The City We Need: Engaging the private sector on cities and climate change towards Habitat III

By on 11/17/2015

COP21, Grand Palais, Paris | December 8, 2015 | 13.00-14.50 Hosted by Veolia

Background

COP21 is an important milestone for the international community to address the urbanization issues with relation to climate change and to raise the importance of this agenda in view of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) to be held in Quito in October 2016.

UN-Habitat, the United Nations programme in charge of sustainable urbanization, and its private sector partners are collaborating in that endeavor through regular dialogue and initiatives. United by common goals and principles, UN-Habitat partners believe that the battle for a sustainable future will be won or lost in cities.

More than ever, given increasingly urgent resource constraints, cities need urgent attention calling for renewed practices that would result in a drastic optimization of resources. But cities are also active engines of economic development and lie at the core of a new urban era of innovation, prosperity and resilience.

In order to join the global debate spearheaded by UN-Habitat, private sector partners are also engaged in the World Urban Campaign (WUC), a dedicated global platform to advocate for positive urban change and champion urban solutions towards the Habitat III Conference.

Business, among other stakeholders, has an important stake and role in the definition of the New Urban Agenda, the expected outcome document of the Habitat III Conference. They should also play a key role in its implementation. In the preparatory process, business will play a key role by taking part in the General Assembly of Partners towards Habitat III, in which the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) chairs the Business and Industry constituent group.

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Purposes of the Meeting

The event will convene business and city leaders to highlight urban solutions and forms of collaboration that enhance urban sustainability. WBCSD representative, as Chair of the newly formed Private Sector Constituent Group of the General Assembly of Partners for Habitat III will initiate the debate focusing on the role of the business community in the future New Urban Agenda.

Business and city leaders will express their commitments to the urban sustainability challenges as well as their expectations for the success of Habitat III. The event is hosted by Veolia Environment, co-organized by UN-Habitat and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Agenda and Speakers

Short presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and a Q&A with the audience.
Key discussion topics will be:

• Cities as drivers of sustainable solutions in the context of climate change;
• Business solutions and collaboration models to enhance urban sustainability;
• What the New Urban Agenda aims to cover;
• How the private sector can contribute to the New Urban Agenda.

Moderator:

• Nicholas You, Honorary Chair, World Urban Campaign

Speakers:
Key Note Address: Engaging the private sector towards a New Urban Agenda

• Roland Hunziker, Chair, Private Sector Constituent Group, General Assembly of Partners for Habitat III
• Henry de Cazotte, Special Representative Habitat III, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Development

Panel Discussion:

  • Eric Lesueur, CEO 2EI Veolia, Sustainable City Consulting and Innovation
  • Neil McArthur, CEO, Arcadis
  • Coen van Oostrom, CEO, OVG Real Estate
  • Monika Zimmermann, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI
  • UCLG Mayor Representative (name to be confirmed)
  • ICLEI Mayor Representative (name to be confirmed)

Concluding remarks

• Christine Auclair, Coordinator, World Urban Campaign, UN-Habitat

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