By Thomas Ansell
Powered by KlimaatPositief and The Hague Humanity Hub, the Debrief & Dialogue brought professionals from multiple sectors together to discuss the COP27 conference, climate, and cross-cutting issues. Supported by the Municipality of The Hague and ImpactCity.
On November 28, The Hague Humanity Hub and KlimaatPositief brought together over 70 professionals from a range of backgrounds including peace and justice, climate, and more to reflect on the UN Climate Change Conference held in Sharm El Sheikh (6 – 20 November).
Following a welcome from both Jill Wilkinson (Director, The Hague Humanity Hub) and Paulien Boone (Founder, KlimaatPositief), a panel took to the stage including:
- Bastiaan Hassing (Head, Delegation of The Kingdom of The Netherlands to the UNFCCC)
- Marlene Achoki (Global Policy Co-Lead, Climate Justice, CARE Climate Justice Center
- Laura de Vries (Board Member, Youth Climate Movement/Jonge Klimaatbeweging)
- Stientje van Veldhoven, Vice-President & Regional Director for Europe, WRI
The conversation, led by Paulien Boone, progressed with panellists analysing and reacting to COP27. Of particular interest was the establishment of a Loss and Damages fund, something that many climate change-affected countries in the global south have called for. Some panellists expressed disappointment with the results of the conference, though it was also stressed that the conferences do deliver progress- even if it’s slower than hoped for.
“We made some progress, but we’re not where we should be.”
“Pacific countries are very inspiring they’re talking about what’s happening on the ground. It’s just really hard to make your voice heard, especially in between those big partnerships [and] countries.”
“Every time I see the same at COP, they always deliver less than the Climate Movement wants, but still crucial elements are moving. You need to get people into a room, to look in each other’s eyes to fight for a solution.”
“What’s so important to remember is that we have 52 weeks in a year. 2 are COP, and so we need to use the rest”.
The session then moved on to the ‘dialogue’ element: with four facilitated roundtables, each led by an expert relevant to the topic.
Translating global action to local action – prioritising the most vulnerable and enabling locally-led action, led by Carina Bachofen (Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre)
The roundtable covered lots of ground, concluding that local actors must be given a voice at the global level, and that the most vulnerable should be at the top of the agenda when discussing climate issues.
“There are huge divides between the private sector, the governments, and civil society. This polarisation is damning – we must learn to genuinely communicate.”
Navigating complexity: addressing climate action through the lens of conflict sensitivity, led by Harriet Mackhaill Hill (International Alert)
The main takeaway from this roundtable was that climate change acts as a ‘threat multiplier’ for conflict, and that we are unlikely to reach climate neutrality without conflict-sensitive action. More than 70% of climate fragile countries are also at risk of conflict.
“Peacebuilding is something long-term, and so is climate change action. Locally-led projects and trust building, better transparency, and accountability can all provide this context analysis.”
Integrating climate action at work: “Every Job is a Climate Job”, led by Piotr Drozd (Consultant)
This conversation revolved around climate action close to home: with participants looking at ways to empower people to their rights, critically analyse their company/organisation’s climate policy, and bring about more education at every level.
“I have never met the leader of a business who thinks that they’re damaging the environment. They don’t think that they are responsible. You are responsible. That’s externalisation. They think that they’re contributing to society because they get petrol to the community [for example].”
Stakeholder engagement and communications: Closing the Ambition gap, led by Serge Santoo (Polycentric)
The conversation at this roundtable centred around communicating about climate change in order to engage various stakeholders (ie. investors, media, technology; banks and financiers, public narrative). Whilst attendees agreed that there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution, it was agreed that a two-way narrative is the best way to affect change.
“We need to influence the undercurrent of communication so that these questions of long-term sustainability make it into the board rooms… it’s about learning to play the field.”
It is clear that there is value in connecting people and reflecting on climate action together, and so KlimaatPositief and The Hague Humanity Hub will continue to engage with stakeholders and explore how a community of climate leaders in The Hague can further develop.