New Climate Envoy’s Motives: ‘I was touched by Greenland’ | Ministries

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Blog entry | 2021-08-05 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Jaime de Bourbon de Parme has been the new climate envoy since August 1, 2021. On behalf of the entire national government, he is committed worldwide to making agreements on climate action. What drives him to become a climate diplomat? “Nature is our home, we must care for it with a sense.”


©The central government

As a boy I grew up in petrified Paris and arid Madrid. I remember in Holland green and safe grass, on which you can run and fall without getting hurt. Surrounded by the scent of autumn leaves, you can see deer and wild boar in Veluwe. When walking on mudflats, the shells remind you that the high tide was not long gone. Nature is with us, this is our home. We must take care of her dear. I learned this from home.

The shift towards climate diplomacy

In my career, conflict prevention has been critical and I have worked in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. It turned more and more towards climate diplomacy. As a raw material envoy, I mainly focused on the transparency of raw material chains. In cooperation with companies and social organizations, we have created conflict-free mineral chains from Congo. I have also created the Responsible Mining Index, which compares the largest mining companies in terms of their social and environmental impact. Unfortunately, we need more mining to achieve the energy transition, but it must be done responsibly.

Energy transition in refugee camps

In Greenland, where I attended the Arctic Council meeting, I was touched by the visible acceleration of global warming. Since then I feel called to put the climate first. As an ambassador to the Holy See (Pope Francis), the link between climate and the economy has become one of my main points. At UNHCR, where I have worked for the past three years, I have focused on climate change and energy in refugee camps. More than 90 percent of refugees have no access to electricity, which is essential for self-reliance. I created the Clean Energy Challenge to encourage companies and governments to provide clean and safe energy in refugee camps.

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The urgency of the climate crisis

It is also clear that conflict arises from scarcity and that climate change is increasing scarcity. Thus, larger refugee flows are unimaginable. While climate has re-emerged in my work from a humanitarian, economic, political and even religious perspective, I am now working in the eye of the storm of climate diplomacy. The urgency of the climate crisis has never been greater, for everyone, everywhere on the planet. Climate diplomacy is the search for common solutions.

Knowledge of nature conservation

Currently, the Netherlands is viewed critically. To what extent are we meeting our climate commitments? The Netherlands has great potential. After the United States, the Netherlands is the largest agricultural exporter and we have a great deal of knowledge in nature conservation. Europe has committed to the Green Deal and the Netherlands has a credible voice. Our financial sector is also leading the way, by adhering to the Paris Agreement. The Netherlands also has a good reputation for its innovative use of development cooperation and climate adaptation. The knowledge I will use as a board member Green Climate Fund.

Climate friendly economy

“The climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing our and future generations. There is currently the greatest public support for climate solutions. This is the international momentum since the Paris Agreement. The European Union, China and the United States in particular are now making this a top priority. The focus is on the economy More inclusive and climate friendly The relationship between man and nature is at the center of attention – and this has been reinforced during the pandemic.

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Working together on solutions

While the former Climate Envoy was equally active at the national and international levels, the main focus is now on the international level. The focus is shifting: In addition to significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, we also need to work on climate adaptation, to ensure that communities are less vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Natural reception by nature is of great importance here. We must protect and expand rich soils, natural forests, robust mangroves and healthy oceans. Exactly where the focus will be placed depends on the new government and the coalition agreement. The higher the climate ambitions, the greater the credibility of working together to find solutions with other countries and sectors.

The Climate Envoy is committed to raising climate ambitions around the world and finding common solutions. Identifies opportunities abroad and presents locally. Thus it performs the function of a bridge. The Climate Envoy works at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and works closely with BZ, IenW, LNV and FIN.

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