‘Driving NDC Implementation – the Role of Global Initiatives and Networks’ was the title of a side event held at the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Katowice. The event was organised by the Support Project for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPA) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
The expert-moderated panel discussion brought together high-level actors from governments as well as multilateral and non-governmental institutions.
As the event got under way, Norbert Gorißen, Deputy Director General for International Policy at BMU, highlighted a positive shift in the negotiations: instead of discussing whether countries should be mitigating climate change, he said, those involved were now focusing on how they should be doing so.
In the course of the event, panellists explored the role of global initiatives and networks in driving NDC implementation from a number of different perspectives:
Nicolas Höhne from the NewClimate Institute emphasised the importance of cooperation between diverse stakeholders – including global initiatives and networks – in implementing NDCs at country level. Surveys show that, in most cases, only the environment ministries are actively involved. Höhne said that mainstreaming climate change mitigation would help to avoid the mistakes that were made when initially drawing up the NDC: NDCs should not be decided at the last minute in a top-down approach, should be clearly oriented to the 1.5 degree target, and should reflect long-term strategies.
Pablo Viera, Global Director of the NDC Partnership, said many countries were overwhelmed by the variety of requirements and available support offers when implementing their NDCs. This is where the NDC Partnership comes in. It helps bundle the activities of a range of initiatives, strengthen cooperation, and boost the added value of interventions. That reduces the expense and effort required of individual countries. The Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP) also promotes exchange and learning, as Executive Director Ron Benioff emphasised: through regional platforms and thematic communities of practice, he said, LEDS GP supports cooperation between practitioner stakeholders and governments on long-term strategies and NDCs.
Anne Hammill, Director of the Resilience Program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), also emphasised that 80 per cent of countries have incorporated adaptation to climate change into their NDCs. Adaptation is an important part of supporting countries with implementing their NDCs and is also crucial to ensuring that reduction activities make sustainable contributions to reducing CO2 as the climate changes. Overall, she said, international initiatives such as the NAP Global Network support countries in moving from planning their adaptation strategy to actually implementing it by operationalising NDCs.
Climate financing was a further key aspect and was also raised during the discussions by Maia Tskhvaradze from Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture: to mobilise the private sector to a greater degree, the economic benefits and positive side effects of climate change mitigation and adaptation need to be better communicated, along with the negative impact of not taking appropriate measures. Global networks and initiatives can support communication and networking with the private sector.
As part of the critical debate, it became apparent that global networks and initiatives have an important part to play in implementing and driving forward NDCs, especially when they coordinate with one another and complement their country activities. In many countries, specific implementation of climate change mitigation measures has raised awareness that change is possible, so this may also help to raise ambitions as part of the process of revising NDCs from 2020.
However, it became clear during the discussions that the approaches to and targets set for NDCs were inadequate to kick-start transformative change in key sectors. Long-term strategies and visions for structural change are needed to keep global warming below 2oC above the pre-industrial level.
Speakers and panelists:
- Norbert Gorißen, Deputy Director General for International Policy, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
- Anne Hammill, Director Resilience Program, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) / NAP Global Network
- Ron Benioff, Executive Director, LEDS-GP
- Pablo Viera, Global Director, NDC Partnership
- Nicolas Höhne, Founding Partner, NewClimate Institute
- Maia Tskhvaradze, Senior Specialist in the Climate Change Division, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA)
The panel discussion was chaired by John Christensen, Director of the UNEP DTU Partnership.