The 22nd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) successfully brought together climate experts, NGOs, and high-level government delegates to operationalize the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on November 4, 2016.
This COP was unique for a variety of reasons, not least of all for introducing the first Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) hosted by the Government of Morocco and co-organized by SDSN, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and ICLEI- Local governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). The conference stretched over three days and was located in the Blue Zone where the official UNFCCC negotiations took place, which allowed for high-level delegates to attend.
For the first time at a COP, experts explored technical solutions to lower global emissions, offered by academic, private business, government, and industry stakeholders. Solutions ranged from long-term planning using mid-century modeling tools such as the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Projects (DDPP), to exploring cutting-edge, wave technology to harness the power of our oceans.
LESC successfully hosted 18 unique panels featuring solutions for a wide range of geographic and temporal applications. The themes for the solutions covered the gamut: low-carbon strategies; the role of information and communication technologies; sustainable cities and built environments; low-carbon transport; sustainable power systems; and low-carbon fuels and policies. The conference proceedings can be found at www.lowemissions.solutions/resources/.
The diverse array of technologies showcased at LESC illustrated the need for an equally diverse set of solutions to decarbonize our growing global economy. As stated by SDSN Director Jeffrey Sachs, “A decarbonized economy spends money on technology instead of fossil fuels,” and LESC provided the forum to feature the technologies available today.
Conference participants agreed that we can decouple economic growth from emissions growth and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, but that the world will need to scale-up innovative technologies in order to do so. This marked the first of many LESC events to be held around the world. This partnership has created a space to nurture, share, and accelerate progress toward a decarbonized world.