Eighth Day at COP21

Tuesday 8th December 2015

Today at #COP21, Agent 002 attended several big events, including #SIF15, the largest business focused event of the conference. On his way back to the hotel, he forgot his notebook on his seat. Lucky for him, Agent 001 found it, and returned it to his rightful owner. But not before having taken a peak…

Monday 7th of December

COP21, Paris

Notes for daily mission report to M

Morning at Sustainable Innovation Forum #SIF15

Goal of the event: bolster innovation and bring scale to the emerging green economy, lots of big fish present

Fell asleep during some speeches, but one thing caught my attention: Carbon pricing = concrete solution to achieve our carbon reduction goals 

-> c.f: Bertrand’s 5th principle

Two main types:

  1. Emissions Trading Systems (ETS): Put a limit on the total level of greenhouse gas emissions. Industries with low emissions sell their extra “emission allowances” to the more polluting industries -> establish a market price for greenhouse gas emissions
  2. Carbon Taxes: Define a tax rate on greenhouse gas emissions or on the carbon content of fossil fuels. Emission reduction outcome is not predefined, like in ETS, but the carbon price is.

Who is putting a price on carbon?


Still a lot of countries in the grey zone

Corporate example: Solvay (international chemical group and Solar Impulse partner) committed to reducing the CO2 intensity of its operations by 40% by 2025. One of the measures: apply, from 01/01/2016, an internal price for CO2 emissions at 25 euros per ton

“Contradictory subsidies i.e. subsidies to fossil fuels must be reconsidered in the context of carbon pricing”, Amal-Lee Amin (spoke a lot, need to check out who she works for)

Crazy numbers:

  • In 2013, fossil fuels benefited from $4,900 billion in subsidies = 6,5% of the worldwide GDP > the sum of all the health policies in the world (International Monetary Fund)
  • Getting rid of those subsidies could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and the number of premature deaths due to air pollution by 50% (International Monetary Fund)
  • 2012-2014: the World Bank’s investments in fossil fuels increased by 32% / they increased by 0.6% for renewable energies (World Bank)

Had 3 coffees at the break to keep my eyes open at least until lunch… 

And heard a guy who couldn’t lay his hands on a bottle of water joke with his friend: “The concern to save water is so high at #SIF15 that there is only Coke left in the fridges”.#EnvironmentalParadoxes would definitely be a trendy hashtag at COP21.

Afternoon at WiSER event

WiSER = Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (Good job with the acronym!)

Organizers: Masdar (Solar Impulse partner) + Zayed Future Energy Prize (United Arab Emirates’ international awards for energy and sustainability pioneers)

Goal: empower and inspire women to be catalysts of innovation and drivers of commercial solutions

Notes on Bertrand and André’s keynote speech:

  • their experience with Solar Impulse
  • the perspective of sustainable energy
  • empowering women in under-developed countries is crucial to improve their societies
  • encouraging young generations, and girls in particular, to become engineers

-> N.B: education is one of the solutions against climate change that was most voted for on Future is Clean

After WiSER, I had the honor of meeting adventurers Sylvia Earle and David de Rothschild. My feet are dead but during moments like this one I find it worth it. 

-> Note to self: buy bandages and pain killers

Background information I may need for the report:

Sylvia Earle: 


  • marine biologist, explorer, environmentalist, author
  • first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • 1986: 1000 meter depth record dive in the Deep Rover submersible
  • was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998
  • good friend of Bertrand’s father
  • American, 80 years old

-> a movie was made about her life and work: Mission Blue

David de Rothschild: 


  • adventurer, environmentalist, author
  • head of Sculpt the Future Foundation, a charity that supports innovation and creativity in social and environmental impact efforts
  • one of only 14 people ever to traverse the continent of Antarctica
  • 2006: spent over 100 days crossing the Arctic from Russia to Canada -> became one of only 42 people to ever reach both geographical poles 
  • in 2009 he was named by the United Nations Environment Program as a “Climate Hero”
  • British, 37 years old


IMPORTANT: Sylvia is one of the Future is Clean initiators, which means she helps us find concrete solutions to tackle climate change and promote clean technologies + David will soon be one too! 

Evening at Bertrand’s Goodwill Ambassador Nomination

Bertrand was appointed Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations for their Environmental Program (UNEP).

« This nomination is an encouragement to continue showing how many incredible things can be done with renewable energies, but also to implement more energy efficient technologies in our world », he declared.


Note to self: Remember to thank the guys I know at UNEP for their great coverage of the event

Other famous Goodwill Ambassadors: actor Ian Somerhalder, photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, singer Jack Johnson and model Gisele Bündchen 

Great atmosphere at the ceremony, I managed to record a part of Executive Secretary Achim Steiner’s and Bertrand’s speeches:


Interesting stuff I learned today

  • 38% of emission reductions needed by 2050 have to come via energy efficiency (see graphic below)


-> c.f: André’s reminder on the necessity of more energy efficiency by better insulating our houses for starters

  • By 2050, food production will have to increase by 70% (Food and Agriculture Organisation)

-> Are we all going to have to start eating insects??

  • Renewable energy provided an estimated 19% of global final energy consumption in 2012, and continued to grow in 2013 (REN21)
  • Bertrand joined forces with three other actors of sustainable development under the Eco Explorer Society. Goal: develop innovative and sustainable means to explore the sea, earth and sky
  • For the first time in 40 years, in 2014, global GDP grew by 3% while emissions didn’t grow (Global Commission on the Economy and Climate)
  • 0.1% of stored heat in Earth’s crust would satisfy global energy consumption for 10,000 years

-> What are we waiting for?

Number of coffees at end of day: 13. That better not bring me bad luck for tomorrow.

End of entry

This blog post has been originally published here.