Sustained Cross-Country Learning and Collaboration through Regional Communities of Practice for NDC Implementation – NDC Partnership, the LEDS GP and regional partnerships at COP24

During the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the NDC Partnership and Government of Vietnam conducted a side event on “Sustained Cross-Country Learning and Collaboration through Regional Communities of Practice for NDC Implementation” on the 10th of December, at the NDC Partnership Pavilion. This event was convened by the Asia LEDS Partnership along with the LEDS Global Partnership (LEDS GP) and other regional partnerships of the LEDS GP.

The session intended to:

1. Highlight the NDC Partnership services and its efforts to support coordinated, efficient, and results-oriented implementation of NDC targets in Vietnam; and collaboration between different institutions to take forward NDC goals in Vietnam.

2. Showcase country progress and lessons learned on enabling frameworks for NDC and LEDS implementation.

3. Highlight services, approaches and opportunities for participation in LEDS GP regional communities of practice.

4. Enhance knowledge sharing, capacity building and explore collaboration activities among developing countries for NDC implementation building on these successful regional, country-driven communities.

Dr. Tang The Cuong, Director General, Department of Climate Change (DCC), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), Government of Vietnam, in his welcome remarks, encouraged the NDC Partnership and the LEDS GP to continue their important efforts to support NDC implementation in Vietnam and countries in Asia. He was of the opinion that the focus on delivering technical support and enabling peer-to-peer learning, responding to country priorities, is the right way forward to accelerate NDC implementation in the region. This session showcases the successful collaboration between different organisations to build capacities needed to ensure NDC implementation. The session also showcases learning from three important regions, Asia, Africa and Latin America, all of which are experiencing significant climate change impacts.

Showcasing activities of the LEDS GP, Mr. Ron Benioff indicated that this Partnership was convened in 2011 to enable countries to learn from each other with an aim to leap frog implementation of Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS). Common priorities for collaboration and learning are identified and appropriate tools, methodologies and other knowledge material are made available to member countries to address specific needs. Merging with and in collaboration with the 4 working groups of the NDC cluster on Finance, Sectors (finance, energy, transport, Agriculture, Forestry and Land-use (AFOLU)), Governance (sub-national integration) and Transparency, the LEDS GP and its working groups endeavour to provide deep dive technical assistance to early mover countries on identified topics of interest.

What is exciting is that, through the LEDS GP platform, countries, by defining common interests, are working along with practitioners on specific topics – e.g. deep work on mini grids to meet low carbon development goals. In person workshops, peer to peer learning and is provided through the working groups and regional partnerships. A good practices database is also developed by the LEDS GP, providing easy access to solutions to commonly faced policy and implementation challenges that have worked elsewhere. Member countries also have access to no cost, short term advisor support through the Remote Expert Assistance on LEDS (REAL) service. To effectively advance implementation of LEDS and NDCs, it is imperative that we need active engagement of practitioners, climate officials, the business sector and cross-sector government involvement – the LEDS GP, through its engagement across sectors enables such collaboration.

Mr. Emani Kumar, the lead director of the Asia LEDS Partnership further elaborated on the Communities of Practice (CoP) that are convened by each regional partnership. A Community of Practice is a group of practitioners, member country representatives and business sector representatives who together define a common area of interest/need and deep-dive into specifics that would enable and/or inform policy development and implementation. The Asia LEDS Partnership in 2018, has convened 4 CoPs on Grid-scale Renewable Energy, Clean mobility, NDC Finance and Multi-level Climate Governance. Regional Partnerships design activities of each CoP to include online and in-person bilateral and multilateral exchanges; training and technical assistance on tools, policies and approaches; support to early mover countries; compilation of good practices and lessons learned; and sharing of new tools and innovative concepts.

Mr. Jahan Chowdhury, Country Engagement Director, NDC Partnership gave a glimpse of the NDC Partnership’s work with member coutnries to ensure that NDCs are mainstreamed into national planning and strategic documents. He spoke of the need to reflect the financial outlays required for NDC implementation in countrys’ budgeting processes. There is a need to examine whether planned budgets can support the achievement of unconditional NDC targets. Implementation of NDCs will be successful only when ministries of finance, environment, planning and other sector ministries collaborate and converge. Without involving sector ministries in target setting, subsequent implementation is always challenging.

The NDC Partnership has supported the design of 50 NDC implementation plans, 7 of which were launched at the COP24. Specific tools are developed and deployes, which help identify government priorities, enabling frameworks for implementation and identify stakehoolders who need to be involved to ensure effective implementation. The NDC Partnership helps country’s in the planning process and define outcomes, outputs and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), without which monitoring implementation of NDCs becomes impossible. It also provides a single framework of ccoperation for Multilateral Development banks (MDBs) and other bilateral financing, thereby streamlining the process of financing NDC implementation. No government on its own can implement the Paris Agreement – the NDC Partnership ensures that partners who are supporting NDC implementation are not working in isolation. Through a Partnership Plan, a single platform is created for leveraging multiple resources effectively and ensuring efficient fast delivery of support for NDC implementation. By including civil society organisations and private sector in dialogues with the government, the impact of supproting NDC implementation is enhanced. Coutry’s are also supported in developing investment strategies. There is a strong emphasis from the Partnership to integrat implementation of existing development plans and NDC. This is essential if we are to fast-track NDC implementation.

Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director General, Department of Cliamte Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), indicated that Vietnam receives support from several development partners, through 550 programmes to achieve objectives of the Paris Agreement. Vietnam’s “Plan for Implementing the Paris Agreement’, is the guiding framwork for NDC implementation in the country. This plan enables the institutionalisation of NDC targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The NDC implementation process is currently being reviewed. With support from GIZ, the NDC Implementation Platform was created for Vietnam. This platform will be operational in 2019 and will be monitored by the National Commission of Climate Change – the platform will be updated with relevant information related to achievement of sector targets by all concerned sector ministries, once every 6 months. Vietnam intends to achieve its goals and targets by 2030, with support from multiple development partners. Ms. Eva Huebner, Climate Policy Advisor, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, indicated that the online platform for Vietnam is based on experiences from Mongolia and Ghana. It helps the Governemnt of Vietnam in tracking the progress of its Plan for Implementing the paris Agreement (PIPA). The platform has two inbuilt interfaces, one for governemnt use and one for public use. The public domain will include details on the statuss of implementation of the PIPA, including the NDC revision process. Features of this platform were presented by Ms. Huebner.

Dr. Alain Kouadio, Co-Chair – Africa LEDS Partnership from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development., Cote d’Ivoire, briefly presented activities of the Africa LEDS Partnership and gave examples of how the Africa mini-grids Community of Practice (AMG-CoP) is helping member countries. The AMG-CoP offers a valuable opportunity to:

• engage with the private sector development and investment community to understand what is needed to unlock private investment and accelerate financial flows;

• learn from fellow African governments as well as mini-grid pioneers from around the world to design policy and regulatory frameworks and create enabling environments that leverage mini-grids to meet national developmental, electrification, and climate change mitigation objectives;

• access new tools and technical assistance to develop country-specific, tailored policy, market, and finance solutions.

Additionally, AMG-CoP members and the African LEDS GP Secretariat and its partners are working together to implement ideas and activities under the key priority areas.

Specific examples of what worked well were discussed, the learning exchange between Ghana and Nigeria, being a case in point. Several related topics such as Finance-related challenges in implementing mini-grids in Africa, smart subsidy design for mini-grids on the continent and Enabling Effective Business Models through Well-Designed Policies are discussed in workshops and online sessions.

The AFOLU CoP is also being launched in Africa, as an interactive network of champion African institutions addressing real-time technical and policy challenges and solutions in the AFOLU sector. Initial topics for peer learning include:

  • Analytical approaches to assess GHG emission and socio-economic development impacts of actions across the energy and agriculture sector through integrating models and translating these approaches into policies and other concrete approaches.
  • Linking agricultural production with small-scale energy sources to enable socio-economic development, emission reductions and finance mobilization.
  • Agroforestry action as a driver of socio-economic development and emission reductions

The Africa LEDS Project is also being implemented by AfLP, in collaboration with European Commission, UNEP, the Africa LEDS Partnership, LEDS Global Partnership, and other partners. Support is given to 8 countries in Africa to strengthen capacity for LEDS and NDC planning, modeling and implementation. In this project, the regional peer learning component focuses on knowledge sharing across partner countries within 5 sub-regions. The project will build on LEDS progress in partner countries and strengthen existing in-country analytical and planning capabilities to support implementation of impactful actions. The project focuses on two specific aspects – LEDS planning and implementation (in Côte d’Ivoire Cameroon DRC) , and LEDS modeling (in 8 countries). The project The project helps identify the best low carbon scenarios with clear co-benefits on a national and temporal scale and provides a clear framework to implement NDCs. Clear assessment of climate benefits and environmental, social and economic benefits is made possible through support from this project.

Dr. Marlon Escoto, Presidential Delegate on Climate Change, Government of Honduras & member of LEDS LAC´s CoP (Private Sector Involvement), through his representative Dr. Orlando Garner Ordóñez , spoke on the learning that Honduras derived from the Community of Practice on Private Sector Involvement in Climate Policy Processes, convened by the Latin America LEDS Partnership. The CoP intends to contribute to the development and consolidation of mechanisms to articulate private sector participation in climate policy design and implementation of NDCs through an exchange of experiences and good practices, joint learning and collaboration to tackle common challenges. The CoP consists of teams of 3 practitioners from 9 Latin American countries of the EUROCLIMA+ Program, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Countries were selected through a competitive process and each team must include public and private sector representatives and must be working on an initiative to enable the participation of the private sector in design and/or implementation of climate policies. Honduras benefitted from this exchange by networking with colleagues from 9 countries, working in similar initiatives, but in different contexts. The opportunity to learn about methodologies and tools, both from the CoP members and from international experts and the opportunity to receive direct support to advance the national initiative in coffee sector were most beneficial to Honduras. The country is already applying some of the learnings from the CoP to the Development of a Coffee NAMA and a Climate Change Financial Inclusion Facility. The Coffee NAMA is also included in the revised NDC. Honduras seeks support from the international community to address key priorities which include development of a an incentive and promotion policy for agroforestry systems, better financial conditions and access to credit in the sector and the creation of a climate guarantee fund.

In an ensuing panel discussion, Mr. Mr Nguyen Tuan Anh, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Planning & Investment (MPI), Government of Vietnam, Dr. Kouadio and Dr. Ordonez indicated the importance of receiving technical assistance through knowledge platforms such as the LEDS GP. There was a clear indication to continue and enhance the support provided through the Communities of Practice of LEDS GP and the NDC Partnership. Country representatives welcomed financial assistance from the international community to accelerate NDC implementation in their countries.

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