Global brainstorming on pathways to low emissions.

Low-emissions Solutions Conference

November 14-16, 2016

Atlantic Room, Blue Zone, Marrakech, Morocco, COP22

The successful implementation of the Paris Agreement will depend on the deployment of Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDSs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Technological developments and innovative practices will be key in this process.

This three-day Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) is aimed at problem solving, brainstorming, and global co-creation to inform nations about the latest technology developments. It will bring together technical experts and world-leading scientists, engineers and innovators from business, academia, and cities, to share knowledge, exchange information, identify bottlenecks, discuss best practices, and prioritize future research in order to set common technological trajectories for a decarbonized economy as well as the transformations necessary in each sector.

This is the first time in COP history that a large-scale technical-solutions conference is being organized for country delegations, placing innovative technological solutions at the heart of the meeting.

The specific objectives of the conference will be to:

  • Strengthen the technical capacities of the 196 signatory governments of the UNFCCC to design and implement long-term low greenhouse gas emissions development strategies
  • Chart key technology pathways for decarbonized energy systems, based on public-private partnerships
  • Create an intensive global dialogue among engineers and technology specialists on best practices and innovative solutions for a low-emissions future

500 participants will join the conference, including:

  • Senior representatives from government with responsibility for the design, promotion and implementation of NDCs and LEDSs.
  • Technical experts in related fields, world-leading scientists and engineers, high level research representatives from the business sector and guests from cities and regions around the globe.

The key outcome of the Solutions Conference will feed into the Global Climate Action Agenda.

  • Media

    The inaugural 2016 Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) was a great success, bringing together thought leaders from around the world. Many of the panel presentations were captured on film so that lessons learned during the 3 days of panel discussions can be shared with peers, classmates, friends, family, and colleagues who were not able to attend in person.

  • Photos from LESC22

    This album is a selection of images captured at the first LESC conference at COP22 in Morocco. We thank all of our partners and collaborators who worked so hard to bring about this successful event.

  • Nezha Larhrissi's Opening Address

    Nezha Lahrissi (Senior Advisor ICT and Sustainable Development, office of Minister of Environment, Morocco) delivers the opening address for the Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) at COP22.

  • HE Mrs. Minister Hakima El Haite's Greeting and Keynote

    HE Mrs. Minister Hakima El Haite (Minister of Environment, High Level Climate Champion, Kingdom of Morocco) gives her keynote address at the Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) at COP22.

  • Laurence Tubiana's Greeting and Keynote

    Laurence Tubiana (Founder, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), High Level Climate Champion) talks emissions reduction in her keynote address at the Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) at COP22.

  • Paul Polman's Greeting and Keynote

    Paul Polman (CEO of Unilever & Chairman of World Business Council for Sustainable Development) addresses the role of business in accelerating the global sustainability agenda at the COP22 Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC).

  • Chang Beom Kim's Greeting and Keynote

    At the Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) of COP22, Chang Beom Kim (Ambassador of International Relations of Seoul Metropolitan Government & Representative of President Won Soon Park of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability) discusses progress in Seoul, the latest data from ICLEI, and what's next in renewable energy.

  • Mid-Century Strategies: Government Response to the Paris Agreement

    In this panel, Guido Schmidt-Taub (Executive Director of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network) interviews panelists Jonathan Pershing (Special Envoy on Climate Change), Stephen Lucas (Senior Associate Deputy Minister at Environment and Climate Change Canada), and Dr. Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo (Undersecretary for Environmental Policy and Planning) about government strategies for Paris Agreement implementation. Jeffrey Sachs (Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General and Director of SDSN) comes in at the end to add his thoughts on ethical decarbonization.

  • Mid-Century Strategies: The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project

    Jim Williams (DDPP Director, SDSN) moderates this panel as Dr. George Safonov (Director of the Center for Environmental Economics, Higher School of Economics), Dr. Liu Qiang (National Center for Climate Change Strategy), Dr. Daniel Buira (CEO and President of Tempus Analitica), and Dr. Chris Bataille (Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations) discuss the work of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project. Investments can become dead ends if long-term decarbonization is not factored in. How do we keep warming below 2°C, while meeting national priorities for social and economic development?

  • Mid-Century Strategies: The Under 2 MOU

    Libby Ferguson (The Climate Group) leads a discussion with Ken Alex (Director, Governor's Office of Research and Planning), Aristoteles Sandoval (Governor of Jalisco), and Stuart Hocking (Deputy Chief Executive, Department of Treasury and Finance) regarding Under 2 MOU commitments. The panel will address their motivations for joining the coalition, and where they see opportunities for collaboration.

  • Mission Innovation: Introduction and Current Status

    At COP21, Mission Innovation was launched. Twenty-one countries/leaders committed to double their clean energy investments in order to make energy cleaner, cheaper, and more accessible. In this video, Ministers from some of those countries update and share their progress and success. Speakers include Jeffrey Sachs ( Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General and Director of SDSN), Ernest Moniz (Secretary of Energy, U.S.), Arias Cañete (European Commissioner for Climate and Energy, European Commission), Sharon Dijksma (Minister for the Environment, Netherlands), Anne Vasara (Ambassador of Finland to the Kingdom of Morocco), and Nick Hurd (Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom).

  • Mission Innovation: Homes, Buildings, Industry, and Power

    Within the reference of Mission Innovation, this panel discusses innovation in homes, buildings, industry, and power. Urbanization is increasing rapidly around the world and, by 2050, 2/3 of the world's population will live in cities. Thus, it is absolutely essential we become more energy efficient. Speakers include Josh Frydenberg (Minister for the Environment and Energy, Australia), Khalid al-Falih (Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia), and Madame Virginie Schwarz (Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy, Directorate General of Energy and Climate).

  • Mission Innovation: Systems, Infrastructure, and Fuels

    Within the reference of Mission Innovation, this panel covers innovation in systems, infrastructure, and fuels. We have discussed innovation in technology, but we also need to revolutionize business models and economic practices. Speakers are Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo (Undersecretary for Environmental Policy and Planning, Mexico), Luiz Barroso (CEO, Energy Research Company, Brazil),and Matar Hamed Al Neyadi (Undersecretary, Ministry of Energy, United Arab Emirates). Speeches are followed by closing remarks from Peter Bakker (President and CEO of WBCSD), Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada), and Mr. Ernest Moniz (U.S. Secretary of Energy).

  • ICT Contributions to Climate in Other Sectors

    What is the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in cutting CO2? If we bridge the digital divide, ICT can enable a 20% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 2030, holding them at 2015 levels. It can also result in eleven trillion dollars in savings by 2030. Philipp Buddemeier (Director, Accenture) leads the introduction, then Joan Krajewski (General Manager USA DSC Safety, Compliance and Sustainability, Microsoft USA), Eric Rondolat (CEO of Philips Lighting), Caspar Herzberg (Head of Africa, Schneider Electric), Prof. Vijay Modi (Prof of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia Univ), Neil Gerber (Director of Strategy, Energy, and Environment, Energy and Utilities Industry, IBM), and Youssef Zafri (Head of Marketing North Africa for Ericsson) talk about upcoming ICT trends that must be leveraged for decarbonization.

  • ICT Approach to Raising Climate Commitments

    Led by Malcolm Johnson and Christina Bueti of the International Telecommunication Union, these ICT experts will explore how cities and sub-national groups are critical partners when it comes to operationalizing NDC targets. Panelists include: Frances Way (COO of CDP), Thierry Valette (CTO Huawei Access Network, member of FTHH Council), Bill Weihl (Vice President Sustainability, Facebook), David Hochschild (Commissioner, California Energy Commission), and Gabrielle Giner (Head of Sustainable Business Policy, BT Group).

  • Clean Energy Ministerial: NDC Implementation

    The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a partnership of 24 countries working together with the European Commission to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. CEM countries account for 90% of clean energy investments, and about 75% of GHG emissions globally. Thus, this coalition could drastically change the clean energy trajectory for the world. Moderated by Ernest Moniz (Secretary of Energy, U.S., speakers including Lars Christian Lilleholt (Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Denmark), Catherine McKenna (Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate), Dominique Ristori (Director General for Energy, European Commission), Khalid al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Saudi Arabia), and Josh Frydenberg (Minister for the Environment and Energy, Australia) will talk about how CEM has helped them to implement their NDCs.

  • Mobility Sector: Innovation in Transportation

    Transport and mobility play an important role in our economies, and they also represent about 25% of global energy related emissions. With demand set to grow significantly over the coming decades, how do we transform transport to move towards a low-carbon economy? This discussion includes Patrick Oliva (Senior Vice President of Sustainable Mobility and Energy Transition, Michelin Group), Peter Bakker (President and CEO, WBCSD), and Ahmed Barroudi (CEO of SIE, Morocco) as they suggest specific changes the transport sector requires.

  • Low-Carbon Transport: Electric and Hydrogen Mobility

    Demand for electric vehicles is rising quickly alongside improvements in battery technology and a growing supply of renewable energy. These technologies are sure to dominate a decarbonized transport sector in the future. This session will explore innovations in electric and fuel cell vehicles, and explore options for scaling up their deployment across vehicle segments and other opportunities such as maritime and aviation. Alexis Gazzo (Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Service, EY) moderates as panelists: Christian Girardeau (Electric Vehicle Vice President, Schneider Electric), Sylvain Allano (Co-founder, Ma3D Technologies), Toshifumi Kokubun (Vice President Partner, Deloitte Tomatsu Consulting in Japan), and Lan Marie Nguyen Berg (Vice Mayor for Environment and Transport, City of Oslo, Norway) suggest solutions.

  • Low-Carbon Transport: Low-Carbon Fuels

    Low-carbon fuels make up only 3% of current transport fuels, but this figure must grow to 10% by 2030 to satisfy economic growth and help keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Rachel Kyte (CEO, SE4ALL) introduces the topic and Gerard Ostheimer (SE4ALL) moderates as panelists William Brandt (Director of Strategic Integration, ASU Lightworks), Sean Simpson (Co-founder and CSO, LanzaTech), David Burns (Manager, National Wildlife Federation), and Nour Amrani (Manager, Novozymes) describe the exciting progress made from lab to market. They explain how these fuels can be an essential part of LEDs and fulfill strict sustainability criteria in a wide variety of national circumstances.

  • Low-Carbon Transport: Freight and Shipping

    Heavy goods transport requires change in order to accelerate the decarbonization of the sector. We must integrate ICT solutions, build smarter infrastructure, share data and assets, improve route optimization use and deploy new vehicle/vessel design paradigms. This panel sets a benchmark for the least emitting means of shipping (ie, boat vs truck vs plane), and reviews challenges and solutions to decarbonizing freight on a global scale. Vincent Benezech (Transport Analyst, OECD, International Transport Forum) moderates panelists Dr. Tristan Smith (Researcher and Lecturer in Energy and Transport, University College London Energy Institute), Rachid Tahri (President, Moroccan Freight Forwarders Association (AFFM), and Sebastien Bougon (Founder, Flying Whales).

  • Sustainable Power Systems: Bright Minds Challenge

    Paulette van Ommen (Sustainability Manager, DSM) introduces the launch of #BrightMindsChallenge. DSM and its partners started this initiative looking for pioneers in energy storage and solar energy. The open, transparent online platform provides space on which innovators can post their projects. Three winners will be determined and then assisted in bringing their solutions to market.

  • Sustainable Power Systems: Clean Energy

    10 years ago, we had no idea how the energy grid would look today. These panelists will discuss what viable energy sources we have to draw on long-term, and how we can transition to them. They will delve into the successes and failures they have noted in their respective countries thus far. Philippe Joubert (Executive Chairman Global Electricity Initiative, World Energy Council) moderates panelists Jordan Sturdy (Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment, British Columbia Government), Mandy Rambharos (Climate Change and Sustainable Development Manager, Eskom), Carlos Salle (Director of Energy Policy and Climate Change, Iberdrola), Juan Ramon Silva Ferrada (Chief Sustainability Officer, Acciona), and Eric Maucort (Deputy Vice President for Sustainable Development, EDF).

  • Sustainable Power Systems: Frances Farley

    Renowned Professor Frances Farley (Southampton University) made a surprise appearance at COP22 to introduce a new way he discovered for capturing wave energy, or producing electricity from the sea. The sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't always blow, but the sea is always waving and contains much more energy in its waves than its tides. Wave energy has been a pipe dream for years; Professor Farley now explains how his invention brings us closer than ever.

  • Sustainable Power Systems: Smart Grids

    Prof. Vijay Modi (Professor, Columbia University) asks panelists Maxine Ghavi (Head of Microgrids Initiative, ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB)), Terry Boston (Former President and CEO, PJM Interconnection), Deepak Divan (Director of Intelligent Power Infrastructure Consortium (IPIC), and Anjan Bose (Regents Professor, Washington State University) to answer your questions regarding smart energy grids. How do we integrate a high fraction of renewables into the grid? What infrastructure is currently being built? Can low cost innovation design system integration in the developing world actually show pathways to the developed world?

  • Sectoral Climate Mitigation: Industry Action and CCUS

    The production of power, iron, steel, cement and chemicals alone are estimated to account for more than 40% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing these emissions is crucial for maintaining competitiveness in a carbon-constrained future. Hear about the approaches that different sectors are taking towards carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCU&S) from moderator Dr. Julio Friedmann (principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy), Eric Masanet (Director, Energy Demand Technology Unit, IEA), and panelists Manuela Ojan (Public Affairs, Global Environmental Sustainability, HeidelbergCement), Valérie Quiniou (VP Climate, Strategy, Innovation, Total), Julien Perez (Senior Manager, EY Climate Change and Sustainability Services), Issam Dairanieh (CO@ Sciences, Inc.), Charlotte Wolff-Bye (VP Sustainability, Statoil), Alan Knight (Corporate Responsibility - General Manager, ArcelorMittal), K-C Tran (Co-founder, Carbon Recycling International), and Michael Bande (VP Sustainability, Solvay).

  • Sectoral Climate Mitigation: Smart Agriculture (Panel 1)

    By 2050, we'll need to feed 50% more people than we do today, while reducing carbon emissions dramatically at the same time. The goal is to make 50% more nutritious foods available by 2030 alongside 50% reduction in emissions from those exact supply chains, while, at the same time, building the climate resilience of farmers within the supply chains. Moderated by Sonja Vermuelen (Head of Research, Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR)), panelists Gabriela Burian (Global Lead Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation, Monsanto), Chris Brown (VP, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Olam), Diane Holdorf (Chief Sustainability Officer, Kellogg Company), and Abbie Reynolds (Executive Director Sustainable Business New Zealand) will discuss how to achieve this.

  • Sectoral Climate Mitigation: Smart Agriculture (Panel 2)

    By 2050, we'll need to feed 50% more people than we do today, while reducing carbon emissions dramatically at the same time. The goal is to make 50% more nutritious foods available by 2030 alongside 50% reduction in emissions from those exact supply chains, while, at the same time, building the climate resilience of farmers within the supply chains. This second panel on Climate Smart Agriculture will discuss how science and research are advancing innovation. Moderated by Sonja Vermuelen (Head of Research, Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR)), panelists include Michael Obersteiner (Program Director, International Institute for Applied System Analysis), Margaret Torn (Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Virgilio Viana (Superintendent-General, Amazonas Sustainable Foundation), and Varun Vats (Senior Manager, Public Policy & Partnerships, Syngenta).

  • Sectoral Climate Mitigation: Low-Carbon Policies

    This session will provide an overview of the policies and regulations that are needed to support the deep decarbonization of energy systems. Hear about the challenges, benefits, and expected outcomes of policies such as taxes, carbon trading schemes, feed-in tariffs, and carbon pricing. Maria Mendiluce (Managing Director, Natural Capital, WBCSD) moderates panelists Lance Pierce (President, CDP North America), Thomas Kerr (Principal Climate Policy Officer, CPLC), Mark Sinclair (Climate Change Ambassador, New Zealand), Carlos Gentile (Undersecretary of Climate Change, Gov. Argentina), and David Turk (Head of Energy Environment Division, International Energy Agency).