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Urban resilience and adaptation at COP21

Monday, 23 November 2015, 15:00- 16:00 CET

From 30 November to 11 December 2015, negotiators and world leaders will convene in Paris for COP21, the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The objective of COP21 is to establish the first legally binding global climate agreement with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. 

This webinar will focus on the urban resilience agenda at COP21. Why it is important to talk about resilience and adaptation at a Conference mainly focused on climate change mitigation? What would be a positive outcome from the Paris negotiations for cities and why is it important to highlight local action to drive that meaningful outcome? The webinar will introduce the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) and the expected outcomes and commitments for resilience from COP21. It will conclude with an example of Dakar, a pioneer city that is already acting to address climate change ahead of the international negotiations, showing that local and subnational governments are at the forefront of action to tackle climate change. 

Yunus Arikan from ICLEI World Secretariat gave an introduction to the topic and highlighted the significance and aim of local and subnational governments at COP21 in achieving an inclusive and ambitious climate agreement. Download his presentation

Patricia Holly Purcell from UN-Habitat followed up with the global perspective on resilience at COP21 and discussed the expected outcomes and commitments for urban resilience from Paris. She introduced the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), a joint undertaking that aims to accelerate climate action pre-2020 and beyond and discussed other urban resilience-relevant outcomes from Paris, including expected outcomes from the Medellín Collaboration on Urban Resilience-relevant (MCUR) sessions and side events. Download her presentation

Antoine Faye, Chief Resilience Officer of Dakar, Senegal presented Dakar's adaptation and resilience plans and briefly mentioned the importance of local action at the COP and on what would be a positive/meaningful outcome from the Paris negotiations for the city of Dakar. Download his presentation

Speaker biographies: 

Patricia Holly Purcell, Senior Strategic and Partnerships Advisor, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Nairobi, Kenya

Patricia is based in their Nairobi Headquarters and is focused on the Agency’s City Resilience Profiling Programme. Patricia joined UN-Habitat in 2013 after working for the United Nations Secretariat in Geneva, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, where she was the urban Technical and Strategic Advisor to the Special Representative to the United Nations Secretary-General on Disaster Risk Reduction. Prior to joining the UN, Patricia worked in the private sector in London, where she founded and managed a Commercial Sustainability program for the world’s third largest insurance broker. Patricia previously worked as a financial journalist with a focus on energy, climate finance, and trade for news outlets, including The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, and the BBC. Patricia is a visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen School of Global Health Master’s Programme on Disaster Management and sits on the Board of Directors of the Gold Standard.

Antoine Faye, Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), Adviser to the Mayor, Dakar, Senegal

For the two years prior to being selected as the CRO for Dakar, Antoine served as the West Africa Regional Coordinator for both the Climate Technology Initiative’s Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) - Nexant, Inc. managed Regional Clean Energy Investment Initiative (RCEII). While advising the then Minister of Renewable Energies in International Affairs, Climate Change and Financing Mechanisms of Senegal, Mr. Faye recognized the need for developing countries to pursue a different path of development, Antoine developed the idea for a business called Integrated Global Strategies for Sustainable Development. In 2009, Antoine joined the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University in the City of New York to pursue a Master’s in International Affairs concentrating in Economic and Political Development. 

Further reading and links: 

Cities & Regions Pavilion – TAP2015 Website (for details on resilience events at COP21)

COP21 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change (Host country official website)

Paris Climate Change Conference - November 2015 (official UNFCCC website for the COP21 program)

Lima-Paris Action Agenda website