue Zone - Delegations Area - Hall 3 - Pavilion 7
This event was moderated by Simon Upton (Director, Environment Directorate, OECD) who gave a short introduction, running through the key messages of the OECD report on Climate Change Mitigation: Policies and Progress and demonstrating the Compare Your Country interactive online tool that accompanies the report.
There were then two keynote addresses by ministers:
Minister Pablo Badenier (Minister of the Environment, Chile) outlined Chile’s particular national circumstances, emphasising how Chile remains a developing country despite significant economic and social progress. He presented the three pillars of Chile’s INDC (mitigation, resilience and cross-party support for climate action) and described some positive recent developments – for example, last year 1 GW of renewable energy generation was added and Chile approved the first CO2 tax in South America.
Minister Greg Hunt (Minister of the Environment, Australia) began by highlighting Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement that Australia will ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and is on track to meet and exceed its 2020 target. He outlined Australia’s INDC (a 26-28% reduction by 2030 from 2005 levels), which will require Australia to reduce its per capita emissions by 52%. He then presented Australia’s key mitigation policies such as the Emissions Reduction Fund, the Renewable Energy Target and reverse auctions for renewable energy projects.
This was followed by two further interventions:
Nick Campbell (Arkema/BIAC) welcomed the announcement of INDCs as “the biggest move of the decade”. He emphasised the need for a deal in Paris to maintain trust in the UNFCCC process and called for stable and pro-investment policy frameworks, further work on indicators to enhance transparency, and enhanced engagement between governments and the private sector. He also welcomed the OECD’s recent work on tracking climate finance.
Paolo Frankl (Head of Renewable Energy, IEA) highlighted that last year, for the first time, renewable electricity generation capacity additions overtook fossil fuels for the first time. He explained that a reversal of the shares of renewables and coal in the global electricity generation mix is needed within the next decade in the IEA’s 450 ppm scenario. He described the significant success of reverse auctions in supporting renewable energy through long-term supply contracts in places like Brazil, South Africa and a number of middle-eastern countries.
There was then an interactive discussion lasting more than 30 minutes. Dr Francisco Gurria (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, Mexico) intervened from the floor to highlight that agriculture should be part of the solution and called for a holistic approach to climate policy-making. Kurt Emil Eriksen (VELUX Group) intervened from the floor to highlight the important role of energy efficiency in buildings.
There were many interesting and provocative questions to the panel on issues such as the recent modification of Australia’s renewable energy target, the advantages of reverse auctions for supporting renewable energy, the potential of developing countries to leapfrog coal, the prospect for a regional emissions trading system in Latin America, the Carmichael coal mine in Australia, and the need for co-ordinated national and sub-national policies to support investment by industry in low-carbon technologies.
This event and the OECD’s publication “Climate Change Mitigation: Policies and Progress” highlighted that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.