NDC Partnership: Taking Action to Raise Climate Ambition in LDCs and SIDS through NDCs and Long-Term Strategies

L-R: Dolf Gielen, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Al-Hamdou Dorsouma, African Development Bank (AfDB); Jenny Kim, GGGI; and Moderator Orestes Anastasia, GGGI

This event included senior government officials from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) who have championed mitigation measures in their countries, showcasing examples of projects for raising mitigation ambitions through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies. In the first part of the event, Orestes Anastasia, GGGI, moderated a panel discussion on the topic. In the second part, participants engaged in a dialogue on national and international mitigation ambitions.

Jean Pierre Mugabo, Ministry of Environment, Rwanda, set the scene for his country by mentioning that Rwanda is a small, developing state and has low greenhouse gas emissions compared to the global average. He addressed Rwanda’s ambitions to improve climate resilience by creating inclusive pathways to growth, centered on initiatives in the energy, agriculture transport; land use and forestry sectors. He pointed to Rwanda’s Green Forest Policy, which aims to convert significant amounts of agricultural land back to forests through agroforestry management techniques by 2024. Mugabo concluded by mentioning the importance of partnerships with other organizations, including the NDC Partnership, the GGGI, and local and regional knowledge groups, to monitor the impacts of climate change and reduce vulnerabilities to these impacts. 

Jenny Kim, GGGI, stated that investment in green sectors facilitates job creation and increases productivity, contributing to economic growth. She showcased GGGI’s collaboration with partner countries to materialize green growth in the field and help them develop ambitious NDCs and effectively implement them. Kim stressed that GGGI also assists countries in developing national green growth resilient strategies, as well as introducing and revising policies that combine economic growth and environmental sustainability. On the issue of ensuring finance for the implementation of countries’ strategies and ambitions, Kim underscored that GGGI helps partner countries establish a national financial vehicle. She highlighted examples of Rwanda’s Green Fund and Senegal’s national renewable energy and energy efficiency fund, and explained that GGGI helps with mobilizing finance for investment in the green sector, facilitating countries gain access to the Green Climate Fund. She reiterated the Institute’s commitment to continue working with SIDS to effectively implement a high level of NDCs.

Dolf Gielen, IRENA, noted that 80% of NDCs include some sort of renewable energy targets with more than 40 countries mentioning adaptation and resilience building. He said that technological innovation is significant, showcasing IRENA’s analysis on renewables in the European Union, which shows that more renewables would be cost-effective today compared with 2014, given improvements in technology. Gielen highlighted IRENA’s collaboration with developed and developing countries as well as regional partnerships, and stressed that long-term energy planning should be based on sound modeling and the latest information available. He also noted the Agency’s efforts to enhance the policy framework and develop transition roadmaps for partner countries, and underscored the provision of project preparation support through their atlas of renewable potentials and guidelines for the development of bankable project proposals. He concluded by emphasizing the potential to increase the renewables component of NDCs and expressed IRENA’s commitment to provide the best possible information to countries that need it in to implement that potential.

Al-Hamdou Dorsouma, AfDB, gave context for LDCs and SIDS in Africa, pointing out that most of them have submitted very ambitious targets for mitigation by 2030 compared with other countries. What they need now, he said, is financial, technological and capacity-building support. He commented that commitments for adaptation in LDCs are too broad and too vague compared to mitigation, and that more work needs to be done by countries to build implementation arrangements for adaptation within their NDCs. He brought up the AfDB’s efforts to help boost adaptation and resilience in Africa by promoting mitigation and lo- carbon development, aiming to create an enabling environment for the private sector to provide its own support. He announced that the Bank has decided to “stop supporting fossil fuel projects”.

In the subsequent question-and-answer session, participants and panelists discussed: connecting the development objectives of LDCs and SIDS with their mitigation and adaptation targets; the difficulty of changing governments’ mindsets towards green growth and maintaining political momentum once projects are enacted; the necessity of private funds to help create an enabling environment across Africa; the difficulty of maintaining skilled personnel in the public sector; and what raising adaptation ambitions truly looks like. Some participants expressed doubts that financial institutions are moving too slowly to adequately support countries’ efforts, while others pointed to the availability of international finance as a potential solution.

Moderator Orestes Anastasia, GGGI

Jenny Kim, GGGI

Participants listen to Jenny Kim’s address

Jean Pierre Mugabo, Ministry of Environment, Rwanda

A participant takes a photo of Jean PierreMugabo

Dolf Gielen, IRENA

Al-Hamdou Dorsouma, AfDB

Pablo Vieira, NDC Partnership

Paul Stevers, Kenya