High-Level Climate Dialogues

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Accelerating Progress, Advancing Innovation, is a dialogue initiative co-convened by Partnership for Change and Citizens’ Climate Lobby. This series of high-level dialogues brings together select action-focused leaders to small work-oriented (Chatham House) discussions to challenge the limits of past thinking, call on personal and sectoral experiences and creativity, and outline accelerated pathways for effective action on climate and energy, following on from the Paris Agreement.


Building Fiscal Resilience

Washington, DC — 20 April 2017

Climate disruption is a macro-critical influence that changes all other areas of value exchange, by affecting the shape of the overall economy. As a measure of macro-critical value disruption, carbon risk encompasses:

  • devaluation risk for investments that rely on carbon-intensive practices,
  • disaster response risk for communities facing climate impacts,
  • nonlinear climate and economic threats to global food and fresh water supplies,
  • risk of instability in under-resilient financial institutions,
  • macro-scale devaluation risk, due to redirected spending and decreased growth, and
  • the risk of political destabilization of nation-states.

Failure to address macro-critical devaluation risk will reduce the productive capacity of any given dollar of investment, reducing overall fiscal health and resilience. This dialogue aims to identify concrete actions that will add measurable resilience to public sector budgets and to the overall landscape of investment, so that every dollar invested holds more stable value and can achieve more good for more people. [Event page]


Accelerating NDC Action

Marrakech — 13 November 2016

In Marrakech, during the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (the COP22), the high-level dialogue series Accelerating Progress, Advancing Innovation will bring leaders in government, business, science, and policy advocacy together to outline pathways for accelerating national climate action. The nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement (the NDCs) do not yet include pledges ambitious enough to meet the goal of limiting warming to 1.5ºC by mid-century.

Some of the issues at stake in Marrakech include: how to deliver financing to projects that transform markets, allowing them to decarbonize rapidly or to rapidly develop using low-carbon practices; how to ensure cutting edge low-carbon technologies and business models can spread to all economies in a cost-effective way; how to build long-term resilience and routine low-carbon business practices into national budget priorities and infrastructure development. [Event page]


Carbon Pricing as the Foundation for Future Value

Washington, DC — 7 October 2016

Building on this prior work, the central challenge we put to ourselves in this dialogue is to assess added investment costs flowing from carbon risk, identify carbon pricing leverage points to drive rapid, cost-effective business model innovation, and shift financial sector focus toward macro-critical climate resilience. To make this work more concrete, we will focus on how these factors influence the impact of carbon pricing policy on the building of future business value and community-level economic resilience.

We aim to apply the most economically efficient policy options to the situation-specific work of building durable climate-resilient prosperity, and motivating more ambitious, innovative approaches to shaping national climate policy, during and after the COP22 negotiations in Marrakech. [Event page]


Climate, Peace & Security in the Global Goals

New York City — 22 September 2016

Mutual thriving is becoming a global security imperative. The costs of not getting there are now visibly too high, so building macro-critical climate resilience is essential for achieving reliable peace and security in the face of climate destabilization. The central challenge we put to ourselves in this dialogue is to identify challenges and develop solutions relating to climate, peace and security, in the 17 Global Goals and 169 Targets of the Sustainable Development Goals framework.

Taking place alongside the 71st UN General Assembly—the first after universal adoption of the SDGs—this dialogue will identify high-value actionable priorities, and provide advice to governments working to move forward with full implementation of the SDGs domestically and in collaboration with other nations. Through a series of ongoing projects emerging from the dialogues, we will develop monitoring capabilities to ensure all nations are able to move forward on strengthening climate-related peace and security, at the human scale, and in partnership. [Event page]


How to Achieve Macro-Critical Climate Resilience

Minneapolis — 6 June 2016

The fifth dialogue focused on new ways of talking about the macro-criticality of human development standards, rule of law, and assaults on human dignity resulting from ecological, political, and social vulnerabilities. Climate disruption creates conditions where harm is more likely, but conditions where harm is more likely also make it more difficult for a society to respond to severe climate impacts. Externalizing cost is not a long-term strategy, but a phase which must be followed by a steady rise in inefficiencies (cost and harm).

The over-arching open question is how to achieve the macro-critical resilience needed to reduce vulnerability to climate disruption and prevent the slide into forced migration, human trafficking, conflict and other degradations of the human condition. [Event page]


Evolving a Climate-Smart Financial Sector

Oslo — 2 May 2016

We hosted our fourth dialogue at the Nobel Peace Center, in Oslo, Norway. The moderated dialogue focused on evolving a climate-smart financial sector. Four main issues were put to participants: 1) Ending dependence on externalization, 2) Breaking path dependency in value considerations and standard practice, 3) Valuing future climate resilience, and 4) Assessing macrocriticality—how the global math affects our access to future value.

Participants approached those four areas of inquiry from these starting points: Long-term business resilience depends on the ability to carry hidden costs. The climate system has revealed in geophysical dynamics that we are connected to one another’s actions. It makes metaphysical ethical concerns into a hard physical reality, and this has implications for the value of any investment. Internalizing carbon costs builds efficiency for the overall economy and makes human security easier to achieve. [Full report]


Assessing the Carbon Pricing Value Chain

Washington, DC — 14 April 2016

Our third dialogue took place on 14 April, in Washington, DC, during the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Participants focused on the carbon pricing value chain—the landscape of pressures and opportunities, through which an effective carbon pricing strategy exerts influence and drives change.

We found there was an interest for ongoing collaboration among some of those present, as well as an interest in finding new ways to collaborate, to share information, and to build local value considerations into policy and investment choices with national and global reach. The dialogue in Washington also signaled the need for a more widely rooted understanding of how finance operates in a marketplace with far less carbon risk and far more overall efficiency. [Full report]


The Carbon Delta & Business Model Change

Paris — 7 December 2015

The second dialogue was held during the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. Participants focused on the carbon delta (the difference in value between investments loaded with carbon liability and those free of it), the challenges inherent in fast-paced comprehensive business model innovation, the role of stakeholder insight, and economic instruments like carbon pricing, to shift incentives and motivate a reliable economy-wide transition to climate-smart enterprise.

Two new tools were identified as having catalytic value for motivating and sustaining an optimal energy transition: 1) a qualitative process to drive rapid business model innovation as common practice, and 2) a detailed, interactive, and adaptive assessment of the carbon pricing value chain. These, then, become a foundation on which future efforts at inquiry and innovation can be built. [Full report]


The Climate Opportunity

Minneapolis — 26 October 2015

In the lead-up to the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, last year, a high-level dialogue was convened, under Chatham House rules, as the culmination of the climate action conference Minneapolis 2015: Last Stop before Paris. It was co-hosted by international business leader Marilyn Carlson Nelson and former US Vice President Walter Mondale. The gathering brought together business leaders, major investors, trade associations, oil companies, government representatives, civil society leaders, economists and other environmental and climate experts.

The result was a strategy document titled “A Convenient Opportunity”. This strategy outline went beyond detailing insights and outcomes from the Minneapolis dialogue. It focused on key areas of action that exemplify a shift in the operational logic of how climate solutions are mobilized through collaborations between business, government, civil society, and communities. “A Convenient Opportunity” brought together a diverse landscape of insight into complex challenges, and laid the foundation for a dialogue series oriented toward ensuring we can harness the most transformational climate opportunities. [Full report]


Co-cordinated and hosted by:

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The Dialogue Series

  1. Oct 2015, Minneapolis — The Climate Action Opportunity
  2. Dec 2015, Paris — Business Model Change and the Carbon Delta
  3. Apr 2016, Washington — Assessing the Carbon Pricing Value Chain
  4. May 2016, Oslo — Evolving a Climate-Smart Financial Sector
  5. June 2016, Minneapolis — Macro-critical Climate Resilience
  6. Sept 2016, New York — Climate, Peace and Security in the SDGs
  7. Oct 2016, Washington — Carbon Pricing as the Foundation for Future Business and Community Value
  8. Nov 2016, Marrakech — Accelerating NDC Action
  9. Apr 2017, Washington — Building Fiscal Resilience

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