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Live from Skoll World Forum 2015

With so much going on at the 2015 Skoll World Forum, it's impossible to participate in everything. Our bloggers are sitting in on many of the exciting sessions at this year's event. Read their concise notes and observations to catch up on important discussions you may have missed.


FORUM2015: From Lima to Paris: The Role of Non-State Actors in COP 21  

FORUM2015: From Lima to Paris: The Role of Non-State Actors in COP 21  

April 19, 2015 | 3592 views

“I am former president of Ireland and UN special envoy of climate and human rights, but I am also a mother and a grandmother,” were the opening words of Mary Robinson.

“The pillar of non-state actors is fundamental for a success in Paris, and the Climate Action Day in Lima has made the road to Paris wider, because of the participation of civil society, global business and local governments.”

Fundación Avina and the Skoll Foundation entered the sixth and final year of their alliance in the Pan-Amazon region, and convened a diverse group at the Skoll World Forum to discuss how the Skoll community and other actors can engage in the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP 21), and beyond.

Tomas Christensen, from the UN Secretary General’s office, is closely involved with the UN Climate Summit in New York. He called for a new, positive narrative on the climate change agenda that can trigger mobilization. “Let´s not be driven by fear, but for the sense that change is possible, if we rely in strong multi-stakeholder coalitions.”

Most of the people from outside of the negotiations, and many from the inside, believe climate negotiations are just an excuse for technocrats to travel around the world. But this is changing.

“The UN Climate Summit in New York and the COP 20 in Lima, under the leadership of Minister Pulgar Vidal, have built the right environment to recognize the role of cities, private sector and civil society to address climate change,” said Ramiro Fernández, Climate Change Director at Fundación Avina.

Louise Nicholls, Head of Responsible Sourcing and Packaging at Marks and Spencer (M&S), represented one the global businesses that signed the New York Declaration on Forests, committing to end deforestation by 2030. Louise shared the M&S strategy: for their company to add real value on climate they need to engage with others, as they did through the Consumer Goods Forum Alliance and their engagement in the UN Summit.

Lima set the landmark back in December 2014, as Tasso Azevedo points out: “New York and Lima was the moment where … big private actors joined the climate change agenda with concrete ideas and great deal of efficiency in achieving targets.”

The “Lima Paris Action Agenda” announce at the end of COP 20 by Minister Vidal and Minister Fabious seeks to enhance climate action on the road to Paris. This partnership between Peru, France, the UN Secretary General and the UNFCCC secretariat, will call on all stakeholders who made commitment in New York to report on their progress, and will encourage bold new action on forests, energy, resilience, transportation, technology, sub–national governments, agriculture and technology.

A bold initiative is being worked out among three countries, to be showcased and hopefully presented as one of the new commitment in Paris: The Amazon Andean Atlantic Corridor.

Martín Von Hildebrand from GAIA Colombia encouraged the room to join the effort. “It would be the largest environmental reserve in the world, protecting 135 million hectares of Amazon forest. More than twice the size of France! But it won’t happen unless Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela’s leaders know the public wants it. That’s where we come in.”

The 2015 Skoll World Forum is about an unwavering belief that even the most intractable problem offers an unsurpassed opportunity for change. We believe that we are living through times of transformation where the leadership of social entrepreneurs, global companies, indigenous communities and local governments are committing to ambitious targets – targets that enable the right environment for political leaders to reach a new climate agreement in Paris by the end of 2015.


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