Category: Global Governance

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, The Bridge Tank contributes to diplomatic, civil society and business events.

After two years of global pandemic, the United Nations General Assembly resumed in September 2022. As it is traditionally the case, this very active week will see the gathering of heads of state and government in New York, as well as numerous events organized by the diplomatic, civil society and business communities. On this occasion, The Bridge Tank was present and contributed to these three exchange mechanisms.

Active with the diplomatic community, The Bridge Tank has taken part in a number of events.

As an observer member of Liberal International (LI), The Bridge Tank, represented by Dr. Joël Ruet, President, attended the official high-level event co-organized by LI and “The Alliance of Her” on the theme: Women’s political rights and leadership – the key to tackling the greatest global challenges of our time. The Alliance of Her is a platform dedicated to promoting women’s political leadership and equal representation in Europe, a round table that included our board member, Hakima El Haite, President of LI.

Ahead of this roundtable, Hakima El Haite presented the 2021 Liberal International Freedom Prize to Dr. Sima Samar, Former UN Rapporteur and former Minister of Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan. Throughout her career, Dr. Samar has consistently championed the cause of women and girls and promoted the inclusion of Afghan women.

Participants included: Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Belgium, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas (Parliament), Lithuania, Meryl L. Frank, American Diplomat and Board Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial and Juli Minoves, former President of LI.

The Bridge Tank also participated in a closed meeting organized by the Estonian Permanent Mission to the United Nations on the theme: “Crisis in Belarus: implications for regional and global security” around Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the democratic opposition Belarusian, who was able to exchange with various diplomatic representations at the United Nations. The Bridge Tank was alongside, among others, the Swedish, German, British, United States representations, the European Union to the United Nations and the Microsoft Foundation and the PEN Foundation for this meeting chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Estonian foreigners.

Thanks to its network and its actions, The Bridge Tank allowed the meeting between our board member, Hakima El Haité, President of the Liberal International and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the Belarusian democratic opposition.

With civil society, The Bridge Tank joined meetings in favor of the fight against climate change, in particular on the question of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), being one of the key subjects of this 77th General Assembly. United Nations. This year’s “SDG Moment” is an opportunity to refocus attention on the SDGs of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, a blueprint for a fairer future for people and the planet.

Joël Ruet particularly contributed his expertise during a lunch debate organized by Diplomatic Courier. These exchanges allowed reflection around the following questions: are we on the right track to achieve the SDGs by 2030? How has the pandemic accelerated or derailed solutions? How do our goals (individual and organizational) align with the SDGs? How to create extraordinary collaborations? Global Goals in Action 2022 will bring together leaders from the private sector and international organizations to leverage their experience, market access and resources to achieve the SDGs. Thus, the participants agreed to conclude on “the need for transformational change [of our societies] to make progress on the SDGs”.

In a continuation of the discussions on the SDGs, Joël Ruet took part in the annual Concordia 2022 Summit, which was, according to the organizers, the largest gathering on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. It aims to bring together the world’s biggest players to spark dialogue, promote collaboration and collectively pave the way to a more equitable and sustainable future around the themes of: environmental sustainability; global trade, manufacturing and supply chains; human rights and social progress; and financial inclusion.

On these topics and around the Nobel Peace Prize, The Bridge Tank participated in a meeting organized by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The Bridge Tank has also been involved in the business world, first of all by participating in the “Invest Africa” forum, where its President, Joël Ruet, was able to meet a number of investment actors in Africa, in particular in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia – two countries in full transformation which deserve a very attentive scrutiny. He also attended a reception organized by Microscoft’s representation at the United Nations to discuss the evolution of the economic world.

Analysis – Where has the Chinese COP 15 disappeared ?

By Joël RUET & Malaurie LE BAIL – After being half-postponed four times due to the pandemic, half-launched through a heads of states level online event on October 2021, the COP 15 on biodiversity should have finally happened started on April 25, 2022 in Kunming, China. Is is now being postponed to the end of 2022 in Montreal, Canada for logistical and sanitary reasons, while China will still hold the Presidency. With little media coverage throughout and only few academic and journalistic analyses, the COP 15 is the great absentee from the international news as ecosystems reach their limits. The responsibility lies with a host country not very involved: China.

China’s COP 15 missed a major diplomatic opportunity in visibility and in environmental themes advancement. China’s communication was blurred from the beginning with the half-postponing, half-keeping of the COP 15. The October 2021 virtual meeting largely saw the promotion of a “Kunming Consensus” that could only be really negotiated by March 2022 in Geneva. What became a “pre-COP” appeared only sparsely in the Western media. Infused with much of rhetoric, the “pre-COP” turned into an empty shell.

Was the opportunity just missed as China decided to focus on propagating Xi’s ideas on “ecological civilization”, a concept so far yet to be informed by tools and measures? Or is there a larger shift away from China? On this ground China’s quasi-absence from the COP 26 had already not gone unnoticed. It is one of several countries whose top leader did not attend in person, alongside Brazil, Russia, and Turkey. Instead, China was represented by special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua, touching briefly on the country’s continued commitments to cutting carbon without making any new declarations, alip service putting into question the legitimacy and dedication of the country in the global fight against climate change. The overall deadline for revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) has been pushed from the COP26 to the COP 27 largely due to China having not filled its contribution in an ambitious way, many observers agree.

Being host to a global conference has its share of reward and any hosting country has its publicity, western style, or propaganda, dirigiste style. However, with this low tone commitment of China on climate, doubts have arisen as to whether China, one of the world’s greatest emitters of C02 and plastic, will be capable of upholding its responsibilities as host country for the COP 15. China has yet to sign the Global Methane Pledge, a pledge launched by the United States and the European Union during COP26, along with 103 countries representing 70% of the global economy, to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees within reach.

Glasgow observers, as they prepare for the COP 27 in Egypt, contend China continues to isolate itself further and further from the international sphere. The lack of information and transparency regarding the biodiversity COP 15 only reinforces what was said by the observers of the climate COP 26. Moreover, the COP 15 is the first major global conference within the United Nations system officially labeled under the concept of “ecological civilization”.

The European Union has been setting ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. For Europe, both the COP 15 and the COP 26 have largely been seen as mere continuations from the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which took place in September 2021 in Marseille, France and culminated in the “Marseille Manifesto,” also referred to as a ‘roadmap’ to international negotiations, calling governments to commit to ambitious plans for the conservation of nature.

The COP on biodiversity lacks an equivalent of what the “Paris agreement” is to the COP on climate change. China had a role to play in supporting this event. As a sign of China’s self-centeredness, the communication, upstream and downstream of the Kunming COP event, is more than poor. The Chinese low profile has contributed to aggravate the lack of awareness and communication to the general public on biodiversity issues on the international stage.

In this international calendar, The Bridge Tank has positioned itself on the topic and has written a report. Read our further analysis here.

AUKUS – The Bridge Tank in Conversation with Frank Wisner

Ambassador Frank Wisner, former USA under Secretary of Defense, puts AUKUS in context: a technological grouping of like-minded nations in front of China’s assertiveness, while remaining open to dialogue with China, and collaboration with Europe, India and others.

This conversation was conducted following a webinar, co-hosted by The Bridge Tank and the Maritime Research Center.

European tour OMVS – The Bridge Tank for the promotion of hydrodiplomacy

The Bridge Tank has partnered with the OMVS (Senegal River Development Organization) for a European tour to promote hydro-diplomacy which took place from June 9 to 24, 2022 in Geneva, Oslo, The Hague, Paris and Brussels. Hamed SEMEGA, High Commissioner of the OMVS and member of the Board du Bridge Tank, and Joël RUET, President of the Bridge Tank, met with many interlocutors to discuss topics related to hydrodiplomacy: the international law of international water resources, sustainable hydro-development, peace built by the shared management of cross-border basins, or even the preservation of the headwaters of major rivers.

The Bridge Tank and the OMVS have decided to organize a workshop on these issues next fall with all the actors with whom they have exchanged and by extending it to many political leaders and associations.

This tour follows the joint work carried out during the World Water Forum 2022, in which The Bridge Tank was associated. The OMVS was then honored with the Hassan II Grand Prize for water. According to the jury, the West African organization based in Dakar, which brings together Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea, was distinguished for its action in favor of the “achievement of water and food security” of the greater basin. cross-border, but also for its action for “peace, prosperity and territorial development” of its member countries. Hydrodevelopment and hydrodiplomacy have indeed been at the heart of the organization’s model. The OMVS has, in fact, operated for more than 50 years independently of national or international tensions in the region it covers; it served as a model for the revitalization of its sister organization for the Gambia River, and the organization regularly receives visits from river organizations from all over the world, including Central Asia.

Water issues, in particular those around basins, are generally tackled in a utilitarian approach, i.e. through access to water. This vision is consensual within international organizations and at international events. However, the pessimistic evolution of aquifer ecosystems impacted by climate change raises the question of the sustainability of these resources.

It is in this perspective, rooted in international and UN legal aspects, that the delegation began its tour in Geneva during the conference “Lessons and perspectives on water cooperation for Africa and Europe: from the Forum from Dakar in 2022 to the United Nations Water Conference in 2023 at the Palais des Nations. Mr. Semega thus presented the work and the potential of the OMVS, which is often recognized as a model organization, on the organizational, political, legal and investment levels.

To deepen the subject, the delegation then met Professor Mads Adenaes, specialist in international law at the University of Oslo in Norway. This exchange was an opportunity to discuss the perspectives of international water law. They insisted on the fact that water must be approached in a holistic way, as a common good, that is to say that water must no longer only be an object of rivalry between powers, but be a good vital common to share. This is what basin organizations seek to advocate, which do not focus on the state scale, but on the resource scale.

In terms of hydrodevelopment, water is a major element of ecosystems, societies and economies, which is why it is necessary for their proper development. Mr. Semega had the opportunity to discuss with actors from the world of development, in particular Mrs. Marie-Noëlle Reboulet, President of GERES and Mr. Pierre Jacquemot, President of the Initiatives Group, whose core business is energy solidarity, Climate and Social Affairs and Mr. Lars Andreas Lunde, Head of the Nature and Climate Section of the Norwegian Development Agency, NORAD. These structures have made it possible to draw the following conclusion: a multitude of solutions exist on the ground, with a strong bottom-up dimension, which requires greater knowledge, consultation and coordination to act and share know-how.

The discussions were fruitful to the point of organizing a new meeting with GERES and the Initiatives Group of which the OMVS is a member, in the coming weeks. These discussions were also able to continue thanks to the organization of a side event in Brussels, by The Bridge Tank and the OMVS, during the “Africa Energy Forum” on the theme “Water-energy infrastructure for peace in the Sahel”, in the presence of Minister Amal Mint Maouloud, former Mauritanian Minister of Equipment and Transport, Mr. Abdoulaye Dia, Managing Director of SEMAF/OMVS and Mr. Romain Cres, Economic Development Specialist within GERES.

The actions of the OMVS are carried out in favor of peace, since according to the High Commissioner “whoever knows how to share water, can share everything”. This message was repeated many times during the European tour, in particular during the meeting with the Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, President of Leaders for Peace.

Mr. Raffarin and Mr. Semega agreed on the importance and role of basin organizations in contributing to hydrodiplomacy and peace in the world. Hydrodiplomacy has a more global dimension than hydropolitics, which remains reserved for States. Hydrodiplomacy underlines the idea that the management of water and basins is no longer the business of the States, but of everyone around a resource within the territories.

On this subject, The Bridge Tank was at the initiative of a working lunch between the High Commissioner and Mr. Erik Orsenna, President of the Initiative for the Future of the Great Rivers (IAGF) in the presence of influential personalities in the field around the situation of natural resources in West Africa and hydrodiplomacy in the Senegal River Basin, on the occasion of which our Board Member Ambassador Stéphane Gompertz and Me Jean-Claude Beaujour were present.

Last but not least, the delegation held working meetings with the Norwegian Cooperation Agency, the Ministry of International Cooperation in The Hague, IOWater and the International Network of Basin Operators and the STOA infrastructure investment fund in Paris.

On its own continent, the OMVS has been entrusted, within the International Association of River Basin Operators, with the technical secretariat of the association bringing together its active members on the African continent. As peace goes through development but also through democratic decisions, the OMVS has set up a committee of river basin users, an original body for open consultation with civil society. Aware of its responsibilities, the OMVS, an organization which was created in 1972, is today engaged in a forward-looking reflection on its future, and on the future of its contribution to Africa and to the world.

In this context, the exchange tour with peers, experts and leaders from all areas of society in all the capitals of peace and the areas of river innovation, nature conservation and in particular source river ecosystems, aims to share the results of this success story with stakeholders from the United Nations GA, the African Union, the academic and civil society communities, work with which The Bridge Tank is associated.

The Bridge Tank joins the Think 7 in Berlin

The Think7 Summit, which took place on May 23-24 2022 in Berlin, is organized by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI), as think tanks mandated for the Think7 process during the German G7 presidency in 2022. It is organized in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the Aspen Institute Germany. More than 300 participants attended this event, mainly in-person.

Dr. Joël Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank was among the participants, notably on the first day, where the task forces in which The Bridge Tank is active were discussed: Climate and Environment, Sustainable Economic Recovery and International cooperation for the global common good.

In the presence of the German Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the event was organized around the recommendations developed in the T7 communiqué, which are the following:

  1. Strong alliances for a sustainable planet.
  2. Setting the course for economic stability and transformation in response to the consequences of the COVID-19.
  3. Enhanced preparedness for healthy lives.
  4. Stronger together.
  5. Sustainable investments in a better future.

Among many interesting high level guests, Joël Ruet paid particular attention to the words of Minister Wolfgang Schmidt, Head of the Federal Chancellery underlying the importance of inviting Africa to G7 decisions. Also, Mr. Ruet shared the idea developed by Dennis J. Snower, President, Global Solutions Initiative (GSI) and Co-Chair Think7 Germany that insisted on the necessity of strengthening the multilateralism as the world order has recently been brutalized by Russian in the War in Ukraine. In the same idea, Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) explained that international institutions, such as G7 and G20 have to adapt and be revisited in terms of delivery regarding the geopolitical context.

OpEd: Risky Business: The U.S. Should Rethink Business With Kazakhstan

An article written by our President, Joël Ruet about Kazakhstan’s current and growing challenge to fight corruption that undermines foreign investment and the country’s socio-economic development, was published in the media Entrepreneur.com. He warns that “despite the Kazakh government’s public campaign to attract foreign investors […] it will need to implement fundamental changes, and that starts with taking anti-corruption seriously and honoring agreements with foreign investors. Until then, U.S. investors should rethink the risk of doing business in Kazakhstan.”

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.

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?

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.

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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