Worldwatch Institute Travels to Doha, Qatar for COP18

Event Date: 
December 1, 2012 - 9:00am
Doha, Qatar

Panels and roundtables will address the state of global climate negotiations and renewable energies development; solutions to increase energy access; creating low-emission economies; and sustainable energy roadmaps in small island nations.

At the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, informally known as the Earth Summit, 154 countries signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By ratifying this treaty, these signatories demonstrated their commitment to stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. As of May 2011, the treaty had an additional 194 parties. 

Click here for the official COP18 Side Events and Exhibits program

Since 1995, the parties to the convention have met annually in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to evaluate their progress in combating climate change. This year’s event, COP18, will bring government representatives, international organizations, and civil society leaders to Doha, Qatar. Here, attendees will work to advance the mandates of the original Convention, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2011 Durban Platform, and further develop various COP action plans implemented in previous years. 

Worldwatch Climate and Energy Director Alexander Ochs and members of his team will participate in several events at the conference. They will offer insights from their experiences advising governments around the world in their transitions to sustainable economies. Their upcoming work will take them to countries throughout Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, China, Europe, India and North America where they will help key policymakers identify feasible low-emissions development strategies. 

On Saturday, December 1, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will host a Roundtable Discussion addressing government policies which provide incentives for a shift towards a low-carbon economy, and the possible trade- and trade policy implications thereof. Panelists will discuss whether the current rules provide the flexibility countries need so as to design effective policies for climate change action. Worldwatch’s Alexander Ochs will draw upon the recent REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2012 and share insights from policy assessment work that Worldwatch has conducted with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as well as individual countries when working with them on their energy strategies.

Also on Saturday, December 1, the International Climate Initiative (ICI) will host a networking and knowledge sharing workshop bringing together representatives of projects financed by ICI that supports climate mitigation around the world. Participants will share experiences among the ICI project community, discuss ideas, approaches and open questions, reflect on challenges and technical developments as well as identify good practices and recommendations. Ochs will share lessons learned from Worldwatch’s Sustainable Energy Roadmap projects in the Caribbean.

On Wednesday, December 5, the Climate Institute, along with other partner organizations including the UN Foundation, the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the World Bank, and the Worldwatch Institute, will host a panel to showcase some of the leadership initiatives by island nations, and programs by the international and regional organizations in support of these island economies. Ochs will share insights from Worldwatch’s Sustainable Energy Roadmap work in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica, as well as for Caribbean Community and Common Market.

Ochs will also be taking part in meetings hosted by the International Climate Initiative where he is a member of the International Advisory Committee, the Low Emissions Development Global Partnership (LEDS-GP) where chairs the Energy Platform, as well as the Climate Knowledge Development Network and the International Council for Sustainable Energy.

The following is the full list of events in which the Worldwatch Institute will be participating:

Government Provided Incentives for Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy - Trade Implications

When:   Saturday, December 1 – 9.00-11.30 a.m.

Where:   Retral Al Rayyan Hotel, Dafna, Diplomatic District, Doha, Qatar

Who:   Alexander Ochs, Climate and Energy Director, Worldwatch Institute

Organizers:   Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (RSVP required)


Developing Building Blocks of a Global Mitigation Architecture

When:   Saturday, December 1– 14:00 – 18:30

Where:   Hotel InterContinental Doha (room “Al-Diwan“) on Al Istiqlal Street, Doha, Qatar

Who:   Alexander Ochs, Climate and Energy Director, Worldwatch Institute

Organizer:   International Climate Initiative of the German Ministry of the Environment (RSVP required)


What: Sustainable Energy for Island Economies - A High Impact Opportunity

“Sustainable Energy for Island Economies” has been identified as one of the High Impact Opportunities of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. This UN initiative seeks to achieve the goal of Sustainable Energy for All by 2030 by meeting three inter linked global targets: universal access to modern energy services; doubling energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in world’s energy supply.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) comprise a group of nations with potential to meet and exceed the targets of SE4ALL, and in some cases achieve up to 100% renewable energy in the power sector.  A number of SIDS and island economies have set ambitious targets for themselves, some with time lines of 2020 or sooner. In addition, a number of island economies and territories within bigger nations are working on plans to develop their renewable energy resources and become models of sustainability.

This event is the second in a series of outreach efforts to showcase some of the leadership initiatives by island nations, and programs by the international and regional organizations in support of these island economies. It is also an effort to build a coalition of partners at the SE4ALL platform that share a common vision – that through leadership initiatives in select pilot nations, and concerted and coordinated actions by international community, it is possible to fast track several small island nations to achieve independence from imported fossil fuels by 2020. This would not only result in economic development on these participating islands but also set examples for others to follow, and help accelerate the progress on achieving the global energy access and sustainable energy goals by 2030. 

When:   Wednesday, December 5 – 11:30 – 13:00

Where:   Side Event Room 8, Qatar National Convention Center, Doha, Qatar


  • Introduction – VISION 20/30, Nasir Khattak, Climate Institute
  • Sustainable Energy for All, Pradeep Monga, UNIDO
  • Tonga Energy Road Map, Mr. Mahe Tupouniua, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tonga
  • Province of  Bohol as a Sustainable Energy Island, Senator Heherson Alvarez, Philippines
  • Energy Road Map of Dominican Republic, Omar Ramirez, Secretary of State and Vice President, National Council for Climate Change and CDM, Dominican Republic (invited)
  • MOZA Project, Qatar, Tom Hawat, PANGAEON
  • SIDS DOCK, David Payton, UNDP
  • Energy Road Maps in the Caribbean, Alexander Ochs, Worldwatch Institute
  • Private Sector Solutions, Harry Verhaar, Philips Lighting                                 

Organizers:   Vision 20/30, in partnership with Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL), United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Worldwatch Institute, and others.