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London Climate Action Week 2020- putting the pieces together

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London Climate Action Week Digital (LCAW) takes place this week from 1-3 July bringing together climate experts and policy makers from London and beyond to deliver resilient climate action in the wake of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 global pandemic presents a pivotal moment for climate action. We are using LCAW Digital to help ensure a green recovery, focusing on three key themes:

  1. Green Investment for Economic Recovery
  2. Politics of Collaboration and Competition
  3. Solutions: Adaptation and Resilience

Below we shed light on why these three LCAW themes are so important as well as outline the must-attend events of this year.

Theme 1 – Green Investment for Economic Recovery

Governments, as well as public and private financial institutions will be making enormous investments and capital allocations over the next year. These will be critical in determining whether limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C, the ambition of the Paris Agreement, remains within reach.

Discussions under the theme ‘Green Investment for Economic Recovery’ therefore could not be timelier.

LCAW starts with a prequel event on the 30th of June with the launch of the important new Make My Money Matter campaign. The campaign is calling for the trillions of pounds invested in UK pensions to go into building a better world. Speakers at the event include Screen writer Richard Curtis and former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. Mark Carney will also be joining an event hosted by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment on the role of investors in catalysing the green transition.

The week continues with events on topics from central banks to community investing, and from fossil fuels to factory farms. The Climate Policy Initiative will welcome UK COP26 president, Alok Sharma, to a discussion on how recovery responses to the pandemic can help form a steppingstone for enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions necessary to meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement. Wilton Park will explore how public and development finance can deliver an inclusive and sustainable recovery. Finally, the Green Finance Institute and E3G will address how UK green finance policies can support a green and resilient economic recovery.

To find more events on green investment for economic recovery, visit the official London Climate Action Week site here.

Theme 2 – Politics of Collaboration and Competition

The COVID-19 pandemic shows that international crises require international responses. The same is true for climate change. Global cooperation will be the only way to avoid dangerous global warming.

Recent political shifts away from rules-based multilateralism, however, risk undermining global climate action. LCAW’s theme on the politics of collaboration and competition’ addresses these concerns head on.

Some of the highlight events we are looking forward to in this theme include the Club of Rome’s series of events exploring global partnerships for tackling the multifaceted planetary emergency; a conversation, hosted by the London School of Economics and Oxford University, between Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Lord Stern and Professor Cameron Hepburn exploring whether COVID-19 recovery will accelerate climate action; and a special event on cooperation for a green recovery hosted by the German Embassy, the French Embassy and the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom, in cooperation with the British Government.

Other highlights include webinars covering a diverse range of topics such as China, law, global climate litigation and the fossil fuel production gap. The NDC Partnership hosts an important dialogue on the role of NDCs within COVID-19 responses. Carbon Tracker takes a look at the risk of stranded assets.

Together, we hope this diverse collection of events will help drive action to build global cooperation for climate change in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and in the run-up to COP26 in 2021.

To find more events on the politics of collaboration and cooperation, visit the official London Climate Action Week site here.

Theme 3 – Solutions: Adaptation and Resilience

COVID-19 and the ensuing economic crisis have underscored the importance of resilience in the broadest sense, showing that governments and societies still have a long way to go to in terms of protecting vulnerable communities against external shocks.

LCAW will feature a wide range of events on solutions for adaptation and resilience.

A key event setting the tone is “Resilience in Light of COVID-19”, a framing discussion co-hosted by E3G and IIED. It features Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Minister for COP 26 along with Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwandan Environment Minister. There will also be two panels, the first on resilience in an intersectional sense across global challenges, and the second showcasing some of the leading perspectives on resilience from other LCAW programming — not one to miss, register here.

Various events will focus on the urban dimension of resilience and how the recovery presents an opportunity to build safer, cleaner and more resilient cities—including one by London Councils. Many events will show London’s partnerships around the world, with an event by LSE and ICCCAD illustrating the importance of universities and research centres collaborating to enhance resilience.

Further global insights are on offer from CARE International, with an event on gender-just climate resilience in the COVID-19 response, and the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), with an interactive “Citizen’s Jury” on disaster preparedness. Another event will present how important cooling solutions are to both decarbonisation and resilience. The role of the private sector will be showcased across various events, including several days of programming by FASTR.

To find more events on solutions: adaptation and resilience, visit the official London Climate Action Week site here.

London Climate Action Week in November

One of the aims of LCAW is to keep the pressure dialogue shaping to feed into the UN Climate talks. Hence, when this year’s COP26 moved from November 2020 to 2021 due to COVID-19, we decided to grab the 14-20 November window to stage a second round of LCAW2020 activity.

None of us knows at this stage whether this will be another purely digital programme, or a blend of digital and appropriate physical events in the new normal context yet to be defined.

What we do know is we want the November events to:

  1. Include wider climate community actors already involved in LCAW, expanding beyond policy, economy and finance.
  2. Refocus on a drive to involve citizens and community groups and young people. This will be particularly important as we navigate the complexity of how the climate emergency relates to the consequences of COVID-19 and socio-economic pressures pressing for more walk and less talk on inequality and social justice.
  3. Build the London Climate Cluster architecture to ensure LCAW is not a once or twice a year programme of events, but an ongoing way of working amongst all of London’s climate cluster stakeholders.
  4. Ensure that we feed the LCAW dialogue and demands into the COP26 process. We can’t afford to allow the delay to bring complacency. With the UK serving as host along with Italy, London has a key role in shaping the agenda and pressing for action, locally, nationally and globally.

So, we hope you’ll join some of the events over the 1-3 July programme, and if you want to get involved in shaping November – and beyond – please reach out to us.

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