Parallel Session 1.4: Achieving the SDGs: Governing Geoengineering in a post-Paris world

Tuesday, 11:00 - 12:30
03 I Plenarsaal

Governance of climate geoengineering is a very challenging endeavour on many levels and may become a necessity given the level of demonstrated ambition to act. Come to listen and contribute actively in a World Café  setting to what UN officials, policymakers, researchers and civil society organisations have to say about why geoengineering governance must be discussed in the context of urgent, accelerated mitigation efforts and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Please note that David Cooper will be presenting via pre-recorded video and Youba Sokona will be participating via Skype.

A summary of the discussions had at the session can be found here

Convened by: 

Janos Pasztor

Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2)

Janos Pasztor (Born in Budapest, 4.4.1955) is currently Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2) at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. He has over 35 years of work experience in the areas of energy, environment, climate change and sustainable development.  Before taking up his current assignment he was UN Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change in New York under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 

Earlier, he was Acting Executive Director for Conservation (2014) and Policy and Science Director (2012-2014) at WWF International.  He directed the UNSG’s Climate Change Support Team (2008-2010) and later was Executive Secretary of the UNSG’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (2010-2012).  In 2007 he directed the Geneva-based UN Environment Management Group (EMG).  During 1993-2006 he worked, and over time held many responsibilities at the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), initially in Geneva and later in Bonn.

His other assignments included: in the Secretariat of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit ’92); Stockholm Environment Institute; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Secretariat of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission); the Beijer Institute; and the World Council of Churches.

He has BSc and MSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kai-Uwe Schmidt

Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2)

Kai-Uwe Barani Schmidt is senior program director, Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2). Schmidt builds on more than 20 years of international and senior level working experience including at the executive office of the secretary-general of the United Nations, at the secretariat to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at the World Bank Institute, and independent senior advisory work. Over the last few years, Schmidt has also contributed to the launch of the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT).
Schmidt's experience has covered public policy design, regulatory design, and implementation of global emissions trading and offset instruments. He has coordinated high-level events, navigating the interface of international negotiations with private sector, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations focusing on private sector engagement in climate change and development action at international, national, sub-national, city, and company/NGO levels. In addition, Schmidt's experience has covered institutional build-up and management of both resources and people.

Nicholas Harrison

Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2)

Nicholas Harrison (UK) is senior program manager for the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2).
He brings 20 years' experience working across Europe and internationally on sustainable development and climate change governance and implementation.

Prior to joining the C2G2, Harrison served as an adviser on climate action in the Executive Office of the United Nations secretary-general, supporting delivery and ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Before this, as a senior consultant at Ecofys, he coordinated global teams of experts delivering high-profile international research assessments and analysis on climate change, sustainable energy, and low emissions development.
In previous roles, Harrison served as an adviser on climate change and strategic intelligence for the UK Department of International Development, Department of Communities and Local Government, and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He began his career in environmental engineering, moving into communications to promote renewable energy technologies, followed by various roles in city, regional, and national government, improving the use of data and evidence to deliver more sustainable development.

Harrison has written and presented widely on climate change and sustainable development, served on the Sustainable Communities committee of the British Standards Institution (BSI) and worked extensively to promote integrated multi-level governance and the role of cities, states, and other non-state actors in climate action.
He holds an MSc in organisational psychology from City University, London, is a fellow of LEAD International and the Norfolk Charitable Trust, and is an independent expert for the Climate KIC, Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


Wenjiang Zhang

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

Michelle Gyles-McDonnough

Executive Office of the Secretary General, United Nations (UN EOSG)

Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough (Jamaica) is the Director, Sustainable Development Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the United Nations, New York.
Throughout her career, Ms. Gyles-McDonnough has practiced privately as a lawyer; served as advisor to the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States and has deep development experience within UNDP, including as Chief of UNDP's sub-regional facility for the Caribbean, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and was recently appointed as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director Designate for Asia and the Pacific. She is currently Director of the Sustainable Development Unit in the Executive office of the Secretary-General.
Ms. Gyles-McDonnough holds a law degree from Columbia University School of Law, with honours in international and foreign law, a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and also a Diploma in Executive Education from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

David Cooper

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)

Youba Sokona

The South Centre

Youba Sokona is currently special advisor for sustainable development at the South Centre in Mali. With over 35 years of experience addressing energy, environment, and sustainable development in Africa, Sokona is a well-known, leading global figure.
In addition to these achievements, Sokona has a proven track record of organizational leadership and management, for example, leading the conception, development, and initiating of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, as coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and as executive secretary of the Sahara and the Sahel Observatory (OSS). Sokona’s advice is highly sought after, and as such, he is affiliated with numerous boards and organizations, including as a member of the board for the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), honorary professor at the University College London (UCL), member of Science Advisory Committee of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and as a special advisor to the African Energy Leaders Group. In short, Sokona is a global figure, with deep technical knowledge, extensive policy experience, and an unreserved personal commitment to African led development.