Webinar 1 - Thinking ahead for a Sustainable, Just & Resilient Recovery
Thursday, 28 May 2020
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Webinar 1 focused on the challenges of forward-planning in a time of intersecting crises. Diverse practitioners and thought leaders reflected on the role of climate & SDG synergies in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. Using examples, panelists suggested practical measures that stakeholders can use to better account for trade-offs and harness synergies in their recovery planning process.
What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for countries’ National Determined Contributions?
What links Covid-19 responses, thus far, to climate & sustainable development objectives?
How can stakeholders avoid entrenching trade-offs in their recovery strategies?
What examples illustrate the potential of climate & SDG synergies in recovery contexts?
How can synergies be monitored for transparency & accountability?
Charlie Heaps is a Senior Scientist at SEI-US and developer of LEAP, the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System. From 2006 through 2014, he was also U.S. Centre Director.
LEAP, which Charlie has been developing since 1990, is a powerful, versatile software tool for integrated energy planning and climate change mitigation assessment. In 2014 alone, more than 2,000 people actively used the tool, and the LEAP online community, COMMEND, has grown to over 22,000 members in 191 countries.
Along with developing LEAP and managing COMMEND, Charlie works around the world conducting workshops, undertaking energy studies and providing training and assistance to users of LEAP.
Charlie has also developed a range of other software tools and websites for energy and environmental planning, including GreenTrips (a web-based tool for households to plan their transport emissions), and IDENTIFY (a spreadsheet-based tool for industrial climate mitigation project planning developed for UNIDO).
In addition, Charlie has been a major contributor to the development of other SEI software tools, including WEAP, REAP and PoleStar.
Charlie has a B.S. (first class) in energy studies from the University College of Swansea in Wales, and a Ph.D. in environmental technology from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.
She is a sustainability expert with over a decade of experience, equally divided between scientific institutions and international development organizations. Key areas of interest are the sustainable management of natural resources, the transformation towards sustainable food systems, and the formulation and implementation of global sustainability agreements. Her current work focuses on supporting the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ivonne combines her research and management experience with a passion for the design of participatory processes and has implemented over 50 participatory multi-stakeholder dialogues. She has systematically engaged in global platforms and processes: such as the Global Soil Partnership hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the process led by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to discuss the development of a Land Degradation Neutral World framework and to define global indicators for sustainable land and soil use; and the process at the United Nations to negotiate the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
She is an environmental engineer and obtained a MSc in Environmental Governance from the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, in Germany.
Jason is a Senior Scientist at SEI US, where he focuses on energy system modelling, climate change mitigation policy analysis, and modelling and policy capacity-building in developing nations.
Jason’s research centers on how to improve the usefulness of models, data systems, and data analyses to policy-makers. He is particularly interested in issues such as model and system transparency, accessibility to stakeholders who are not professional programmers or modelers, and practicality for answering actual climate and energy policy questions.
Jason came to SEI in 2013 from Eastern Research Group (ERG), an environmental and energy consultancy. At ERG he led policy and data analysis, modelling, and software development projects in support of numerous public-sector climate and energy programmes.
He has an extensive, wide-ranging background in information technology, including 15 years’ experience designing and developing significant data systems, principally web- and cloud-based.
He has an MPP in environmental policy from Tufts University, and a dual BA in government and French Studies from Harvard University.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Mr. Liu Zhenmin of China as the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs effective 26 July 2017. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Liu was Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of China since 2013. Among his various diplomatic assignments, he served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland (2011-2013).
Mr. Liu brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. He was deeply involved for 10 years in climate change negotiations including the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. He also widely participated in the international activities on the protection of our planet including Antarctica and the oceans. Over the last several years, in various capacities, he has been consistently highlighting and advocating for sustainable development issues.
Mr. Liu started his career at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in 1982. Since then, he has served the Ministry in various capacities, including as Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs (2009-2011); Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations (2006-2009); Director-General, Department of Treaty and Law (2003-2006); and Deputy Director-General, Department of Treaty and Law (1998-2003). He also served in the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland (1992-1995) and in the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations (1984-1988).
As Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Liu guides UN Secretariat support for the follow-up processes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. He also oversees the substantive services to many intergovernmental processes, including the annual meetings of the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly, the meetings of the Economic and Social Council, including its Development Cooperation Forum, and the work of the subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC.
In addition to intergovernmental processes, Mr. Liu oversees DESA’s policy analysis and capacity development work. He also serves as the Convenor of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, and advises the United Nations Secretary-General on all development-related issues, including climate change, internet governance, and financing for development.
Mr. Liu holds a Master of Laws from the Law School of Peking University. He was born in August 1955 in Shanxi Province, China. Mr. Liu is married.
Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
On 18 May 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Patricia Espinosa of Mexico as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Ms. Espinosa took office on 18 July 2016.
Ambassador of Mexico to Germany since 2012 and from 2001 to 2002, Ms. Espinosa was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, bringing more than 30 years of experience at highest levels in international relations, specialized in climate change, global governance, sustainable development, gender equality and protection of human rights.
As Mexico's representative on multilateral bodies and international organizations in Vienna, Geneva and New York, Ms. Espinosa has been engaged as leader in the global challenge to address climate change and its consequences, notably as President of the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC leading to the adoption of the Cancun Agreements. Named by the UN Secretary-General to the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, she is a tireless supporter of multilateralism as a way to improve conditions for development in all regions of the world, understanding the inextricable link between the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Elected Chair of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (1996) she played a key role in the process leading to the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action at the 4th World Conference on Women. Previous Ambassador of Mexico to Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and UN Organisations in Vienna (2002-2006), she was Chief of Staff to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991) and responsible for economic issues at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN in Geneva (1982-1988).
Born in 1958, she has postgraduate studies in International Law from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva and is holder of a Degree in International Relations from El Colegio de Mexico. Fluent in English and German, she is confident in French with Spanish mother tongue.