Category: Events-reports

Joël Ruet participates in a webinar on “COP26 and the Brahmaputra: A New Perspective based on the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework”

Our President, Joël Ruet participated in the webinar on May 5th, 2022 on the topic “COP26 and the Brahmaputra: A New Perspective Based on the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework”. This is the 5th in a series of webinars organized by the Maritime Research Center and M/S NirDhwani Technology Pvt Ltd.

His participation was an opportunity to continue the conversation on the blue economy started with key stakeholders, such as the Maritime Research Center.

As there are many solutions on « environmental engineering » coming from the global south towards river aspects, in particular from the Indo-African side, Joël Ruet suggested enhancing cross learning in terms of environment and engineering, notably water storage for hydroelectricity, navigation regulation and velocity regulation can have a positive impact on avoiding disasters and protecting biodiversity. At the condition of a step by step learning. The COP26 that dealt about integration of environment to adaptation and adaptation to mitigation towards cobenefits and nature based solutions opened an avenue and Joel Ruet has high hopes for the next COP which will be held in Egypt in November. Thanks to the various exchanges about the Brahmaputra region, he was able to appreciate the vast amount of knowledge that should be shared during COP 27 – “We must learn from the experience of Brahmaputra”.

The Bridge Tank at the BOAO Forum for Asia 2022: Promote Energy Integration and Build Green World

The BOAO 2022 Forum was held from April 20 to 22 in a hybrid mode, aiming to conduct an open dialogue in a post-COVID world and on the prospects of common development in the world of tomorrow.

Since 2018, The Bridge Tank has participated in the annual “Chinese Davos” event. Our President, Joel Ruet spoke at a high-level panel in the presence of Mr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to China, Mr. Baodong Li, Secretary General, BOAO Forum and former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr. Mr. Jizhen Liu, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and Director of State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power System with Renewable Energy Sources, Mr. Hailiang Song, President of China Energy Engineering Group Co, Mr. Jianhua Hu, President of China Merchants Group and Mr. Haiping Xiang, Chief Engineer of China National Energy Administration.

In his speech, Joël Ruet spoke about the global issues related to energy integration and trajectories. He stressed the importance of “deep decarbonation technologies” in accelerating net zero emissions by 2035-2040. Until then, he added that each country or territory will have a role to play to have its own “transition trajectory”, not only adding renewable energies but also integrating them into the networks with a more rational and efficient use.

Joël Ruet addressed the issue of adaptation, which must no longer be looked separately from other issues. He illustrated his remarks through the example of carbon sinks, which have be created from optimized ecosystems everywhere, not only in forests, but also in savannahs or mangroves.

Dr. Ruet also demonstrated that energy trajectories are already low-carbon, which is particularly the case for Africa and most of the G77 countries. It is important that these trajectories are recognized as such and therefore funded by the North and that technology and know-how transfers are funded accordingly.

In response to the question of how to implement global support to energy trajectories of the global south, the President of The Bridge Tank proposed two solutions: first, allow the South to manage itself with more funding to create local champions, keep the gas trade open to them, and ensure that their carbon sinks are recognized as an incentive to develop them; and second, enable their local financial entities to play a larger role by recognizing that “risks” are over rated there in comparison to actually high profitability.

As in the 2021 edition, Joël Ruet was one of the three French speakers, representing the circle of Think Tanks, alongside Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Henry Giscard D’Estaing, who respectively represented the political and economic worlds.

Read here the agenda of the BOAO Forum 2022.

Analytical report: China’s value chain strategy on cobalt – lessons for EU

Strategic materials are ubiquitous in all sectors relevant for the green economy and the energy transition. Regarding cobalt, it owes its current visibility to its increasing use in low carbon technologies, also called green technologies (renewable energy and rechargeable batteries). Cobalt is used as an input in the magnets of wind turbines, and for the production of the cathodes of lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries, which are then incorporated in electric or hybrid vehicles. In the current context of the electrification of mobility, cobalt is therefore regarded as a strategic material. The production of cobalt is however one of the prime examples of the unequal distribution of the earth’s resources, the metal being extremely concentrated in one country: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who represents 70% of global production, and the DRC’s reserved are controlled substantially by what has now become an unavoidable actor in the cobalt value chain: China.

As a continuation of our work on analysis China’s materials strategy, we have developed a report to analysis how China has imposed itself on the cobalt value chain, both upstream and downstream, and has progressively managed to build itself a comparative, if not absolute, advantage. This report aims to conduct a combined analysis of the strategies that have been implemented both by the Chinese government as well as industrial actors in order to gain this hegemonic position on the value chain. These strategies have allowed for the constitution of a resilient and dominant Chinese ecosystem around the cobalt value chain on the international stage.

Read our report here

Side event “From COP 26 Glasgow Commitments to COP 27 Egypt Opportunities: The MENA perspective Confirmation”: participation of our Board Members

On the occasion of the first edition of the UNFCCC MENA Climate Week, from 28th – 31st of March, hosted by the Government of United Arab Emirates, Liberal International, of which The Bridge Tank is a member has organized a virtual side event on 29th of March named: From COP 26 commitments to COP 27 opportunities: The MENA perspective.

The purpose of this event is to tackle the challenges and opportunities stemming from the shared commitment that was agreed at COP 26 in Glasgow, while looking ahead at COP 27 Egypt as an opportunity to increase ambitions. Moderated by the President of the Liberal International, UN High-level climate champion and our Board Member, Hakima El Haite asked a series of questions to each of the speakers.

Among them, our Board Member, Stéphane Gompertz was present in his capacity as former French Ambassador in African countries and Special Envoy for COP 21. He was first asked to give his perspective for the COP 27.

His vision for the next Conference of the Parties reflects the difficulties of raising the climate ambition and maintaining efforts in a context of tensions (COVID-19, War between Ukraine and Russia and War in Yemen). The different crises and current wars shift the priorities of the states and public spending. Money is spent more on wars than for climate action. The political ambitions aren’t now and won’t be as high as it was during the COP 21 and the COP 22. The COP 27, will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, will have the difficult task of pushing the Parties’ effort to:

  • Help to pursuit government and public opinion to have a look in the future.
  • Push for solutions.
  • Continue to promote good practices in the field of adaptation.

Stéphane Gompertz then explained what should be done to keep the 1.5°C? He said that we have to look ahead. States act in the short and long term. Energy is a good example. In a short term basis, countries will use more fossil fuel. In a long term basis, we will see the positive effect on energy policy. For instance, France undertakes nuclear, without it, it won’t be enough effort to commit climate targets. However, the question of nuclear power is again debated in France in this electoral and the War between Ukraine and Russia context. But it is important to measure the risks over time: living with temperatures above 2-3°C or living with an energy mode low in CO2 emissions.

Mrs. Susana Rivero Baughman, who is the Foreign affairs and Cooperation Adviser at the Secretary of Climate Action, Government of Catalonia gave a short presentation of International Liberal’s action to Climate Justice Committee, which has recently adopted a policy paper “Liberal Perspectives on Climate Justice”. Mrs Baughman expressed the lack of actions between climate change and human rights and this is what the International Liberal is willing to do by developing a Policy Lab and strengthening their presence in COPs and international forums. She finally highlighted that the COP 27 will offer plenty of opportunities for Africa.

Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, who is Former Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway, developed an evaluation form the COP26’s achievements. For Mr. Rotevatn the COP 26 was a success for 3 reasons:

  • Finish the Rule Book of the Paris Agreement, which constitutes a common framework among Parties.
  • Increase ambition. Bigger emitting countries increase their ambitions, most countries raise their ambitions in NCDs, the USA are back in the Paris Agreement and we keep the 1.5°C objective alive.
  • Sufficient commitment to increase finance: developing world can have confidence from the financing mechanisms. Industrial countries promise to double their climate finance. Pledges were made and it was well received from most developing countries.

He then explained that after 2 years of global pandemic, we have not lost the long term aspect of the climate crises. He then emphasized that Norway is one of the leading financiers and that the country will double its efforts in climate finance, notably for the preservation of tropical rainforest and mitigation and adaptation. He finally said that pollution tax is a necessary tool for a fair transition and support climate transition at country level, whereas at the global level, climate finance is a necessary tool.

Mrs Rania Al-Mashat, who is the Minister for International Cooperation of Egypt explained what will be the objectives and opportunities for the COP 27 in three messages:

  • The COP 27 is going to be impartial, even though this COP is organized in Africa.
  • Adaptation & resilience will be central and was one of the main outcomes from COP26.
  • Commitment to actions.

Mrs. Al-Mashat emphasized the outcomes from Glasgow, asking open questions that will need to be answered at COP 27.The private sector’s role need to be increased: “We are going from billions to trillions”. It is also important to think about how can we operationalize what it have been pledge. How to derisk green investments? How can we create opportunities for the blended finance? There is not enough operationalize projects financed. How can we leverage from successful countries and to replicate them?

The Bridge Tank and French Development Agency launch their final workshop on Blue Economy

On March 16, 2022, The Bridge Tank held the final workshop in a series of three with the mandate of the French Development Agency on blue economy in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka). This workshop aimed at the identification of possible bilateral and regional cooperation with the contribution of the French know-how in the maritime field. It also aimed at open up the conversation to design solutions which the French side could contribute in response to the challenges identified during the first two workshops in collaboration with key players in the Bay of Bengal region.

The discussion was based on 6 main takeaways in terms of needs and gaps identified from the first two workshops:

  • The role of blue economy in the region
  • The role of data
  • Improving coordination
  • Strengthening private and public cooperation
  • Promoting institutional capacity building in front of data collection and coordination
  • Developing pilot projects

This workshop was comprised of three closed-door panels:

Panel 1: Institutional cooperation and ambitions at regional level with the support of French know-how

Moderator: Dr. Joël Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank

  • Dr. (Mrs) Hélène Djoufelkit, Research Director of the AFD
  • Mrs. Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director of the Friendship NGO
  • Mr. Daniel Fernando, Chairperson, Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka
  • Dr. Arnab Das, Executive Director & Founder, Maritime Research Centre, India
  • Mr. Matthieu Piron, Policy officer for international affairs, Directorate for Sea Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry for the Sea
  • Mr. Benoît Gauthier, Head of the Regional Economic Service, Embassy of France in India
  • Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, Director-General, National Maritime Foundation, India
  • Dr. P. Krishnan, Director, Bay of Bengal Inter-Governmental Organization (BOBP-IGO), regional

Panel 2: Developing nationally and regionally viable projects to enhance the value chains of blue economy

Moderator: Dr. Joël Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank

  • Mr. Manish Singhal, Deputy Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), India
  • Mr. Martin Lemenager, Senior Program Manager for Infrastructure, AFD Office in Indonesia
  • Mr. Loïc Monod, Bioeconomy research officer, France AgriMer
  • Mr. Nicolas Vuillaume, Indian Ocean Representative, Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)
  • Dr. Mostafa A. R. Hossain, Professor, Aquatic Biodiversity & Climate Change, Department of Fish. Biology & Genetics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, consultant with AFD Bangladesh
  • Dr. Arnab Das, Executive Director & Founder, Maritime Research Centre, India
  • Mr. Aruna Maheepala, Senior Research Officer of National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency of Sri Lanka
  • Mr. Shri Aditya Dash, Vice Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), India
  • Mr. Bruno Bosle, Country director of the AFD Office in India
  • Mr. Reda Souirgi, AFD Sri Lanka, represented by Mrs. Panchali Ellepola, Project Officer
  • Mr. Benoît Chassatte, Country director of the AFD Office in Bangladesh

Panel 3: Enhancing shared resources through a regional network & general conclusion

Moderator: Dr. Joël Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank

  • Mrs. Afifat Khanam Ritika, Research Officer Bangladesh Institute of Maritime Research and Development
  • Mr. Pattabhi Rama Rao, Group Director, Ocean Observations, Modelling and Data Assimilation Group, Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
  • Dr. (Mrs) Hélène Djoufelkit, Research Director of the AFD
  • Dr. Joël Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank
  • Mr. Jacky Amprou, Regional Director for South-Asia, AFD

 

The spirit of this project is to organize a series of three workshops, co-hosted by The Bridge Tank and the French Development Agency. The first workshop, which was organized in November 26th, 2022, aimed at gathered strategic thinking of the participants ahead of developing a growing interaction between them and institutes and policy makers in the second workshop, in January 21st, 2022.

Read our report here and our executive summary here 

Watch the replay of our workshop here

HORASIS 2022 USA – Biden’s first year, Ukraine, and EU’s leadership

During the 2022 Horasis USA Meeting, held March 4, The Bridge Tank participated in a conference on Joe Biden, the European Union and Ukraine, alongside Esko Aho, Former Prime Minister of Finland, Finland, Michael D. Brown, United States Shadow Senator, District of Columbia, USA, Yves Leterme, Former Prime Minister of Belgium, Belgium, Jed Rakoff, Senior Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, USA, and chaired by Jerry Hultin, Chair, New York Academy of Sciences, USA.

The discussion centered on the American president and his responsibility as the head of a leading democratic state, particularly in light of the war in Ukraine, as well as his potential future actions. How far will the Biden leadership go? What can we expect him to accomplish before the 2024 American elections?

Our President Joel RUET flagged that:

  • Beyond US energy package, there ought to be some joint US-EU effort to quick land green finance,
  • He called for joint technology programs and shared industrial platforms
  • In line with Prime Minister Aho’s view that viewing NATO as an internal lose-win game between the US and the EU, Joel Ruet emphasized this situation has brought opportunities to jointly look at joint security issues, and have NATO evolve from defense to security,
  • In reply to Jerry Hultin’s point on the view the Global South has on Russia’s assault to Ukraine and on China, Ruet mentioned that many African countries feel they have gained much of what they could from China and leveraged on this onto other countries, and that many of them now observe the new set of tools used on Russia, advising the “West” and notably the EU to engage into a conversation on these economic tools with its strategic partners in the South, not to alienate them, and, positively, to mutualise the treatment of the Russia-Ukraine crisis through real global tools,
  • Lats but not least, echoing some concern by shadow Senator Brown, Joel Ruet offered that, even though they differ from one country to another due to history, so called ‘racial issues’ ought to be discusses more globally, not intra-societies.

Watch the full discussion here on our youtube.

The Bridge Tank and French Development Agency launch their 2nd workshop on Blue economy: implementation issues

On January 21, 2022, The Bridge Tank held the second workshop in a series of three with the mandate of the French Development Agency on blue economy in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka). Whereas the first workshop aimed at earmarking new blue economy priorities for various actors and nations in the Bay of Bengal, this second workshop: Blue Economy in the Bay of Bengal – Implementation Issues, aimed to open discussions between experts, policy makers and economic actors to identify gaps and challenges that impede a concrete and efficient implementation of blue economy value chains in the Bay of Bengal region. By linking research and operational approaches, this workshop conducted a collective inventory of data gathering and treatment systems, logistic and financial resources and gaps for sustainable blue economy activities (value chains and social and natural resilience) implementation and acceleration.

This workshop was comprised of two panels; the first panel, open to the public, was dedicated to exploring the importance of data collection towards the improvement of monitoring blue economy assets. The second panel, a closed-door round table, centered on engaging discussion between public and private entities, researchers and implementers towards the implementation of a sustainable blue economy.

Among the challenges identified, the speakers all agreed on the following 5:

  • Lack of information and coordination within countries and in the region;
  • Need for institutional capacity building;
  • Enhance resources (fisheries) enhancement; 
  • Need for increasing public and private cooperation;
  • Need for more regional joint research studies and projects. 

Panel 1: Data collection for improved monitoring of the blue economy’s assets

Speakers:

  • Dr. Shailesh Nayak, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), India
  • Ms. Akshita Sharma, Biodiversity Portfolio Manager, AFD Delhi
  • Mr. Nishan Perera, Blue Resources Trust, Sri Lanka
  • Mr. Abu Saleh Khan, Executive Director, Institute of Water Modelling, Bangladesh

Discussion participants:

  • Dr. (Mrs.) Hélène Djoufelkit, Research Director of the AFD
  • Arnab Das, Director, Maritime Research Center, India
  • Md. Adbul Wahab, EcoFish Team Leader, World Fish Bangladesh Wing
  • Dr. (Mrs.) Chime Youdon, Associate Fellows, National Maritime Foundation, India
  • Saurabh Thakur, Associate Fellows, National Maritime Foundation, India

Panel 2: National framework for improved coordination between public, private entities, researchers and implementers

  • Short presentation of take-aways from experts’ workshops and objectives by Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank & Jacky Amprou, Regional Director for South-Asia, AFD
  • Round table – 5 minutes pitch of projects, initiatives or solutions from each speaker
  • Open discussion across panelists

Speakers and guests:

  • Mr. Shri Aditya Dash, Vice Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), India
  • Ms. Dharshani Lahandapura, Chairperson, The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA), Sri Lanka
  • Mr. Khairul Majid Mahmud, Director, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Bangladesh
  • Ms. Panchali Ellepola, Project Officer, AFD Sri Lanka
  • Mr. Ameya Prabhu, Vice-President, Indian Chamber of Commerce, India
  • Ms. Soma Mitra-Muckerjee, Director, Head of Projects, The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India
  • Mr. Pattabhi Rama Rao, Group Director, Ocean Observations, Modelling and Data Assimilation Group, Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
  • Mr. Reda Souirgi, Country Director Sri Lanka, AFD

With the participation of the panelists from the panel 1.

The third and final workshop in this series will be held mid-March 2022 and will aim to identify political ambitions in the sector and willingness/possibility of regional cooperation with the contribution of the French know-how in the maritime field.

Read our report here and our executive summary here.

Watch panel 1 and panel 2 of the workshop on our Youtube.r

The Bridge Tank Report – Renewable Energy auctions in Kazakhstan in light of Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, India and Germany

In the context of our accelerating and transforming economic and energy systems, renewable energy auction systems have contributed in some manner to stimulating the renewables sector over the past decades. This is mainly due to the lower costs of new technologies, useful for emerging countries lacking investment resources, but also to the political implementation of this auction mechanism by becoming a model instrument for clean energy.

To understand renewable energy auction systems and mechanisms, we conducted an analysis to lay elements of designing a methodology support of conducting renewable energy auctions in the scope of country experiences (Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, India and Germany) in order to identity the more or less effective auction system and sort the mechanisms and processes that could be replicated in other countries, contributing to the acceleration of the renewable energy market. Based on the results, we then drew up a methodology to support auction developments, particularly useful in developing countries. To ensure its relevance, we tested it on the case of Kazakhstan.

Read here our report (English): Renewable energy auction_report_221121

The Bridge Tank and the French Development Agency launched a joint seminar series on blue economy in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka)

The Bridge Tank and AFD are co-hosting three workshops to understand the way in which Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka organize their blue economy strategies, adapt to the physical impacts of climate change of the fishery resource and to identify the priorities, the opportunities and the needs for action. Along with the research and operational departments of the French Development Agency (AFD), we engage with marine, coastal and fisheries resource management bodies and influential national or regional think tanks.

On November 26th 2021, the online inaugural workshop gathered strategic thinking of the participants ahead of developing a growing interaction between them and institutes and policy makers in the following workshops, planned for January and February 2022.

This first workshop aimed at earmarking new blue economy priorities for various actors and nations in the Bay of Bengal, bringing shared understandings and diagnostics, identifying opportunities and needs in socio-economic projects. It aimed to identify the regional context and issues related to the blue economy, in particular the improvement of living standards of coastal communities and resource users through sustainable management of fisheries and integrated coastal management to adapt to climate change, through two panels.

This virtual event brought together 12 speakers from 10 key organizations working on the blue economy in the region, gathering over 100 attendees.

Two panels shared speakers’ understanding of the different local issues related to the value chain of fisheries resources.

  • Panel 1: “Resilient coastal ecosystems as a crucial prerequisite for sustainable economic value chains?”

Speakers:

Dr. Arnab Das, Director, Maritime Research Centre, India

Dr Srinivas Kumar, Director, Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)

Ms Hasamini Sweenie Thilakarathne, Project coordinator and international affairs officer, Marine Environment Conservation Society of Sri Lanka (MECS), Sri Lanka Dr Chime Youdon & Dr Saurabh Thakur, Associate Fellows, National Maritime Foundation

Mr. Mashiur Rahaman, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock

  • Panel 2: “Sustainable fisheries and enhanced livelihood: actions on fisheries for food security, job access and climate change adaptation in the region”

Speakers:

Mrs Afifat Khanam Ritika, Research Officer, Bangladesh Institute of Maritime Research and Development (BIMRAD)

Mr Md. Abdul Wahab, EcoFish Team Leader, WorldFish, Bangladesh Wing

Mrs Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director, Friendship NGO

Dr M.F.M. Fairoz, Dean, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, Ocean University of Sri Lanka

Dr. Md. Sharif Uddin, Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh

To watch the workshop online, click here: Panel 1 & Panel 2 

To read the minutes report, click here

COP26 side event – Liberal International’s Declaration for Climate

8 November 2021, The Bridge Tank, an Observing Member to Liberal International participated to an online roundtable event on the fringes of COP26, hosted by ALDE Party and Liberal International.  Liberal policymakers and representatives from partner organizations congregated to share their views and exchange information on the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change. The event was chaired by ALDE Party acting co-President Timmy Dooley and President of Liberal International Hakima El Haité.

The participants discussed the role of liberals when it comes to influencing the sustainability agenda in the next years, with a particular look at the first week of negotiations and an eye towards the second and final round of negotiations. Moreover, they also stressed the importance of the liberal voice, including younger generations, when it comes to building back better from the pandemic and generating jobs and growth as well as for the respect of rule of law across the globe.

At the end of the roundtable, the participants adopted a pledge calling on states to increase their climate ambitions. In this pledge, the participants called for stronger international cooperation to raise climate commitments and implement them, called on states to submit more ambitious NDCs, and urged for more technical and financial support to be granted to developing states to improve their capacity to take climate action. 

“Protection of global biodiversity is also essential to combat environmental degradation and climate change. Our planet is currently facing its sixth mass extinction as a consequence of human activity, and it is disrupting ecosystems around the world, threatening our food production, and increasing risks of pandemics. We must take bold and rapid action now to change this, and therefore call on states to include biodiversity protection as a central part in their climate action plans.

The time for talk is now over – the only option left is action.”

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