Asia Pacific Countries Deliberate on Boosting Climate Ambition

The Asia LEDS Partnership (ALP) Secretariat, hosted by ICLEI South Asia in partnership with ICLEI South East Asia and ICLEI East Asia, and LEDS Global Partnership (LEDS GP) in association with other partners organised several events at the Asia Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2019.

The APCW 2019 aims to support implementation of Asia-Pacific countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change and action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event was held at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand from 2nd to 6th of September 2019.

The APCW 2019 was organised by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), UN Environment, UNEP DTU Partnership, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank Group, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Institute for Global Environment Strategies (IGES) and Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN).

The APCW also included a ‘NDC Dialogue’ that focused on the Asia-Pacific region and Arab states. The Dialogue emphasized the importance of offering economic incentives such as green jobs and making use of innovative financing mechanisms to enable raising NDC ambition, while ensuring that low carbon transition happens in an equitable manner.

APCW participants concurred that governments need to be actively supported by subnational regions and cities, private sector, political leadership as well as finance to drive low carbon and resilient transformation in the region. Key messages that emerged across the main themes covered by the APCW can be found here. Carbon pricing, the enhanced transparency framework, capacity-building and regional climate finance, above all for highly vulnerable nations were also addressed during the Climate week. Youth groups engaged actively with participants at APCW and spread key messages via social media, underscoring the need for their deeper involvement in climate action across the region.

At APCW, the ALP and LEDS GP organised a parallel session on ‘Raising Ambition in the Energy Sector’, a side event on ‘Clean Mobility and Renewable Energy Integration through Energy Storage’, a deep-dive session on ‘Energy Transition’.

11 countries from the Asia Pacific region, including island nations, participated in the Raising Ambition in the Energy Sector session. It was clear from the discussion that countries are integrating ambitious low carbon energy plans with NDC goals in the national and local context through various mechanisms for private sector engagement, enabling policy to de-risk markets in emerging economies, sector coupling, including buildings and transport among others. Capacity building, country-to-country knowledge exchange and technology transfer and leveraging finance emerged as opportunities to create enabling eco-system for ambitious energy transition.

The side event on Clean Mobility and Renewable Energy Integration through Energy Storage aimed to give the participants an understanding of the linkages between clean mobility and large scale integration of renewable energy enabled by utility scale energy storage. It comprised of a group exercise and saw participation of regional, national and sub-national stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region. Thus, the event served as a platform for peer exchange of status, opportunities and lessons learnt based on actions taken by various countries in this regard.

Countries highlighted opportunities to promote electric mobility in public and private transport fleets through business models and policy measures to lower costs in countries that lack manufacturing industry, creation of robust charging infrastructure, and dis-incentivising conventional vehicles. Countries also deliberated on enabling compensation mechanisms, tariff design and potential business models for promoting distributed solar PV, and the importance of addressing grid stability issues when deploying variable renewable energy into the grid.

The Energy Transition session showcased the efforts of Asian and Pacific countries in leading a transition to low carbon, resilient energy systems, especially scaling-up use of renewable energy technologies; and to discuss mechanisms for scaling up investments from the public and private sectors to support this energy transition. During the deliberation, Asian and Pacific countries discussed the efforts and mechanisms to scale up their transition to low carbon and resilient energy systems.

This session was organised in association with International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN 21), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment (UNEP), UNESCAP, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and World Resources Institute (WRI).
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability also participated in the High level segment on NDC implementation: Raising Ambition that focused on integrated approaches and multi-stakeholder governance for NDC implementation. Soumya Chaturvedula, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia explained how official channels of engagement with civil society and active consideration in policy formulation will raise ambition in the region.

“Engagement with private business and access to technology will enable implementation of transformative and resilient development pathways,” added Ms. Chaturvedula.

The ALP’s work on furthering NDC implementation in the region was also displayed at the UNCC exhibition area.

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