Governments have agreed to submit these Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in advance of December’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Many developed and bigger developing countries are expected to do so in the first quarter of this year. But the relatively short deadline for communication of these plans requires intensive work to gather technical and scientific information and conduct consultations at national level, posing a challenge to those with fewer resources.
This is where Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), an increasingly well-used tool of the UN climate change convention, can form an important stepping stone to supporting developing countries in planning low-carbon, sustainable futures which fit their own national priorities and objectives.
The Paris agreement must pave the way to keep a global temperature rise this century under 2 degrees C, opening up bigger, better opportunities to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. INDCs include, for example, details of emission reductions the country will undertake and can include other action plans covering areas such as adaptation to climate change.
NAMAs will play a central role in future mitigation efforts not only as a means to build capacity and support for planning but as one of the main channels for delivering emission reductions.
The experience and ambition of developing countries in reducing and limiting their emissions has steadily expanded, most often on a project-based scale using the climate change convention’s effective clean development mechanism.
Shifting from project-based initiatives to sector or nation-wide initiatives to reduce emissions has represented a challenge for many countries. Where should the effort be focused and how much and what kind of capacity is required to achieve country wide objectives?
The importance of NAMAs lies in the fact that they have opened new avenues for broader initiatives that address sectors, geographical entities such as cities and, in some cases, an entire country. This allows planning to step up more clearly onto a national political and policy level.
For example, countries like Indonesia and Brazil have identified sector wide initiatives and aggregated them together into a national pathway to lowering their emissions growth.
Experiences with NAMAs have contributed in two main ways to building national capacity to plan and implement action relevant for future action to reduce emissions.
First, from an institutional perspective, NAMAs have contributed to the mainstreaming of low emissions development into sectoral and national planning.
Increasing political attention has led to institutional arrangements to plan and implement low emissions growth which, in many cases, is coordinated by Heads of State or Government.
At the same time, the process of consultations, either within the government or with the public, has planted the seeds of a participatory process with the added benefit of private sector engagement.
Second, from a technical perspective, the process of identifying and formulating NAMAs has required governments and governmental agencies to strengthen their capacity on many fronts. For example, this includes the periodic preparation of greenhouse gas inventories, targeted assessments of mitigation potential, the establishment of sectoral and national systems for monitoring and evaluation, and financial planning for low emissions growth.
More broadly, NAMAs have also helped many countries to analyze and better estimate the potential to make their economies less carbon intense in the future. As a consequence, NAMAs have become a starting point for many countries to prepare their climate action plans.
A recent study from UNDP
A recent study funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) found that over 60 per cent of the countries surveyed will prepare their INDC climate plans building on their NAMAs as well as on the capacity generated by the planning and implementation of these actions.
This is backed by information shared during regional dialogues on INDCs, also organized by UNDP. Below are only a few examples of how experiences with NAMAs can be used to scale up mitigation action into national plans.
One example is Tunisia, which is exploring means to realize 40 per cent of its mitigation potential by 2030 through NAMAs.
Peru has developed a national marginal abatement curve for 70 mitigation options and is currently evaluating the potential of some of its NAMAs in the context of its national climate plan.
Another example is that of Senegal, which is advancing its work by looking at NAMAs in the energy, agriculture and forestry sectors.
At the sector level, Armenia is building on its experiences with NAMAs in the residential sector to study the role of energy efficiency in its INDC.
And Indonesia is currently reviewing the sectoral elements of its nationwide NAMA as a basis for its national climate plan.
Source: NAMA News | 17 March 2015