TWN Bonn News Update No.16 PDF Print
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Wednesday, 29 June 2011 14:22

Developing countries explain mitigation actions

13 June 2011
Published by Third World Network

Bonn, June 12 ( Dale Wen and Hilary Chiew)- The Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) under the UNFCCC conducted a workshop on Friday, June 10 on nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) of developing country Parties.




In the morning, presentations were made by Chile, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Kenya and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) on their NAMA activities. In the afternoon session, European Union, Bolivia, Norway and the United States made presentations. Climate Action Network (CAN) also made a presentation as an NGO representative. The workshop was chaired by Christian Pilgaard (Denmark) and co-chaired by Jose Alberto Garibaldi (Peru)


Chile stated that its development goal is to become a developed country by 2020. Chile’s GHG inventory shows a net emissions growth of 790% from 1984 to 2006. It aims for a 20% deviation from BAU, with 2007 as the baseline. Chile will fulfill this pledge with a combination of domestic effort, international support and market mechanisms. Initiatives towards the 2020 commitment include program and agency for energy efficiency, renewable energy, action plan on climate change, mitigation action plans and scenarios, inventory system and partnership for market readiness. Forest, energy and transportation are three large sectors identified for NAMAs.


Ethiopia outlined its climate resilient green economy initiatives. It aims to become a middle income country while ensuring the growth is carbon neutral. The low carbon measures will generate co-benefits regarding job creation, poverty reduction, increased food security and health, preservation of bio-diversity among others. A technical committee has been established with sub-committees on power supply, buildings & green cities, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation etc., soil based emissions, livestock, transport and industry. The country’s strategy under construction has adaptation and mitigation elements. The sub-committees have completed the estimations of GHG emissions and analyzed the potential of green growth levers. The discussion with donors and investors are starting. Ethiopia stressed that support is needed, which will probably come from a mix of grants, loans and equity.


AOSIS started with a slide showing the emissions gap of non-Annex 1 and pointed out the enormous mitigation potential offered by energy efficiency and renewable energy. Support is required to tap the potential and this will vary across regions in line with respective capabilities. Consistent presentation of NAMAs, including quantification of emission reductions into different categories, transparency of assumptions (about business-as-usual, on scale and type of support required) and transparency of methodologies used for calculation will assist matching needs with supports and in assessing what NAMAs can deliver. SIDS have various proposed NAMAs, and the challenges include financial, technical support for NAMA preparation, institutional structure; local and regional capacity for planning and implementation; need for flexibility in measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirement. Various initiatives by SIDS including SIDS Dock and PIGGAREP (Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project) were presented.


Vietnam said that its Mekong Delta is one of the most impacted deltas: with one meter sea level rise, 40% of the delta would be inundated. Thus, response to climate change is vital. Vietnam is a low per capita emitter, with 1.94 tons CO2e in 2000, and 4.9 tons in 2030 BAU scenario. Twenty eight (28) mitigation options are identified for potential (15 in energy; 5 in agriculture; 8 in land use, and land use and forestry). The country is developing a National Climate Change Strategy, and National Green Growth Strategy, but it needs support for technological and institutional capacity building, facilitation of development of a national MRV system consistent with international guidelines, technical and financial support to prepare and implement NAMAs.


Kenya's national constitution adopted last year has provisions on climate change and a national climate change strategy was developed in 2010. The government has high level of commitment and climate change is mainstreamed into overall development plan and also for resilient development. The ongoing action plan to implement climate strategy includes: a long term low carbon pathway, enabling policy, National Action Program on Adaptation, NAMAs, R&D and tech transfer, MRV development, and finance framework. An inter-ministerial task force is coordinating and ensuring consultation and participation by all government departments and stakeholders. Kenya said it needs further support for NAMA implementation. It expressed concern that it did not have the institutional structure in place to provide mitigation data and would be best if indicators and processes are established before expecting Parties to report. Panama echoed Kenya’s concern and said perhaps there is an issue of time and differentiation (for reporting).


The European Union stated that contributions by developing countries in mitigation efforts is necessary and developing countries should act on their own but can also go further with support. Diversity of NAMAs means diversity of support. Developing countries should articulate their needs and solicit support wherever needed, and dialogue with funders. Support should enable developing countries to go beyond their autonomous efforts and help lift barriers to NAMAs. Also, in line with common but differentiated responsibility, support should be provided depending on developing country capabilities. Robust national MRV systems are critical to enable developing countries to have a clear picture of their situation, to make informed decisions on most cost-efficient NAMAs, to mobilise support more rapidly, to report transparently and be recognised internationally.


Based on EU's own experience, developing a MRV system is a “learning by doing” process, which should go in parallel with development of national policies. New market-based mechanisms should be available as a way to further support NAMAs. EU also stated there is an ambition gap to meet the agreed “below 2°C” goal: clear gap with Annex 1, and uncertainties in relation to non-Annex 1 Parties. Thus, there is need to explore ways to increase the overall ambition.


Bolivia’s presentation highlighted the severity of forest fires which significantly increased its emissions level. Ambassador Pablo Solon said in 2010 there were 1,090 forest fires that destroyed 1.7 million ha of forests compared to 397 incidents of fires in 2009 which ravaged 172,862 ha. LULUCF emissions related to forest fire is the most significant emission factor. For example in year 2005, its per capita emissions increased from 1.3t CO2-eq to 16.4t CO2-eq when LULUCF is taken into account. The emergency budget this year against forest fires amounted to US$20.8 million to cover equipments, operation and mobilisation costs. Additionally, there is a need to develop a sustainable plan to control forest fires over the next few years. Thus Bolivia believed that to waste its scarce resources from the World Bank to prepare for future carbon market does not make sense, as the most urgent need is to spend these resources to improve the country’s prevention capacity against forest fires. To spend eight years to quantify forest carbon capture potential would result in Bolivia losing 2.4 million ha of forest with emissions of 1,112MtCO2-eq. Therefore, the approach towards forest has to be a different one for Bolivia. He also said efforts are being made to obtain resources through international cooperation to strengthen emergency plans this year, adding that he hoped to inform at the next workshop that the terrible situation of forest fires last year is not repeated in 2011.


Norway said that information needs to be streamlined to give a better understanding of mitigation pledges of both Annex I and non-Annex I countries, as well as to ensure comparability. Annex I countries should present economy-wide emission reductions with same type of information including 2020 commitment in relation to 1990, LULUCF accounting rules, inclusion of all sectors and gases, etc. For non Annex 1 countries, pledges can be categorized into three types: emission reductions relative to base year; reductions relative to BAU; reduction in CO2 per unit GDP. The three types will have different kinds of information required, but all should have information about actions that will be implemented through domestic means and actions that need international support. Norway said that as a starting point, basic information should be compiled which can be followed up through reporting as getting the basics will facilitate implementation and speed up international support.


The United States emphasized the role of reporting and international consultations and analysis (ICA) in understanding mitigation actions. Its chief negotiator, Jonathan Pershing said that the Cancun Agreement laid out four things: biennial reports including inventories, international MRV (Measurable, Reportable and Verifiable) of supported actions, ICA, general guidance on domestic MRV. He said while not all Parties will do the biennial reports, the process needs to engage with key countries and that a substantial number of developing countries have substantial capacity. On mitigation, Pershing reckoned that non-Annex I Parties are no less capable than Annex I Parties. In reference to forest fires in Bolivia, he would like to know the effectiveness of national policies and ‘not to throw money into burning forest fires’. There should be performance indicators for measuring progress, methodologies and assumptions.


At question time, Japan noted that it was necessary to prepare biennial reports as soon as possible in time for such a review by 2013 and that just like developed countries, developing countries will develop their capacity from the learning-by-doing approach. Australia said it is not its expectation that all countries need to engage on the biennial report but countries with largest emission should. Non-Annex I countries are expected to submit their first biennial report in 2013.


Singapore said about 100 Parties from non-Annex I had not made a pledge and have to find a way to encourage them to do so and that a technical paper on non-Annex I mitigation should be distinguished from the one done for Annex I, which is a direct mandate from the Cancun Agreement.


The need to distinguish NAMAs and offsets to address the issue of double counting was repeatedly raised by several parties in both presentation and discussion. AOSIS emphasized that new market mechanisms only make sense in the context of legally-binding international commitments.


From the presentations, it was clear that there are huge differences in stages of NAMA development in different countries, but good progress has been made by all those who presented. The United States and Brazil said while several Parties had requested for more similar workshops, Parties however need to get into specific negotiation in the Contact Group and spin-off group looking at a Durban outcome. The EU said the discussion should be captured in a report by the UNFCCC Secretariat and submitted to the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Actions, and this was supported by Costa Rica, St Lucia and Norway.

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