A Daily Look of NCEL at COP26
November 1 - 12, 2021
We’re excited to announce NCEL’s participation in COP26 in Glasgow. This will be the first time an NCEL delegation has attended the conference. We have a great lineup of events bringing awareness to the continued importance of ambitious subnational action on climate.
Day 6 – 11/9
The last day of NCEL’s engagement at COP26 began with a panel NCEL organized at the Pathways to 1.5 Pavilion titled Meeting Climate Goals Through Carbon Pricing at the Subnational, Regional, and National Levels. Maine State Representative Lydia Blume moderated the panel discussion with Massachusetts State Senator Mike Barrett and Rhode Island State Senator Dawn Euer. The discussion covered the variety of ways that Northeast states work together regionally to reduce carbon emissions, including through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the proposed Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI-P). The panel also discussed ways these programs could be strengthened, as well as other possible opportunities for the states in the region to collaborate.
The whole NCEL delegation to COP26 spoke about how much they learned and gained from this amazing experience. Conference attendees exchanged ideas, formed new bonds, inspired each other, and are taking home new concepts to mitigate the climate crisis and create a carbon-negative society while centering equity and climate justice. State legislators, mayors, and climate advocates strategized together with their federal leaders, and the United States showed up in force to declare that America is All In on climate action. NCEL staff and its COP26 delegation are eager to bring the lessons learned and knowledge gained to better our communities and world.
Day 5 – November 8
The overall theme of the COP26 conference today was Resilience and Adaptation. This set the stage for a phenomenal conversation at the America is All In Pavilion where HI State Senator Chris Lee shared the hour with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Oregon Governor Kate Brown. The session was hosted by the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification with a panel discussion moderated by Anna-Marie Laura, the Director of Climate Policy at the Ocean Conservancy. The panel was titled Integrated Policies for Ocean Climate Action: Building Coastal Resiliency in the U.S. They discussed ways in which adaptation measures can protect marine ecosystems, while the ocean is also providing solutions to mitigate climate change.
Earlier in the day, NCEL members WA Sen. Reuven Carlyle and RI Sen. Dawn Euer joined CA Asm. Eduardo Garcia and Katelyn Roedner on a panel titled North America Subnational Carbon Pricing Leadership & Cooperation. The panel was hosted by EDF and IETA, and moderated by IETA’s Katie Sullivan. The group discussed lessons learned from programs like California’s Cap-and-Trade, RGGI and TCI in the Northeast, and WA State’s newly adopted Cap-and-Invest policy.
Day 4 – November 7
Since COP26 lasts two weeks, Sunday was a day of rest for the conference. This was a welcomed break since conference days can be very tiring! Many of the NCEL delegation are staying in Edinburgh since hotel rates in Glasgow are astronomical. This gave some of the delegation a chance to tour through this beautiful city, while others joined up with governors and other officials from their states.
Day 3 – November 6
Today at COP26, the overall theme was harnessing nature’s power to mitigate the climate crisis. Organizations from across the globe, including the US pavilion, were highlighting initiatives to sequester carbon through natural solutions like kelp forests and regenerative agriculture, including a presentation by US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about the international AIM for Climate initiative.
NCEL’s delegation started the day with a fireside chat between HI Senator Chris Lee and CO Representative Dominique Jackson held at the Locally Led Adaptation pavilion. At this event, they discussed the necessity of listening to and learning from communities who are most affected by the climate crisis and are too often left out of the conversation.
Later in the day, NCEL hosted a panel discussion at the America is All In Pavilion, focused on the crucial work of states and other subnational entities in decarbonizing and transforming their system. Sen. Lee and Rep. Jackson were joined by RI Sen. Dawn Euer and WA Sen. Reuven Carlyle. They discussed how state legislators can be more nimble and bold in their policy work compared to Congress and can create models and prove the effectiveness of policies for the federal government to adopt. And even when Washington, DC does allocate budget or create goals, it is usually up to the states to implement those measures. This was NCEL’s marquee event at COP26 and you can watch it online.
Day 2 – November 5
Hawaii State Senator Chris Lee joined an event hosted by the Center for American Progress that focused on Ocean Climate Solutions. The hour started with a keynote from Monica Medina, the US Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. She spoke eloquently about the US prioritization of restoring ocean ecosystems and harnessing the ocean’s ability to mitigate climate change.
In the following panel presentation, State Senator Lee was joined by Marce Gutiérrez-Graudinš from Azul and Anna-Maria Laura from Ocean Conservancy. The panel discussion covered a range of topics related to ocean climate solutions, but especially highlighted the dangers of fossil fuels to oceans. This included the production and disposal of plastics and the need for policymakers to empower historically excluded communities that are facing the worst impacts from pollution and the climate crisis.
You can watch the panel discussion online.
Day 1 – November 4
State legislators from all over the US are traveling to COP to share their stories and knowledge, and to help push for ambitious global action on the climate crisis. NCEL members are arriving from Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington State, California, and Hawaii.
The UNFCCC deserves credit for pulling together a massive gathering of leaders, experts, and advocates during a difficult time. Attendees get tested daily for COVID to ensure a safe, productive environment, and extraordinary measures are taken to sanitize surfaces.
The event is huge, with various zones set up for negotiations, meetings, and hundreds of pavilions organizing side events. Countries from all over the world are hosting conversations to share lessons learned and highlight their efforts to decarbonize. It’s especially exciting to see the US come back to COP in a big way, with an impressive pavilion and representation by several cabinet members.
What’s great to see is the absolute diversity of solutions and leaders gathering. Elected officials from all levels of government, speaking and learning about a wide range of priorities, including ocean solutions, renewable energy, finance, agriculture, ending deforestation, and so much more.
Check back each day to see more about what NCEL is up to at COP26!
Updates are provided each morning by Jeff Mauk, NCEL Executive Director, who is on the ground in Glasgow.
NCEL Delegation Events
The Need for US Investments in Ocean Justice Solutions
Date: November 5, 12:00-1:00 PM
Location: The Bellona Foundation Pavilion (PV63, D), Blue Zone
Speakers: State Sen. Chris Lee, Marce Gutierrez-Graudins, Anna-Marie Laura
This event is hosted by the Center for American Progress.
The ocean has the potential to provide up to one-fifth of emissions reductions necessary to limit warming to 1.5℃. But for ocean climate solutions to be durable, they must also be just and inclusive. Please join the Center for American Progress for a moderated discussion on ocean justice issues in the United States, and how lessons learned by local U.S. leaders can help build greater momentum for ocean climate solutions. Speakers will explore how disparate ocean interventions can incorporate the goals of economic, racial, climate, and environmental justice to improve the public health and wellbeing of all communities, while tackling the climate crises.
Fireside Chat: Addressing Environmental Injustice and Inequities in Subnational Policy
Date: November 6, 10:30-11:30 AM
Location: LLA Pavillion
Speakers: State Rep. Dominique Jackson and State Sen. Chris Lee
Colorado State Rep. Dominique Jackson and Hawaii State Sen. Chris Lee have been recognized nationally in the US for their work pursuing a just transition and defining environmental justice in state law. They will present a fireside chat to discuss the strategies behind their work and how policymakers can be better partners with underserved and historically excluded communities in addressing climate change and other environmental issues.
Global Issues, Subnational Solutions: How US States Are Leading on Climate Action
Date: November 6, 5:00-6:00 PM
Location: US Climate Action Center, Hall 5
Speakers: State Sen. Chris Lee, State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, State Sen. Dominique Jackson, and State Sen. Dawn Euer
Join the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators for a panel on how U.S. states are taking bold actions to meet Paris Agreement goals. As a federal system, U.S. states have significant power to direct their own climate action at the subnational level. State legislators from the U.S. states of Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, and Washington will discuss how subnationals can reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their economies, while empowering communities and addressing systemic inequities.
North America Subnational Carbon Pricing Leadership & Cooperation
Date: November 8, 9:30-11:00 AM
Location: Pathways to 1.5 Pavilion
Speakers: State Sen. Reuven Carylye, State Asm. Eduardo Garcia, State Rep. Dawn Euer
This event is co-hosted by EDF and IETA.
Join legislative, business and environmental leaders for the latest on subnational carbon pricing in North America. Speakers will discuss the new cap-and-invest program in Washington State and take stock of the Western Climate Initiative, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Transportation Climate Initiative. Learn about provisions to promote equity in carbon markets, as well as what is on the horizon for each of these leading market mechanisms.
Integrated Policies for Ocean Climate Action: Building Coastal Resiliency in the US
Date: November 8, 6:30-7:30 PM
Location: US Climate Action Pavilion
Speakers: State Sen. Chris Lee and other officials
This event is co-hosted by the OA Alliance.
U.S. federal and state governments recognize the intrinsic relationship between climate and ocean, and the changes that are occurring. In concert with federal partners, U.S. states are demonstrating the kinds of local actions and regional cooperation that are needed to mobilize ambitious and urgent actions for reducing GHG emissions and help communities and industries build resilience to climate-ocean change. As drivers of local and regional strategies, U.S. states are helping to integrate and operationalize the climate-ocean nexus across policy and management landscapes.
Meeting Climate Goals Through Carbon Pricing at the Subnational, Regional, and National Levels
Date: November 9, 11:00AM -12:00 PM
Location: Pathways to 1.5 Pavilion
Speakers: State Rep. Lydia Blume, State Sen. Mike Barrett, State Sen. Dawn Euer
This event is co-hosted by the Climate Registry and Climate Action Reserve.
The Northeast region of the United States has led the country on innovative methods to price carbon emissions, in the power sector and through an emerging transportation initiative. State legislators from the region will meet to discuss lessons learned and next steps for how subnational policymakers can collaborate across regions and influence national and international cooperation on carbon pricing to meet critical emissions goals.