How NDCs can drive the transformation of the energy sector

May 30, 2018

On 25 and 26 April, the Sectors thematic working group of the NDC Support Cluster hosted a workshop to discuss how NDCs can drive transformation in the energy sector. The discussion was based on an innovative design thinking method called ‘prototyping’. In the first part of the workshop, working group members, together with selected experts from developing and developed countries, identified challenges concerning NDC implementation in the energy sector and exchanged views on how to address these. Based on this, a series of NDC implementation approaches to overcome common challenges was developed.

Most prominently, the discussions on barriers and solutions centred on three issues: the role of different stakeholders for NDC implementation, building the enabling environment for this process and identifying meaningful entry points for mainstreaming the NDC in the energy sector.

How to mobilise and align actors supporting NDC implementation

The NDC implementation process involves a variety of actors such as ministries, government agencies, sub-national actors or the civil society. It may be challenging to ensure the involvement of all types of actors in the NDC process and effective coordination among them. To overcome these barriers, identifying a national champion (e.g. a leading ministry) or convening a taskforce for the energy sector to coordinate the NDC implementation process can prove effective. To strengthen vertical coordination, bottom-up approaches (such as a transformation readiness assessment) could be used to determine the specific contributions required at the local level and their feasibility.

How to promote an enabling environment for NDC implementation

The second part of the discussion focused on how to solve the challenges with regard to the policy mix and institutional arrangements that speed up the NDC implementation process in the energy sector. It is crucial to identify conflicting sectoral policies and align goals and strategies among sectors and within the energy sector. Furthermore, a broad-based participatory process can be helpful in building ownership and thereby developing policies that are widely supported. This goes hand in hand with the translation of abstract policy into the narratives relevant to local actors and a strong communication strategy focused on policy benefits.

How to identify and create entry points for mainstreaming the NDC

The third area discussed was the barriers that exist with regard to finding the right entry points for mainstreaming the NDC in the energy sector. The establishment of risk sharing facilities as well as de-risking approaches has proved useful in attracting private investors to the energy sector. In addition, initiating dialogues among different interest groups, sending strong public policy signals through procurement approaches, and engaging local financial sector bodies is key to support private sector inclusion in the energy sector transformation.

NDC implementation approaches

Based on the identification of key challenges and solutions, participants drafted NDC implementation approaches for the energy sector. Some examples of the approaches included:

  • ‘Shifting fossil fuel subsidies and reinvesting freed-up resources into renewable energy/energy efficiency and social programmes creating incentives for NDC implementation’
  • ‘Creating a dynamic habitat for new renewable energy businesses – a bottom-up approach including the implementation of regulative incentives and the provision of entrepreneurial support’
  • ‘Bridging the NDC to the grassroots level to create ownership and engagement – a bottom-up assessment of the needs of local populations’

More information on the workshop results including further details about the developed NDC implementation approaches can be found below this article.

The workshop was jointly organized by the NDC Support Cluster projects GIZ Support Project for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPA) and ECN, NCI Advancing from Mitigation Ambition to Action.

The workshop was the first in a series of four events to be conducted within four thematic work streams of the NDC Support Cluster – governance, sector approaches, financing, and transparency – between April and June 2018. Integrated results from the workshops will be published in a joint policy paper containing a set of recommendations on NDC implementation. More information on the workshop series can be found here.

For more information please refer to the concept notes and insights down below.