COP25 and COP26 Presidents Urge Governments to Strengthen the Climate Ambition Alliance

Ahead of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, the President of the conference, Mr. Alok Sharma, and the President of the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid in 2019, Ms. Carolina Schmidt of Chile, are calling on all countries to either follow through on commitments made under the Climate Ambition Alliance, or to join the efforts of the Alliance.

The Climate Ambition Alliance brings together countries, businesses, investors, cities and regions which are working towards achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, as well as countries committed to updating their national climate action plans under the Paris Agreement – Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).  Alluding to the analysis of national climate action plans submitted in 2020 and compiled by the UN Climate Change secretariat, the COP Presidents write:

“The leadership from governments and non-state actors starts our pathway to net zero. But it is not enough (…) We are currently a long way off what science tells us is needed over the course of this decade. Together we need to go further and faster to ensure that we build a healthier and more sustainable future, one which respects the natural systems that underpin our existence and delivers dignity for all of humanity.”

Through the Climate Ambition Alliance launched in 2019, over 120 governments joined together, committing to come forward with plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and to submit more ambitious NDCs. This means countries covering around 70% of global GDP have made net-zero commitments.

Country engagement in the Alliance is led by the governments of Chile and the United Kingdom, with support from UN Climate Change and UNDP. Mobilization of non-government actors is led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz under the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign.

Beyond governments, over 3,000 organizations have joined the Race to Zero campaign led by the High-Level Champions. Last week, the UN-led Race to Zero campaign strengthened and clarified criteria that outline the minimum standard for initiatives of businesses, investors, cities, regions and universities for robust and credible net-zero commitments.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa endorsed the call by the COP Presidents, saying: “2021 will be the most important year for the international response to climate change since the inception of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. All efforts during the year will culminate at COP26, which must be a success. More countries joining the Climate Ambition and following through on existing commitments, backed by new commitments made under the Race to Zero campaign, will provide crucial impetus to put the world on a pathway to a safer and healthier future.”

The COP Presidents Alok Sharma and Carolina Schmidt are asking governments to inform them of their plans for raising ambition to cut greenhouse gas emissions and identify the following key opportunities to collaborate ahead of COP26:

•             Regional Climate Weeks in 2021 will provide opportunities for information exchange and peer learning on national and sectoral approaches to delivering net-zero emissions;

•             High-Level Regional Climate Week events in August and September will showcase and recognize the leadership of members of the Climate Ambition Alliance; and

•             Sectoral- and technical-level dialogues, including under the Marrakech Partnership, will support national planning exercises.

Carolina Schmidt, COP25 President and Minister of Environment of Chile, on the First NDC Synthesis Report: “The magnitude of this global challenge demands greater ambition and leadership from major emitters”

This Friday, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released its First NDC Synthesis Report, revealing that countries must redouble their efforts and submit more ambitious national climate action plans by 2021 to deliver on the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2C – ideally 1.5C – by the end of the century.

This report aggregates new emissions reduction commitments to 2030 presented by countries until the end of last year.

Chile was among the first seven country in the world to present its new commitments, and exhibited a significant increase in its level of climate ambition, as recognised by a number of international organizations.

The First NDC Synthesis Report indicates that much work remains to be done internationally, particularly by major emitters.

“Only 2 of the 18 largest emitters – the UK and EU – submitted updated NDCs in 2020 with a significant increase in their GHG reduction targets.  The other major emitters either submitted NDCs with a minimal increase in ambition or have not submitted their new NDCs yet.  Although the Synthesis Report shows that the NDCs submitted in 2020 are clearer and more complete than the first round – for example, containing more information on adaptation and greater alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals – the overall level of ambition exhibited by major emitters in this first snapshot, is very low,” said COP25 President and Minister of Environment, Carolina Schmidt.

“The magnitude of this global challenge requires collaborative work by all actors, in particular the major global players. We will only succeed if China, the United States and others step up with ambition. And in that respect we have good news because the new US and Chinese authorities understand well the magnitude of the problem and are working with greater ambition, for example targeting carbon neutrality in the long term” Schmidt added.

The report, requested by Parties to the Paris Agreement to measure progress on national climate action plans ahead of COP26, which will to be held this November in Glasgow, shows that only 75 Parties have communicated a new or updated NDC, representing approximately 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Only 8 of the largest emitters submitted new NDCs in 2020 and the combined impact of all NDCs submitted remains extremely low –  only a 1% reduction by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, far below the 45% reduction identified as necessary by the IPCC to achieve the 1.5°C temperature goal.

Patricia Espinosa, UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change, said, “While we recognize the recent shift in political momentum towards stronger climate action around the world, decisions to accelerate and scale up climate action everywhere must be taken now.”

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres noted “This is a unique moment that cannot be missed. As we rebuild, we cannot go back to business as usual. NDCs must reflect this reality and major emitters, especially the G20 nations, must lead the way”.

Following the postponement of COP26 until this year,  2021 presents a new opportunity for large emitters to commit to high levels of ambition, and for those that have already submitted NDCs with low levels of ambition to increase their commitments.


Launch of Race To Zero Breakthroughs

The UN High-Level Climate Champions, COP26 President Alok Sharma, COP25 President Carolina Schmidt, together with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, launched the Race to Zero Breakthroughs at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda.

Race to Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. Reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century is crucial to achieve the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement on climate action, with clearly defined interim goals.

The “Race to Zero Breakthroughs” have been published in a special paper, which sets out near-term goals for more than 20 sectors that make up the global economy, forming a master plan around which business, governments, and civil society can unite ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference,  COP26, in Glasgow in November.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said: “The Race to Zero Breakthroughs set out the specific tipping points that every sector in the global economy must reach in order to create a resilient zero carbon world.  We now know what key actors must do, and by when, to deliver the sectoral changes needed. I call on leaders across all sectors of the global economy to work together to deliver the Race to Zero Breakthroughs.”

COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma said: “It is vital that businesses go net zero, as part of our fight against climate change. Which is why we look to all sectors to reach a point at which a clean way of operating becomes the norm. Because if every sector plays its part, we will see the global economy on the right path to achieving net zero by 2050.”

To meet this challenge, actors covering 20% of their sector are being asked to commit to each breakthrough. The UN High-Level Champions — Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz — are now calling on local governments, businesses and investors to achieve breakthroughs in at least 10 sectors of the economy by the time governments convene in Glasgow in November for the UN climate negotiations.

The Race to Zero Breakthroughs have been drawn from the Climate Action Pathways, a set of comprehensive roadmaps to achieve the Paris Agreement in line with 1.5°C across all sectors, which were developed by the Marrakech Partnership — a vast coalition from across the climate action ecosystem — all of whom will need to play their part to transform their sector to deliver the breakthroughs.

One key member of this coalition is the Mission Possible Partnership, which only yesterday unveiled a new major multi-stakeholder platform – leveraging the power of the World Economic Forum, the Energy Transitions Commission, the Rocky Mountain Institute and We Mean Business – to deliver the Race to Zero Breakthroughs in seven of the most energy-intensive industries, including steel and shipping.

To achieve whole-economy transformation, cities, regions and private sector leaders will need to work in partnership and commit their skills, ingenuity and resources to achieving these breakthroughs. As Gonzalo Muñoz, COP25 Climate Champion, said: “We cannot win the Race to Zero by racing alone. Only by collaborating in wholesale systems transformation can we upgrade the sectors of our global economy to deliver a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon future. These sectoral breakthroughs will allow us to go further and faster in our race to zero emissions.”

UK and Chile call for ambitious climate action ahead of COP26

On 24 September 2020, the UK and Chile issued a joint call for ambition on emissions reduction, adaptation and financing plans ahead of COP26.

Speaking during the week of the United Nations General Assembly, COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma and COP25 President Carolina Schmidt urged countries to come together to tackle climate change.

The COP26 President Designate also highlighted an invitation to world leaders to attend a special virtual event on 12 December, the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, to come forward with new ambitious commitments.

The COP25 President urged all countries to step up climate action by delivering more ambitious NDCs, adaptation plans, climate finance pledges and long-term strategies to net zero, as soon as possible.




Celebrating one year on from the Climate Ambition Alliance, the #RaceToZero campaign has brought together the largest global alliance committed to net zero

The number of commitments to reach net zero emissions from local governments and businesses has roughly doubled in less than a year, as many prioritize climate action in their recovery from Covid-19. Cities and regions with a carbon footprint greater than the emissions of the US, and companies with a combined revenue of over $11.4 trillion (equivalent to more than half of the US GDP), are now pursuing net zero emissions by the end of the century, according to a major report published by the Data-Driven EnviroLab and the NewClimate Institute today.

The majority of these actors are aiming for a zero-carbon economy by 2050, as part of the UN Race to Zero campaign, the largest alliance of local governments, businesses, investors and others aiming for zero emissions in the 2040s. This now encompasses 22 regions, 452 cities, 1,101 businesses, 549 universities and 45 of the biggest investors. New joiners include:

  • New South Wales: Australia’s most populous state
  • Brambles: the global logistics company that moves more goods to more people than any other organization, supporting thousands of supply chains
  • C.P. Group: an Asian conglomerate and one of the world’s largest agri-food producers
  • Facebook: the world’s largest social media company
  • Ford: the first US full-line automaker committed to reducing CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement
  • LafargeHolcim: the first global building materials company to join Business Ambition for 1.5°C with intermediate targets, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative in alignment with net zero pathway
  • These companies have joined the Race to Zero via the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, by setting science-based targets in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Recognizing the critical yet often overlooked role that small and medium businesses will play in the transition to a zero-carbon economy, today also sees the launch of a new platform, SME Climate Hub, to support small and medium-sized enterprises in joining the Race to Zero. SMEs make up 90 percent of businesses worldwide, employ 2 billion people and have been among the hardest hit by Covid-19.

Corporations such as Ericsson, IKEA, Telia, BT Group and Unilever have committed to support the SME Climate Hub by working closely with the small and medium businesses in their supply chains to reach net zero or negative emissions before 2050.

These announcements will be made on the opening day of Climate Week NYC, Monday, September 21, during the COP26 & the Zero Carbon Growth Agenda event. The discussion features business and government leaders including Alok Sharma, UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and COP26 President-Designate; Carolina Schmidt, COP25 President; Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP & Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th Mayor of New York City; and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change.

The event will be convened by Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, UN High Level Climate Champions and leaders of the Race to Zero campaign, in collaboration with the Climate Group, to showcase how the shift to a zero-carbon economy is accelerating, and the scale of the opportunity to create good jobs, protect public health and address wider social inequities. The event also marks the one year anniversary of the Climate Ambition Alliance, launched at the UNSG’s Climate Action Summit, which Race To Zero is now mobilizing actors outside of national governments to join.

Alok Sharma said: ““Climate change affects every single one of us and we all have a part to play to champion climate action ahead of COP26. Through the Energy Transition Council and the UK’s ambitious climate finance commitments, I hope to drive the transition to cleaner energies, and I urge all businesses, cities and regions to join the Race to Zero coalition.”

Patricia Espinosa said: “Those involved in the Race to Zero have made a commitment to achieve specific goals and will be held to those promises. The world cannot afford to be let down. Nor can this campaign become something that allows nations to defer action until a later date. It’s about needing more climate ambition and climate action now — in 2020.”

Michael Bloomberg said: “It’s possible to reduce air pollution, improve health, extend people’s lives, fight the climate crisis, and grow local economies. We don’t have to choose just one of those outcomes. They all really do go hand in hand.”

Net Zero Commitments Keep Growing

The number of local governments and businesses pursuing a net zero emissions target by the end of the century has grown significantly since late 2019, according to the Data-Driven EnviroLab and the NewClimate Institute, as many prioritize climate action as part of their recovery from the impacts of Covid-19. This includes:

  • A nine-fold increase for regions, with an additional 101 in 2020 from 11 recorded in 2019.
  • An eight-fold increase for cities, with 823 more in 2020 from 100 recorded in 2019.
  • A three-fold increase for companies, with 1,541 in 2020 from around 500 recorded in 2019.

Momentum among cities and regions spans most geographic areas, the report found. It is especially strong in East Asia and the Pacific, where participating cities and regions — including Tokyo, Wuhan, Hong Kong and eight Australian states — represent over 223 million people, or over 10 percent of the region’s total population. Nearly half of US states, from California and New York to Pennsylvania, Nevada and Louisiana, are also aiming for net zero in their overall emissions or in key sectors such as energy.

The report looks at all net zero commitments by cities, regions, businesses and investors around the world. Many of those are already part of the Race to Zero, which requires members to meet a minimum set of leadership criteria to maintain quality control.

Small Businesses Can Join the Race to Zero

Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the We Mean Business coalition and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, the SME Climate Hub will serve as a one-stop shop that makes it easier for small and medium enterprises to join the Race to Zero. SMEs provide around two-thirds of jobs worldwide, making them integral to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Many are being required by large corporations to make businesses more sustainable, but have lacked the support needed to transform.

The SME Climate Hub will therefore be crucial in helping to decarbonize the value chains of major corporations, services and consumer products too, by providing the tools, knowledge and best practices that smaller enterprises need to do their part.

Along with Covid-19, climate change is one of the most pressing threats to small business. Left unchecked, climate change could damage business infrastructure, cause business interruptions and closures and stunt economic growth. With 40 percent to 60 percent of small businesses never reopening after a disaster, SMEs must take climate action today in order to survive and thrive tomorrow.

Cities and corporations back healthy recovery

Of the businesses that have joined the Race to Zero, 294 companies have reached the highest standard of corporate climate ambition as part of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. This includes companies in some of the most energy intensive sectors and those most impacted by Covid-19. Meanwhile, the number of certified B Corporations that have pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2030 — 20 years before the Paris Agreement’s goal — has climbed to 762. Another five new companies now aim to meet the Paris Agreement by 2040, by signing The Climate Pledge, led by Amazon.

Suphachai Chearavanont, Chief Executive of C.P. Group, said: “As a leading Asian conglomerate with our core business in agri-food, C.P. Group has a role to play to reduce the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint and encourage consumers to adopt more sustainable food choices. With our commitment for net zero emissions by 2050, we aim to meet this opportunity by leveraging innovation and working closely with all our partners and stakeholders across our diverse set of businesses in the group around the world.”

Jan Jenisch, Chief Executive of LafargeHolcim, said: “As the global leader in our industry, LafargeHolcim has a key role to play to address today’s climate crisis. That’s why we are proud to announce our net zero pledge with science-based targets to accelerate green construction and the transition to a net zero world.”

Notable new business arrivals to the Race to Zero include:

  • Artistic Milliners
  • Arauco
  • Ardagh Group
  • Biogen
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Brambles
  • C.P. Group
  • Do Nation
  • Facebook
  • Ford
  • General Mills
  • The Guardian
  • Indra
  • LafargeHolcim
  • Lightsource bp
  • Mastercard
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Myers-Briggs Company
  • PVH
  • Paypal
  • Sweco

Companies Endorse EU Climate Ambition

The European Union is helping forge the race to zero emissions, with strong private sector leadership backing stronger climate goals. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s announcement last week, proposing that the EU raise its emissions reduction goal for 2030 to at least 55 percent, came on the heels of a call by more than 160 businesses and investors. In the open letter, CEOs said they were determined to work with the EU for an ambitious implementation of the recovery package focused on achieving a green and digital transition.

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft Corporation, said: “Carbon doesn’t respect borders. The only way for us to meet these carbon reduction targets is for governments to boldly step forward and work together towards a zero carbon future.”

About Race to Zero

Race to Zero is the international campaign for a healthy, resilient zero carbon recovery. Led by the UNFCCC Champions for Climate Action, it aims to bring together net zero commitments from cities, businesses and investors across the climate action community in the run up to COP26. Race to Zero collaborates with the following international networks and initiatives, which have independently been mobilizing net zero commitments. All of them have require their participants to meet the Race to Zero’s minimum criteria:

See Race to Zero website here.

COP25 President meets with indigenous representatives to consolidate their contribution to global climate action

Minister of the Environment and COP25 President, Carolina Schmidt, together with the United Kingdom’s Regional Ambassador for Latin America of COP26, Fiona Clouder, met virtually with indigenous representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean to learn about their experiences in dealing with climate change.

COP25 Presidency, within the framework of the commemoration of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, invited indigenous organizations on climate change to a space for analysis and presentation of their visions regarding Climate Change and Nature-based Solutions, with the purpose of strengthening the linkage of the world’s indigenous communities with the States in the challenges that have been established in the area of climate change since the Paris Agreement and in the Platform of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples (LCIPP, for its acronym in English) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The webinar on Indigenous Peoples and climate change, referred to “The contribution and link between Indigenous Cosmovision and NBS” was an instance to also analyze the current situation of indigenous communities and climate change, within the framework of the new context of Covid-19.

“COP25 Presidency, with the strong conviction to enhance the contribution of indigenous peoples in climate action, has supported global indigenous participation, and especially Latin American participation in international instances, opening spaces for dialogue and the promotion of their knowledge ancestral. In this context, this webinar presented the main recommendations that indigenous brothers and sisters have for the process of building climate change policies in each country and we learned about the visions on climate change and solutions based on nature from the perspective of the indigenous worldview,” said the Minister of the Environment and COP25 President, Carolina Schmidt.

“Now more than ever is the time to work together – exchanging ideas and best practices, building international understanding and joint approaches – to confront both the pandemic and the other crisis that threatens us as humanity: climate change,” said Fiona Clouder, diplomat and COP26 UK regional ambassador for Latin America.

“We need to get up, clean our waters, take care of our climate. For us the Earth is sick and we need to recover it,” was the call of Kiriath Campillay of the Diaguita people (Chile), spiritual guide of his people and representative of the Indigenous Caucus of Chile on Climate Change.

For his part, Estebancio Castro from the Kuna People (Panama), consultant on the rights of indigenous people and Climate Change, and member of the facilitative working group of the Platform of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples (LCIPP) of the UNFCCC, explained that “for many, when we talk about the Worldview, we talk about our spirituality and our resources. The importance of indigenous peoples with that unique relationship they have with their territory, their lands and their resources cannot be separated to develop or contribute to the climate crisis. It is necessary to see how we support with mitigation”.

For Johnson Cerda of the Kichwa People of Limoncocha (Ecuador), Director DGM / GEA, Conservation International / International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC), it is important to ensure land titling, full and effective participation, and their participation in climate change negotiations. “The experiences that indigenous peoples have are key to the effort that we all want to make to face climate change,” he said.

Hortencia Hidalgo, from the Aymara people (Chile), Network of Indigenous Women on Biodiversity of Latin America and the Caribbean (RMIB-LAC)/International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (IIPFCC), reinforced that “indigenous peoples have fundamental knowledge for any activity to face the effects of climate change. We can be a contribution to society”.

The representative of the Mapuche Williche people (Chile), Juan Arriagada, and spokesperson for the Chilean Indigenous Caucus on Climate Change assured that “indigenous peoples continue to believe in a genuine dialogue where our rights, territory and spirituality are respected.”

The objective of this webinar is that the opinions and experiences shared serve to reveal the learning and wisdom of indigenous peoples in the design of the policies of the States Parties to the UNFCCC as well as to strengthen the relationship between the different actors in the process of the UNFCCC and indigenous communities.

Members of the Chilean Indigenous Caucus explored the different challenges and visions to address Climate Change integrating their Cosmovision and knowledge

Minister for Environment and COP25 President, Carolina Schmidt, alongside the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Chile, Silvia Rucks, and the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Development, Sebastián Villarreal, met virtually with members of Chile’s Indigenous Peoples Caucus on Climate Change.
During the event, the authorities pledged their support in formalizing the Indigenous Caucus of Chile on Climate Change, and reinforcing work between their people, the Government and the United Nations to advance and achieve concrete measures that incorporate the worldview in climate change policies.

In commemoration of the “International Indigenous Peoples Day”, on Sunday 9th August Minister for Environment and COP25 President, Carolina Schmidt, along with the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Chile, Silvia Rucks, and Sebastián Villarreal, of the Ministry of Social Development and Family, met virtually with members of Chile’s Indigenous Peoples Caucus on Climate Change in order to exchange insights and challenges on addressing Climate Change from the perspective of Indigenous Peoples, based on experiences of participation in COP25.

In the context of its Presidency of COP25, since 2019 Chile’s Ministry for Environment – with its strong commitment to enhancing the contribution of indigenous peoples to climate action – has supported global indigenous participation, particularly from Latin America, in international initiatives, establishing spaces for dialogue and promoting the unique knowledge of these groups.

“Due to their close relationship with the environment, indigenous peoples are in a unique position to address, through their ancestral knowledge, the challenges of climate change. As the Presidency of COP25, we seek to strengthen the knowledge, technologies, practices and efforts of local communities and indigenous peoples related to the response to climate change”, says Minister Carolina Schmidt.

It is in this context that, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development and Family, and with the support and accompaniment of the United Nations System in Chile, the decision was taken to establish a ‘Chilean Indigenous Caucus for COP25’ as part of preparation for last year’s summit, convening a range of indigenous leaders and experts from the country.

The creation of this space for dialogue has been critical, offering a first step to incorporating the indigenous worldview on climate change: the knowledge and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples about nature is an invaluable contribution to climate action in Chile and globally.

“We thank the members of the Chilean Indigenous Caucus for their commitment to creating global strategies for mitigation and adaptation in the area of climate change. Their willingness to give continuity to this dialogue, by sharing the wisdom, ancestral practices and worldview of indigenous peoples is a tremendous contribution to understanding an issue that concerns and affects all of humanity”, says the Undersecretary for Social Development of the Ministry for Social Development and Family, Sebastián Villarreal.

For her part, the Coordinator of the United Nations in Chile, Silvia Rucks, expressed her strong appreciation to members of the Chilean Indigenous for their interest in continuing to work at nationally and internationally on responding to climate change. She stressed that “we have a lot to learn from indigenous peoples, who are the ones who have been at the forefront of the demand for environmental and climate measures throughout the planet.”

The representative of UN Chile, also greeted the Indigenous Peoples represented at the meeting, on the occasion of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples commemorated every August 9, reiterating “the decision of the United Nations to make the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to shore up the resilience of these peoples ”.

Following the launch of the call for applications to join the Chilean Indigenous Caucus, 69 applications we received, of which 25 successful candidates were selected in accordance with criteria that sought to prioritize the following attributes:

  1. a) Individuals belonging to the Indigenous Peoples of Chile, with academic training and/or verifiable knowledge on environmental issues;
  2. b) Individuals belonging to the Indigenous Peoples of Chile who, individually or as part of a community, association or organization, undertake specific initiatives focused on environmental issues, especially related to climate change; and
  3. c) Indigenous leaders and/or representatives who have held a leadership role in processes or initiatives focused on environmental issues and especially climate change.

A central objective in the formation of the Caucus was to strengthen the participation of Chile’s Indigenous People in discussion of global strategies to address climate change. In addition, the Caucus seeks to promote the exchange of experiences by members and facilitate participation in national and international climate change initiatives; to promote the development of public policy in a way that respects and promotes Indigenous People’s interests; and to facilitate the implementation of ambitious climate action that contribute to a global efforts to tackle climate change.

Following seven working sessions held from 18th-21st November 2019 and the suspension of preparatory activities as a result of COP25 not being held in Santiago, the organizing team arranged for the participation of the Caucus in COP25 sessions held in Madrid, Spain, last December.

“Participating in COP25 in Madrid, Spain, allowed me to have a broader view by learning from the experience of my other brothers from indigenous peoples around the world on adaptation, mitigation, sustainable development and successful practices. We listen to the story of other brothers and sisters who have the same problems and feel the same urgency as us,” says Rayén Cariman, a Mapuche Woman from Lof Karumanke. “It is possible that together we can contribute to mitigate and help heal our Ñuke Mapu (Mother Earth). For us Mapuches, in our worldview, what hurts us the most is that our Mother is ill. She is not a stranger, Mother Earth, she is our mother, and we are going to do whatever is necessary for her to heal”, she adds.

Freddy Sebastián Medina, Member of the Indigenous Caucus of Chile on Climate Change, comments: “The creation of the Indigenous Caucus of Chile is a first step to establishing a permanent dialogue between indigenous communities and the public administration on the climate and environmental emergency that we are suffering in Chile. Based on my experience at COP25, I believe that it is increasingly urgent that indigenous peoples co-lead climate action – not only within their communities – but also in the Regional Committees on Climate Change (CORECC), especially now that Chile will hold the COP25 Presidency for two years, something which is unprecedented in the history of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). I also believe that it is an opportunity to drive progress in mitigating measures and to recover water resources, especially in indigenous territories”.


Embracing a sustainable recovery in the Chilean context of Covid-19

This morning the webinar “Embracing a sustainable recovery in the Chilean context of Covid-19” was held with presentations by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Chile, José de Gregorio, and the Minister of the Environment of Chile and COP25 President, Carolina Schmidt.

The meeting was attended by the University College London professor Mariana Mazzucato, the British economist Lord Nicholas Stern and his colleague Amar Bhattacharya.

The virtual event was closed by the Minister of Energy of Chile, Juan Carlos Jobet.

In her speech, Minister Schmidt referred to the “big challenge in front of us. But, at the same time, we have a unique opportunity to use this crisis to accelerate our transformation to a more inclusive, cleaner, healthier, low carbon and resilient economy for the world´s future.”

“A real sustainable recovery must focus on people needs and foster economic growth with the environment. Boost, as a top priority, investments that can generate in a fast way: large numbers of jobs while, at the same time, accelerate the de-carbonization of our energy matrix, reduce pollution, build clean transport systems, sustainable cities and green infrastructure for the growth of our economies”, he said.

In this link you can see the complete webinar.

Presidency of COP25 conducts dialogue with UNFCCC observers on ambition in the NDCs

The COP25 Presidency met virtually this morning with the 9 UNFCCC Constituencies and NGOs to hear their views on how civil society can contribute to improving ambition in the NDCs of Parties.

To date, 11 countries have submitted their updated or improved NDCs, and an additional 150 nations are expected to join.

On the occasion, The UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, started this meeting and made a strong call for participation.

“Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that we address the most pressing challenge for us and future generations: climate change. The urgency of recovering from the current pandemic cannot be an excuse to adopt policies that would lock societies in a high emissions trajectory. In this regard, the work of civil society is key: from providing technical solutions to advocating for the right policies and voices of the vulnerable, and for that, spaces need to be created for them to contribute all their expertise”.

COP25 President and Minister of the Environment of Chile, Carolina Schmidt, chaired this meeting, making a strong call to make the relationship between the Parties and civil society more fluid, both in demanding urgent action and ambition by governments and also in offering solutions.

“The Chilean Presidency has strongly favoured the interaction with Non State Actors, and will continue to do so, by highlighting the importance of their contribution in the debates; the expert view of many in technical issues, the relevance of traditional and indigenous knowledge in climate solutions, and the centrality of science and the inputs from the science community to monitor and understand climate processes and projections”, said Schmidt.

Representatives of Business and industry non-governmental organizations (BINGO), Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGO), Farmers, Indigenous peoples organizations (IPO), Local government and municipal authorities (LGMA), Research and independent non-governmental organizations (RINGO), Trade Unions non-governmental organizations (TUNGO), Women and Gender, Youth non-governmental organizations (YOUNGO).

Chile participates in the 4th Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA)

At the 4th Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA) co-hosted by Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal European Commission, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change of Canada Jonathan Wilkinson and the Minister for Ecology and Environment of China Huang Runqiu, about 30 ministers gathered to discuss a green and sustainable recovery, post Covid-19, aligned to the Paris Agreement.

In her speech, the President of COP25 and Minister of Environment, Carolina Schmidt, called on countries to “develop and implement plans to recover our economies and jobs” that have not only been affected by the Pandemic, but also by climate change that has not been in quarantine.

Complete speech of the Minister of Environment of Chile, Carolina Schmidt:

Distinguished ministers and delegates, my warm greetings, and a special thanks to Canada, China and the European Union for convening this meeting.

The first half of 2020 has unfolded in a very challenging and unexpected manner. The Covid-19 pandemic represents one the biggest health crisis in the history of humanity, impacting people’s lives in manifold and serious ways.

In the short term the first priority for governments has been to look after the health of our citizens. But we should be working hard as well to develop and implement plans to recover our economies and jobs facing the other global crisis we are living and that has Not Been in quarantine: Climate Change.

What our citizen expect of Leaders in time of crisis is certainty. To provide this certainty leaders has to show clear goals and a long term vision for our recovery plans.

3 concrete actions are decisive to show this leadership, align our economic recovery plans to the Paris Agreement and use this crisis to accelerate the transformation to the New economy RECOVERING BETTER:

1- Presenting updated NDCs with ambitious commitments for 2030, and Long Term Climate Strategies aimed at carbon neutrality by 2050

While Covid-19 may have postponed COP26, it has not postponed the need for Parties to deliver the commitments they have made under the Paris Agreement – most notably, the submission of more ambitious NDCs this year in 2020.

In this spirit, in the month of April, Chile presented a significantly enhanced NDC that, in line with the Paris Agreement, targets a long-term vision of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Our NDC represents a critical milestone on this path, committing to an absolute carbon budget for the period 2020- 2030 and a series of other measures, spanning adaptation and integrative actions on oceans, forests, circular economy, finance and nature-based solutions.

Updating our NDC commitments should not be seen as an unnecessary distraction from the health crisis. On the contrary, presenting enhanced NDCs this year is more important than ever because NDCs commitments actually act as a beacon to guide the social and economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis.

Globally First NDCs were presented five years ago. Today there is a clear opportunity to increase our collective ambition, through updating with ambition our contributions showing leadership and setting the goals for a Green Recovery. We then look forward to the UNFCCC’s NDC Synthesis Report showing the joint effect of parties’ commitments and how much work remains to deliver the Paris goals.

2- International financing for green recovery

The international resources that support global reactivation must contain decarbonisation requirements. This will help the developing countries to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economies and mobilize private sector.

A clear example of this is the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund that owns 1.5% of the global stock markets, that recently announced will invest only in sustainable, low carbon companies and projects.

The decision made by this important international fund has had already important impacts in many multinational companies present in developing countries. In the case of Chile this decision has accelerated the closure of some coal power plants in almost 10 years from originally planned.

Examples like this show us that low carbon requirements for international funds can be an opportunity to mobilize the private sector accelerating the decarbonisation processes in our countries.

We call developed countries to mobilize resources that enable private and public sectors to decouple economic growth from fossil energy consumption, while promoting sustainable investments and green jobs.

In our country we have successfully used Green Sovereign Bonds. They play an important role by contributing to achieving the climate goals while also promoting an economic and socio- environmental revival agenda to face the crisis due to Covid-19 , with sustainability criteria, marking a path towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy.

3- use the Covid-19 green recovery as an Opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation with a SOCIAL emphasis, improving the quality of life of people in their territories

Green recovery efforts provide a huge opportunity to accelerate our transformation to a low carbon and resilient economy with a social focus, generating New jobs and creating opportunities for the communities in their territories, reducing local pollution, and giving access to cleaner and cheaper energy to families and water security.

For Chile is critical that we focus our investments in the following areas that has a greater social and environmental impact for our communities:

• Renewable energies
• Energy and watter efficiency
• Sustainable building and industry
• Electromobility
• Nature-based solutions

In line with this approach, our new NDC included a novel social pillar, which addresses all of our commitments in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and also considers the development of a just transition strategy that will support our decarbonisation process.

Dear ministers and colleagues,

The strategies with develop to recover to Covid-19 will be will be decisive in our ability to address climate change. How we respond to this economic crisis, must be a top priority for the international community.

I call upon you to exercise decisive leadership in the 3 main areas that I have mentioned so we can make sure that our efforts allow us to build back better for the benefits of our people and their territories.

Thank you.