2021 UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)
Abt partnered with The Climate Registry and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions to accelerate the net zero agenda at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
We hosted several side events in the Blue Zone focused on taking critical climate action; you can watch the recordings below. Connect with us to stay engaged.
The time for action is now. Abt Associates is redoubling efforts to address climate change in our global operations, and our teams are bringing the full breadth of their expertise across sectors, geographies, and disciplines to help public and private sector partners meet this existential crisis. It will take all of us to urgently accelerate progress.
- Kathleen Flanagan, President & CEO, Abt Associates
Our Sessions In the Blue Zone - WEEK 1
CLIMATE MIGRATION: MOVING FROM REACTIVE TO A HEALTH SYSTEMS STRENGTHENING RESPONSE
Time: Thursday November 4, 13:00-14:00 GMT (physical and livestream)
Location: WHO Health Pavilion – Blue Zone Hall 5
Description: This event will share and explore promising health system-strengthening approaches to building resilience to climate events, as well as the heavier burden on health systems created by the movement of people. The session will help participants to understand a proactive, system-focused approach, why it is needed, and how it complements reactive emergency response measures. The panel will also promote awareness of the value of regional approaches to strengthening the resilience of health systems.
Panelists: Eric Reading, Abt Associates (Moderator) | Dr. Joy St John, Caribbean Public Health Agency | Dr. Aleksandar Arnikov, International Organization for Migration | Dr. Miguel Pulido, Colombia, Local Health System Sustainability Project | Dr. Paulina Giusti, Peru, Local Health System Sustainability Project
Watch recording: https://youtu.be/Vp2D_pxs3j8
IMPLEMENTING THE GLOBAL METHANE PLEDGE: TOOLS FOR MEASURING PROGRESS AND SECURING FINANCING
Time: Friday November 5, 8:30-10:00 GMT (physical and live webinar)
Location: Pathways to 1.5 Pavilion – Blue Zone Hall 4
Description: The U.S. and EU have announced a new global initiative to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. This panel will focus on key considerations regarding how the pledge will be implemented, with a particular focus on the importance of accurate and consistent approaches to measuring, reporting, and verifying (MRV) emissions reductions. Robust MRV systems will be crucial for measuring and benchmarking performance across countries and sectors, and securing financing for projects at scale. The panel will also review key tools and resources available to countries to support emissions reduction MRV activities.
Panelists: Santiago Enriquez, Abt Associates (Moderator) | Kait Siegel, Abt Associates | Francisco de la Flor, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe | David Waskow, World Resources Institute
Watch recording: https://youtu.be/vMFUPUqrhJo
PERSPECTIVES ON PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS FOR CLIMATE INVESTMENTS
Time: Friday November 5, 16:30-18:00 GMT (physical and live webinar)
Location: Pathways to 1.5 Pavilion – Blue Zone Hall 4
Description: Accelerating the scale and breadth of private investments in climate-oriented financing is essential to achieve a low carbon future that is inclusive. This event will feature three segments, with each one focused on a key aspect of climate financing: 1) enhancing partnerships to accelerate climate investments, 2) financing nature-based solutions, and 3) ensuring broad participation. Each 30-minute panel will be interview style, with a moderator and two panelists.
Panelists: Paul Faeth, Abt Associates (Moderator) | Tom Steyer, Galvanize Climate Solutions | Gillian Caldwell, USAID | Giulia Carbone, WBCSD | Jake Levine, DFC | Stacy Swann, Climate Finance Advisors | Lindsay Foley, Abt Associates
Watch recording: https://youtu.be/MVNpZYdJyBk
USING PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES TO DESIGN ROBUST, COMMUNITY-LED CLIMATE ACTION
Time: Friday November 5, 16:00-17:00 GMT (physical and live webinar)
Location: Capacity Building Hub Pavilion – Blue Zone, room 9, zone D
Description: Abt is partnering with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) to conduct an interactive session on ways to help communities identify just, equitable, and actionable climate response, and utilize data driven tools to better understand, prioritize, and make the case for climate actions. Facilitators will build participants’ capacity to identify climate adaptation actions using an interactive participatory design process developed by GEN that enables attendees to holistically integrate ecological, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of sustainability. Abt will then walk participants through the use of multi-criteria and cost-benefit analyses for evaluating options, using global case studies to contextualize local approaches. The session will help participants understand how the results of these analyses can increase access to climate finance from government agencies, development organizations, and philanthropies by demonstrating why their resources are needed and explaining why the proposed project is a smart investment.
Abt Facilitators: Sarah Dunn, Abt Associates | Kait Siegel, Abt Associates | Santiago Enriquez, Abt Associates |Taisa Mattos, Global Ecovillage Network | Sarah Queblatin, Global Ecovillage Network | Anna Kovasna, Global Ecovillage Network
Partnering Organization: Global Ecovillage Network
Livestream Link: https://youtu.be/-uw3fDU1pFE
THE TOOLS AVAILABLE FOR METHANE POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
Time: Friday, November 5, 17:00 -18:00 GMT (physical and livestream)
Location: Methane Pavilion
Hosted by The Clean Air Task Force (CATF)
Panelists: Alfredo Miranda and Jonathan Banks, CATF | Christophe McGlade, International Energy Agency | Olga Gassan-Zade, Carbon Limits | Benjamin Matek, Abt Associates
Livestream Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1oJsg2X5-POEpVDzigqFJw
Our Sessions in the Blue Zone - WEEK 2
TOOLS FOR UNLOCKING INVESTMENT IN CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
Time: Monday November 8, 14:00 -15:00 GMT (physical and live webinar)
Location: Pathways to 1.5 Pavilion – Blue Zone Hall 4
Description: Climate finance plays a critical role in helping low-income countries fight climate change and adapt to its impacts. The Climate Finance Delivery Plan identifies key actions that high-income countries can take to achieve the goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year through 2025, to address the needs of low-income countries. Such actions include working with multilateral development banks to increase and improve climate finance, enhancing private finance mobilization, and strengthening the capacities of low-income countries to address existing barriers to accessing climate finance. This event will discuss tools and approaches that stakeholders in high-and low-income countries can use to unlock investments in climate change solutions, in line with the Climate Finance Delivery Plan.
Panelists: Santiago Enriquez, Abt Associates (Moderator) | Michele Laird, Abt Associates | Benjamin Matek, Abt Associates | Alan Miller, formerly International Finance Corporation | Anaitee Mills, Cadmus Group
Watch recording: https://youtu.be/yKxHEyQjdEE
THE CASE FOR MITIGATING BLACK CARBON – CLIMATE AND HEALTH CO-BENEFITS
Time: Tuesday November 9, 17:00-18:00 GMT (physical and livestream)
Location: WHO Health Pavilion – Blue Zone Hall 5
Description: This panel will focus on strategies and tools that governments can use to identify, model, or develop strategies to reduce black carbon in the waste sector and capture the public health co-benefits associated with these reductions. In particular, the panel will focus on approaches national planning efforts can use to account for black carbon emissions from the waste sector, especially as part of NDC development and implementation.
Panelists: Benjamin Matek, Abt Associates (Moderator) | Gina Kanhai, Institute for Systems Science, Innovation and Sustainability Science, Karl-Franzens University of Graz | Joe Spadaro, Spadaro Environmental Research Consultants | Carlos Silva Filho, International Solid Waste Association | Zoë Lenkiewicz, WasteAid
Watch recording: https://youtu.be/-dvzOaGlCuo
DRIVING HEALTH SERVICE EQUITY THROUGH CLIMATE-SMART PRIVATE SECTOR ENGAGEMENT – A CASE FOR ELECTRIFYING RURAL HEALTH CLINICS
Time: Friday November 12, 10:00-11:00 GMT (physical and livestream)
Location: WHO Health Pavilion – Blue Zone Hall 5
Description: The private sector has a vital role to play in driving climate change action and increasing health equity globally. Although the public sector is essential to strengthening the enabling environment and providing funding, it cannot meet the climate and health Sustainable Development Goals agenda alone. A good example of how the private sector can be leveraged to improve climate, health, and equity goals concurrently are partnerships to electrify rural health clinics. This event will present the needs and challenges of rural health facilities without reliable access to electrification, the benefits of a renewable energy solution, and possible sustainable private sector-led and public sector-enabled financing and business models to make such a solution a reality.
Panelists: Santiago Enriquez, Abt Associates (Moderator) | Paul Faeth, Abt Associates | Michele Laird, Abt Associates | Ralph Ankri, Orange | Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
Watch recording: https://youtu.be/X2kaziiZVTo
Meet Our Delegation at COP26
Sarah Dunn, Managing Director, Abt Associates in Britain
Sarah Dunn leads the climate team at Abt Associates in Britain. She has more than two decades of experience working to address international development challenges created by the intersection of a changing climate and inequality. Dunn previously worked as a senior executive with the Department for International Development (now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) where she was DFID country director in South Africa, overseeing all development programmes. Dunn also has a track record of delivering change in several sectors: in nutrition through a private sector foundation, in energy through a private company and in development through an NGO.
Santiago Enriquez, Senior Climate Change Specialist
Santiago Enriquez has more than 20 years of experience in the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of climate policies and programs. He has supported stakeholders in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to strengthen implementation of climate change programs. In Mexico, he led the development of a system that helped officials monitor the implementation of close to 300 mitigation, adaptation, and cross-cutting actions. He assists public and private stakeholders in mobilizing climate investments. In Central America, he helped commercial banks develop clean energy lending products and facilitated the development of guarantees for more than $54 million USD to de-risk loans for clean energy and other development goals. Enriquez holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Paul Faeth, Global Technical Director for Climate and Energy
Paul Faeth is a distinguished environmental economist with 35 years of experience in climate, energy, and water, managing environmental research, strategic development, and policy analysis. One of the earliest to focus on the economics of climate change, he led the design of the world’s first carbon offset program in 1989. He has worked internationally and domestically in the U.S. on such key issues as climate risk, electric power, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and water. As Abt’s Global Technical Director—Climate and Energy, he leads business and proposal development for major U.S. government opportunities. Faeth holds a master’s degree in Resource Systems and Policy Design from Dartmouth College.
Olga Faktorovich Allen, Director, Strategy and Impact
Olga Faktorovich Allen leads Abt’s Impact Management Program, which works to implement impact measurement and management practices across Abt’s portfolio of projects and throughout Abt’s global operations. Allen has more than 14 years of experience conducting environmental analyses, and has spent the past decade focused on corporate sustainability, decarbonization, and impact management. Allen also leads strategic planning and business development efforts across priority markets at Abt. She holds a master’s degree in environmental sustainability management and development studies from Harvard University.
Lindsay Foley, Director of Climate and Energy
Lindsay Foley, Abt Associates’ Director of Climate and Energy, has over 14 years of experience leading large, complex international energy and climate change programs covering economic and policy issues in the areas of renewable energy, climate finance, nature-based solutions, low emissions development strategies, nationally determined contributions, economic resilience and sustainability, climate change mitigation, and the international climate policy process for government, multilateral, and private sector clients. She is a natural resources economist experienced in cost-benefit analysis, co-benefits analysis, and program management. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Policy from Duke University.
Michele Laird, Regional Vice President, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean Region
Michele Laird leads Abt’s global development practice in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. She brings over 30 years of experience in financial, economic, and policy analysis. She has worked in developing countries providing financial and enterprise-enabling technical assistance in areas including climate change, clean energy, economic growth, governance, agriculture, and health. Through her projects, Laird has sought to mobilize public and private financing to advance Sustainable Development Goals. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas and is certified as an expert in Renewable Energy and Climate Finance by the Frankfurt School/UNEP.
Benjamin Matek, Energy & Climate Associate
Benjamin Matek has over a decade of experience working on environmental policy related to energy, waste, and climate change. He has thousands of hours of experience conducting cost-benefit analyses for U.S. federal environment and energy regulations. Additionally, he’s an experienced modeler and climate-related tool developer. On behalf of the U.S. EPA, he has developed several tools used to model methane and other GHG emissions. His expertise includes waste management emissions mitigation, natural gas pipeline maintenance, power grid operations, renewable energy development, and oil spill response. Matek holds a masters in Energy Policy & Climate from Johns Hopkins University.
Eric Reading, Senior Vice President, International Development Division
Eric Reading has more than 25 years of experience designing and implementing complex programs globally. He has worked on highly interdisciplinary programs across energy, water, agriculture, and health. His expertise includes leveraging public and private sector resources and scaling up successful solutions. Reading has direct experience with both infrastructure and nature-based solutions, and a deep background in financing and governance. He has worked in more than 65 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Reading holds a master’s in international affairs from Florida State University.
James Schroll, Energy and Transport Senior Analyst
James Schroll has six years of experience leading successful research and technical assistance projects for federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Highway Administration, and Transportation Research Board, as well as for state and local governments. His expertise includes project management, stakeholder facilitation, solar, land use and zoning, and sustainable transportation. He works on issues such as climate change, renewable natural gas, energy efficiency, building energy codes, resilience, solar energy, electric vehicles, transit, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
Kaitlyn Siegel, Climate Change Specialist
Kait Siegel has over five years of experience working on issues related to climate change, air quality, and co-benefits of emissions mitigation. Her work supports a range of state, federal, and international clients. Siegel’s areas of expertise include stakeholder engagement, climate adaptation planning, emissions inventory and tool development, and public health benefits of emissions mitigation. Her current work focuses on methane mitigation, and the measurement, reporting, and verification of methane emissions reductions. Siegel holds a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University; and is certified as an expert in Renewable Energy and Climate Finance by the Frankfurt School/UNEP.
Jane Wilkinson, Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Environment
Jane Wilkinson is the Senior Advisor for Climate Change & Environment at Abt Associates in Britain. A published author on climate change and inequality in Commonwealth countries–and on climate finance solutions–Wilkinson has 15-plus years of experience advising governments and organisations on strategies to implement climate action and investment strategies. Jane was a diplomat for the Australian Government in Indonesia before serving the Department of Climate Change as director of policy. She influenced the design of the international climate finance framework, led research programmes at the Climate Policy Initiative, and co-founded the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance.
Learn more about our Environment & Energy experts.
Expertise We Brought to COP26
Clean Energy Solutions and Climate Finance Mobilization
From streamlining power sector planning and policy-making to mobilizing private sector investment and scaling up lending – we work to bring about the transition to equitable, reliable, and sustainable energy, and a just transition to net-zero. Our services include:
- Regional energy trade and integration, power sector planning, and climate vulnerability mitigation.
- Policy and smart incentives design for clean energy.
- Public-private-partnership development.
- Project finance risk mitigation through tools, resources, and guidance.
- New business models development to overcome investment barriers in emerging markets.
- Product development and risk mitigation mechanisms for commercial financing institutions.
- Gender- and equity-led climate investment strategies.
Tools and Analyses to Drive Action Towards Net Zero
Our analyses support the development of markets and market-based approaches, monetize the value of nature-based solutions, inform regulatory development, and generate trusted evidence that advances climate action across sectors and scales. Our services include:
- Cost-benefit analyses and co-benefit monetization of nature-based solutions.
- Health climate impacts and mitigation co-benefits.
- Environmental justice screening tools.
- Climate impacts communication and indicator visualization.
- Geospatial analytics and decision support tools.
- Short-lived climate pollutants accounting and mitigation.
- Adaptation planning and capacity building for resilience.
Mainstreaming Climate Risk Management and Bolstering Resilience
We systematically apply a climate lens to programs and challenges within health, housing, natural resources, education, and economic growth. Through a context-sensitive approach, we develop risk mitigation plans grounded in participatory engagement and underpinned by data, which also enables the quantification and monetization of climate risk management benefits. Our services include:
- Sector-specific climate risk management and adaptation strategies.
- Flood risk geospatial modeling to fill in downscaled climate data gaps.
- The extrapolation and valuation of climate risk management benefits.
- Precision geography to determine highly localized risks.
- Inclusive and participatory stakeholder engagement.
- Explaining complex climate change indicators through innovative, interactive communications
- Evaluations of distributions of resilience program benefits
Centering on Climate Equity
We center on elevating the voices of those affected most by climate change. We characterize the uneven distribution of adverse effects across marginalized populations, assess cumulative risk, quantify co-benefits of climate action, and facilitate the inclusive co-creation of solutions. Our services include:
- Indigenous People’s lifeway climate risk characterization, and community-driven resiliency planning and implementation.
- Gender-responsive programming, voice, and empowerment.
- Cultural humility and inclusive participatory engagement.
- Visualizations integrating demographic data with physical climate models to assess distributional impacts effecting marginalized communities
Inclusive and sustainable economic development for fossil-fuel dependent communities and those who are traditionally economically disenfranchised.
What We’re Talking About
- Building More Common Wealth in a Climate-Changed World
- U.S. Government Climate Action Plans Miss Opportunities for Deeper Collaboration
- Short on Finance, Long on Hope: Why Investing in Pacific Women and Girls Is Important for Climate Action
- Maximizing Micro and Small Business for a Just Transition
- Managing Risks and Uncovering Opportunities: Toward Consistent Climate Preparedness
- Why Methane Needs to Be a Top Priority at #COP26
- Climate, Health, and Environmental Justice: Designing Equitable Cap-and-Trade Programs
- EVs, GHGs, and the Infrastructure Deal: What We Know So Far
- Climate Priority: Reducing Methane Leaks from Pipelines
- Breaking Cassandra's Curse: Advancing Climate Legislation Through Communication
- Justice40: Is Your Federal Program Ready?
What We’re Working On
- Clean Power Asia
- Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment, and Resilience (CEADIR) | VIDEO
- Abt’s Cost-Benefit Tools Excel at Addressing Climate Change Strategies
- Climate Integration Support Facility (CISF)
- Analyzing Climate Change Impacts, Risks, and Mitigation Benefits for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Community Resilience Toolkit for Climate-Related Hazards
- Building Low-Emission Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability in the Philippines
- Capturing Methane from Wastewater in Developing Countries
- Supporting Best Practices for Coalmine Methane Recovery