Paris Daily Digest - Dec 5: Action Agenda Successfully Launched

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Below is the update from Saturday (Dec 5) from the climate negotiations in Paris. Previous day ones are available at: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. Also check out NRDC's President's "insider view" where she will be giving some insights from her time in Paris.


The Paris "Action Agenda" held its high-level Action Day with a resounding message of "we must, we can, and we will act on climate change." The all-day event showcased the groundswell of climate action from leaders across society, including Michael Bloomberg, California Governor Jerry Brown, the CEO of Swiss Re reinsurance company, and Chinese business magnate Jack Ma of Alibaba. These climate champions emphasized the virtuous cycle with climate action from many stakeholders leading to increased ambition in international agreements, which in turn leads to more action on the ground. They also reinforced that COP21 is a conference of solutions, and that there is an imperative for the entire world to take action, not just national governments. At the close of the event, the UN Secretary-General announced that a coalition of business, city, finance, and UN organizations will host a "Climate Action 2016" summit on May 5-6 in Washington, DC to accelerate momentum for multi-stakeholder climate action.


NRDC President Rhea Suh met with China's chief negotiator Minister Xie Zhenhua Saturday discussing what was happening in China and the US.


On Friday, NRDC hosted a Press Conference with India's Lead Climate Negotiator Mr. Kumar. Following that a number of outlets covered the comments. Mr. Kumar discussed how: "India is looking at a just and equitable outcome firmly anchored in the UNFCCC. India's priorities are both mitigation and adaptation and both are equally important", in the Economic Times. In coverage in the Guardian on our press conference, Mr. Kumar discussed the importance of ensuring that developed countries continue to provide significant financial support to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate impact. Mr. Kumar was discussing the role of a global stock take to provide countries and opportunity to strengthen their efforts over time. He was quoted in The Hindu as saying: "We are comfortable and welcome the process, even at a five-yearly cycle. What we are trying to convey is that the process should be linked to the next cycle, not the present one."

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On Saturday, NRDC President conducted a press conference with other leading U.S. groups to discuss the path forward for Ministers this week (see picture from the press conference and with some of our team in front of the US center).

Robert Redford, trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Associated Press that the U.N. climate conference under way in Paris is "key."

"I think we're running out of time because the planet is running out of resources," he said. "I think now the American people are waking up to the fact that nothing has happened and then the consequences are going to fall on them -- the people -- and not the politicians." Redford announced a new extension of the City energy project, a joint initiative of NRDC and the Institute for Market Transformation aimed at helping cities boost energy efficiency of buildings and therefore cut carbon pollution.

"I experienced smog, bad air, and I experienced traffic overload that wasn't there when I was little," Redford said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Paris. "I discovered the value of nature, and the fact is if you leave nature alone, there's something quite good about it." He's one of more than 50 high-profile personalities brought together by the UN and lobbying groups to spur ambition from the 195 nations at the meeting.

Anjali Jaiswal, India Initiative Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council said coupled with its comprehensive solar programme aiming to reach 100 gigawatts by 2022, India has once again positioned itself as a global leader in clean energy.